Earlier today, the Health Secretary announced that Elmbridge will enter tier 3 restrictions (“Very High Alert”) from Saturday morning. These restrictions will apply across Surrey, with the exception of Waverley.
This means that you must not meet socially indoors, or in most outdoor spaces, with anybody you don’t live with or share a support bubble with. This includes private gardens and most outdoor venues. Unfortunately, tier 3 restrictions also mean that hospitality settings like pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed, but can continue to offer takeaway, click and collect, drive-through or delivery services. The full rules are available here.
I’m acutely aware of the sacrifices that residents and businesses have already been making under the tier 2 restrictions, and before that during the national restrictions. There is financial support available, including grants for businesses forced to close. Elmbridge Borough Council is providing more information here, and you can check what you may be eligible for on the government website here.
While the additional restrictions will be very challenging, they are necessary to drive down the level of the virus. Our case rate in Elmbridge has been rising since late November. The latest data shows that we had a case rate of 164.5 cases per 100,000 in the 7 day period ending on 11 December, up from 112.6 a week earlier. The extra restrictions in tier 3 will help to reduce these numbers, backed up by the community testing that the borough will now be offered.
I encourage residents to continue showing the resolve that they have throughout the pandemic. The coming weeks will be tough, but with community testing and the vaccine rollout accelerating, we can see light at the end of the tunnel.