Published Wednesday, 4th November 2020

From Thursday 5 November, Reigate & Banstead, along with the rest of England, will enter a month-long national lockdown.

The Government has taken this decision in response to the rapidly rising infection rates across the country, including in our borough.

With hospital admission rates also rising, we now need to stay home in order to stop the spread of the virus – only leaving for specific reasons, including essential shopping, caring for others, education and work, where you cannot work from home.

Although non-essential businesses, bars and restaurants must close, except for takeaway services, there is no need to panic or bulk buy as supermarkets and chemists will remain open.

Meeting family and friends indoors or in private gardens will no longer be allowed, but you are encouraged to take outdoor exercise and can meet one other person from another household outside in a public space. Support bubbles can also remain in place. Please find full details of the restrictions on the Government’s website.

We, as a Council, have done a lot of preparation and planning. We have the benefit of experience from the spring and are as prepared to support as we can be.

All essential Council services, including waste collections, will be maintained and our parks and playgrounds will remain open. However, our leisure centres, community centres and the Harlequin Theatre and Cinema will need to close once more – although we will be offering a takeaway service from the Harlequin café. There are still a few areas we are awaiting Government clarification on, so do check our website and follow us on social media for updates.

Although no one will be asked to resume shielding, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will be receiving a letter from the Government asking them to be especially careful.

We appreciate the concern the new restrictions will cause, however, we continue to be committed to supporting those in need, and together with key community partners, we will be doing all that we can to support you.

There is a wealth of information on the coronavirus pages of our website detailing support available including; where you can go for help with emergency access to food and medication; support if you are feeling lonely or isolated; and specific help for young people, carers and those living with disabilities, as well as information for local businesses.

We have already written to some of our most vulnerable residents to make them aware of the  assistance available, but if you know of anyone who will be severely impacted by the new restrictions please help them to access this support and let them know that they can call our community helpline if they can’t get online, on 01737 276000 or SMS 07834 626468 for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

To stay up to date with information on all Council services, please see the coronavirus pages of our website and follow us on social media. Residents can also sign up for a MyReigate&Banstead account online to receive email updates.

I now ask that we pull together again as a borough, as communities, to follow official Government restrictions and NHS guidance to help keep everyone safe - our families, our friends, our neighbours. We have done this before, and we can do this again.

Please continue to follow the guidance - remember ‘hands, face, space’ - so that we can reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

 

Councillor Mark Brunt

Leader, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council