Easing of restrictions delayed until Monday 19 July
The government announced yesterday, 14th June 2021, it will be another 4 weeks until we move to the fourth and final step of the roadmap out of lockdown. There’s been a fast increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and the Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the UK.
Step 4 of the roadmap would have removed all limits on social contact. The delay will allow more time to gather data, plus thousands more people will get vaccinated before the easing.
“As a country, we absolutely need to tread a fine line when it comes to the further easing of restrictions, balancing the need to contain the spread of the virus with the wider impact on local businesses and the wider economy,” said Cllr Kevin Bentley, Leader of the Council.
“I know the announcement will cause concern amongst residents and businesses alike, particularly those within the hospitality sector. However, I would like to reassure them that we have prepared for such an eventuality and we are here to support them.
“It is vital that the decision to proceed with any further unlocking is based on facts and insight so that we can take the necessary action to keep people safe and well.”
Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “The data is very clearly telling us that we need to proceed with caution. I am sure lots of people will be disappointed by the news today. However, the delay is a reminder to us all that the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over, although the ending of restrictions is on the horizon.”
Dr Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health, reiterated the importance of Covid-safe behaviours.
“I cannot emphasise enough the importance of following the rules and getting vaccinated when it is your turn,” said Dr Gogarty.
“Everyone’s behaviour is crucial to us managing the spread of the virus. I am urging everyone to follow the guidance, test regularly and get both doses of the vaccine when it’s your turn.”
Read more of the reaction to the government announcement on the Essex County Council website.