Published Thursday, 17th December 2020
A statement from Councillor Mark Brunt, Leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council
The Government has confirmed that on 00:01 on Saturday 19 December, Surrey (excluding Waverley) will move into Tier 3: Very high alert.
The decision has been made by ministers based on public health recommendations and considers a combination of factors including case detection rate, pressure on the local NHS and the rate at which infections are rising or falling.
In both Reigate and Banstead, and Surrey more widely, we are seeing an increase in infections again.
We recognise these additional restrictions will not be easy - particularly for many of our hospitality businesses and particularly in the run up to Christmas – but they are an important further step to reduce our infection rate. We must adhere to them.
Full details of tier restrictions, including exceptions and exemptions, are detailed on the Gov.uk/coronavirus pages. Under Tier 3, these main restrictions apply:
- you must not meet indoors, in private gardens or in most outdoor venues, with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble
- you can meet in a group of up to six in other outdoor public spaces, such as parks, beaches or countryside
- you are advised to reduce the number of journeys you make, and not to travel to and from tier three areas. However, you may continue to travel in certain situations e.g. for work, education, and to receive medical treatment
- hospitality venues – such as cinemas, theatres and hotels - must close
- pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants must close except for delivery and takeaway services
- shops, gyms and personal care services (such as hairdressing) can stay open, as can swimming pools.
We will continue to work with Surrey Public Health to help drive numbers back down.
Support for businesses
We recognise the severe impact Tier 3 restrictions will have on the borough’s hospitality businesses. We will continue to work closely with them, and with all our local businesses, to ensure they are using the support the Government has made available. Residents can also do their bit to support our much-loved hospitality venues and businesses by continuing to use take away or click and collect services, and shopping safely and locally on our high streets and online.
Support for residents
Alongside our community partners we continue to do everything we can to support our most vulnerable residents. The recent launch of new initiatives to support those impacted by food and fuel poverty is testament to the ongoing work to support those in urgent need.
If you know of anyone who will be severely impacted by the new restrictions, please encourage them to visit the coronavirus pages of our website. Here they will find information on a broad range of support including access to emergency food and prescriptions, financial help and befriending services. If they can’t get online, please let them know they can also call our community helpline on 01737 276000.
Essential Council services will continue to run as normal, and many of our facilities will remain open including the three leisure centres in our borough (with some changes), outdoor areas such as tennis courts, skate ramps, multi-use games areas and most playgrounds.
Unfortunately, the Harlequin Theatre and Cinema, including the café, will close with immediate effect. Member activities at our community centres will also be affected, although podiatry and hairdressing services will remain open.
Please check our website and follow us on social media for updates.
I know I don’t need to tell you how important this is. I know this isn’t welcome news to most people. But we have to bring down the infection rate for all of our sakes. There is hope on the horizon with vaccines already being administered in Surrey but in the interim, we must adhere to the Tier 3 guidance.