Published Sunday, 20th December 2020
A statement from Councillor Mark Brunt, Leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council.
Reigate & Banstead along with the rest of Surrey (excluding Waverley) is now under Tier 4: Stay at Home restrictions. This means tighter measures as well as a withdrawal of the planned easing of restrictions over the Christmas period.
This decision has been taken by ministers – less than 24 hours after the borough moved into Tier 3: Very High – following a significant rise in infections attributed to the rapid spread of a new variant of COVID-19 across large parts of South East England, including in our borough and across Surrey.
We know that the announcement of these new stronger measures will be incredibly hard to take, not only for each of us as individuals but also for many of our local businesses, especially those in hospitality and retail who will be significantly impacted.
It has been a challenging year and many of us will now not be able to spend Christmas how we had planned. However, we must stay strong and follow these new restrictions in order to play our part in keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe and protecting our valuable NHS.
Tier 4: Stay at Home
The new restrictions are closely aligned to those in place during the national November lockdown, and mean:
- you should stay at home except for limited exceptions (e.g. for essential travel for work, education or medical appointments)
- you cannot meet indoors with anyone not in your household or existing support bubble
- you can only meet outdoors with one person from another household
- you must not travel into/out of a Tier 4 area except for limited exceptions (e.g. for essential travel for work, education or medical appointments)
- all non-essential shops, personal care, indoor gyms as well as hospitality venues must close.
Full details of the new Tier 4: Stay at Home restrictions, including additional exceptions, can be found on the GOV.uk website.
The planned easing of restrictions for five days over Christmas has been cancelled for those within Tier 4 areas, meaning that you cannot form or join a Christmas bubble.
People living in Tiers 1-3, can now only meet with two other households for one day only, on Christmas day, instead of the five days previously announced.
Supporting our businesses
We will continue to do everything we can to support our local businesses as we move into these stronger restrictions, working with them to ensure they are using the support the Government has made available.
Residents can also do their bit to support our much-loved local businesses by continuing to use their click and collect, takeaway and delivery services.
Our essential statutory services will continue to run as normal. However these new restrictions mean that our three Leisure Centres will be fully closed, along with our Community Centres (except for medical reasons). This is in addition to the Harlequin Theatre and Cinema which closed last week.
We will be reviewing the detailed Government guidance as it becomes available to us, and will update our website with any further impacts to our services. You can also keep up to date by following our social media channels.
These new measures will be formally reviewed on Wednesday 30 December 2020.
I know that these new restrictions come as a significant blow to many of us – especially over the festive period. I know that having to cancel plans so close to Christmas will feel very difficult and perhaps unfair. But we have no choice. We must take action to try to bring down the infection rate – particularly given the behaviour of the new variant of the virus. We must do everything we can to limit our social contact, protect our loved ones, our communities and the NHS. We can – and must - do this together.