The Leader of Medway Council has issued a message to residents following the government's announcement that Medway will remain in the Tier 4: Stay at Home alert level.
The government has announced that Medway will remain in the Tier 4: Stay at Home alert level.
Unfortunately, Medway continues to have a high number of coronavirus cases which means that we are still facing the toughest government restrictions. In Tier 4 areas you cannot meet other people indoors, unless you live with them, or they are part of your support bubble and you can only meet one person from another household outdoors.
We understand that this will be disappointing to residents and local businesses, but we must all continue to follow the government guidelines to protect each other from the spread of coronavirus. I would encourage affected business owners to visit our website to find out what support may be available to them in these challenging times.
The government plans to review the tiers again on 13 January.
Approximately one in three people who have coronavirus do not have symptoms and could be unknowingly spreading the virus. This shows just how important symptom-free testing is and why we have been inviting critical workers and residents, in areas of Medway where cases have been increasing, for a free swab test.
So far, we have tested around 32,000 people, which is testament to the hard work of our military partners and civilian testing staff who are now running our four testing sites in Chatham, Rochester, Rainham and Chattenden. Of those, 600 tested positive and were immediately told to self-isolate.
We are directly contacting residents with details of how they can book a symptom-free test. If you are contacted book a test as soon as possible to help play your part in the fight against coronavirus.
I would like to once again thank our NHS and in particular, staff at Medway Maritime Hospital, who are under enormous pressure for their tireless hard work.
Although it is encouraging that another vaccine has been approved it is vital that we do not become complacent. The rate of infection in Medway is still high and it is vital that we continue to follow the latest government guidelines.
I wish you all a happy, and healthy New Year, and encourage you all to celebrate safely at home with your household this year. By staying at home we will all be protecting our loved ones from the spread of this deadly virus.
Medway is resilient and it is critical that we all pull together once more to protect each other from the spread of coronavirus.
Protect yourself and your loved ones. Stay safe.
Cllr Alan Jarrett
Leader of Medway Council