In his latest message to residents the Leader of Medway Council discusses the Prime Minister's autumn and winter plan announcement.
I hope this message finds you, and your families, well and that you have managed to enjoy the summer months and different events that we have been running and indeed are still taking place.
Yesterday (14 September), the Prime Minister set out the government’s plan to manage Covid this autumn and winter.
I am sure you are all as pleased as I am that, due to the success of the vaccination programme, the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths has been significantly weakened and that, in England, the number of hospital Covid admissions has remained relatively stable over the last month, with deaths remaining below the levels we saw in previous waves.
The government announced yesterday that they will aim to sustain this progress by:
- Building defences through pharmaceutical interventions such as vaccinations
- Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission
- Supporting the NHS and social care
- Advising people on how to protect themselves and others
- Pursuing an international approach
I am pleased that residents who were vaccinated during Phase 1 of the government’s vaccine programme, will be offered booster vaccines from this month to help protect our most vulnerable groups this winter. I would encourage residents in this group to take up the offer. There is no better protection against this deadly disease.
The Prime Minister also set out a ‘Plan B’, if indicators suggest that the NHS is at risk of being overwhelmed. These included:
- Introducing mandatory vaccine only Covid status certification in certain, riskier settings.
- Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings, such as public transport and shops.
- Communicating clearly and urgently to the public if the risk level increases.
I am sure that you all share my hope that the government will not need to implement ‘Plan B’ as this will cause further disruption to residents and businesses, but to ensure this, we all need to continue to follow government guidance. This includes letting fresh air in, wearing face coverings in crowded and enclosed places where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, getting tested and self-isolating, if needed.
We have continued to support the roll out of the vaccination programme in Medway and throughout the summer have continued to offer drop in testing at a large number of locations across Medway. We remain ready to act where needed to ensure our Medway community remains supported at all times.
Medway’s communities will continued to be celebrated in the coming weeks and months. We still have some fantastic summer events coming up, such as the Festival of Chatham Reach this weekend, and TOGETHER – a spectacular outdoor art installation, celebrating community and unity, which will be on display from next Friday, 24 September. We’re also looking forward to our fantastic winter events programme at the return of Rochester Christmas Market in November and the Dickensian Christmas Festival in early December. Our brilliant events programme supports Medway’s aspiration to become UK City of Culture 2025 and our Child-Friendly City agenda.
Cllr Alan Jarrett
Leader of Medway Council