Last week the Prime Minister announced to the country the news that with coronavirus infection rates on the rise, restrictions had to be tightened again.
For all of us, this was a sobering message that no doubt brought with it feelings of frustration, disappointment and anxiety. Like you, I am wondering when this will come to an end, but the message for me is clear. We are all in this together, and together we must work to slow the spread of the infection and protect our loved ones, our livelihoods and protect the whole of Medway.
Fortunately Medway has been in a much better place than many other towns and cities throughout the UK with lower incidence rates. Much of this is due to the compliance and thoughtful and considerate way everyone behaved during and since lock down. It is also down to the magnificent job done by our many public sector colleagues - from the NHS and health services, the police, ambulance service, and schools, as well as care providers, retail operators, the voluntary sector and many others who have done an extraordinary job over the past six months to keep Medway safe and running smoothly. For our part, the council is committed to work tirelessly to protect Medway and keep all our essential services running for you. The way this deadly virus behaves does mean things can quickly change and we need to be prepared for this.
Any death from coronavirus is one death too many and there are local families who are mourning lost loved ones from this terrible pandemic. We must do all we can to prevent any more deaths in Medway and every single one of us has a responsibility to do all we can to stop the spread.
Frustrating as these additional restrictions might seem, they are now the law and must be obeyed. I need not remind you that the consequences of not abiding by them could be the tragic loss of a partner, mother, father, grandparent, child or anyone else that you love. It could also be your neighbour, colleague or other member of the Medway community.
No one is exempt from spreading coronavirus. Many of you are doing your bit by wearing face coverings, washing your hands regularly and observing social distancing. But there is a small minority of people out there who are still not observing the rules and they are putting you and our community at risk. The council will not hesitate, working with the police, to take necessary action against any business or individual which by act or omission put the lives of others at risk.
Your response to the first wave of coronavirus was magnificent. We came together as a community to support each other. Now it is time to do so again and show that Medway spirit to beat this pandemic together. We cannot be complacent - too many lives are at risk. I am again urging everyone to stick to the new rules. Abide by the rule of six, work from home if you can, remember that pubs and restaurants close at 10pm and please go straight home from there. If you have not done so please download the NHS COVID-19 app to your mobile phone. It will help keep you safe and assist the NHS to track and contain the spread of the virus.
Please remember the simple rules of Hands, Face and Space at all times. Stay safe, protect those you love and protect Medway.