Councillor Mark Ingall, Leader of Harlow Council, and Councillor Andrew Johnson, Leader of the opposition on Harlow Council, have reacted to the news that the government has decided that Harlow and other areas in Essex will enter tier 3 restrictions from tomorrow, Wednesday 16 December 2020.
Last Friday the two political leaders made a direct appeal via video to all residents to continue to do what they can to stop the spread of coronavirus in Harlow.
Today the leaders said:
“We share Essex County Council’s disappointment that Harlow along with other areas in Essex will move into tier 3 - very high alert - from tomorrow.
“No one in Harlow, including us, wanted any further restrictions, but with confirmed cases continuing to rise here and elsewhere it was always a possibility. We know that moving to tier 3 will impact on local businesses in the hospitality sector, at one of the busiest times of the year for trading. It impacts on the Playhouse Christmas programme too and it will also further restrict the ability for households to socialise. We will work with the government, Essex County Council and others to ensure that businesses get the support which is available and we continue to issue cash grants to those businesses affected by restrictions. We will also continue to support our Playhouse theatre.
“But, as a town, we can do something about it. By working together and following the rules we can go down the tiers too. It is up to every one of us to protect ourselves and others. The more we follow the rules, the quicker we can see families and friends again and socialise in our favourite local and in restaurants and cafes. This is in each and every one of our hands now.
“With cases still rising we must also be extremely careful not to allow complacency during the festive period to jeopardise family gatherings. Keeping loved ones safe when we can meet up with family and friends in our Christmas bubbles is a responsibility we all share. The decisions you make today could affect your future and that of others.”
To stay safe, residents should work from home where they can, wash their hands regularly, wear face coverings where they should and remain socially distanced at all times. Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate and get a test.