Following the Prime Ministers address to the nation last night, the country will enter its third national lockdown.
This is, of course, not what any of us wanted, but it is unfortunately necessary to save lives and protect the NHS.
The new variant of the virus is causing cases to rise at an alarming rate, including here in Sandwell, with the number of COVID patients in hospitals in England increasing by nearly a third in the past week. The number of deaths in the past week has also sadly risen by 20 per cent.
We must act now to stop the spread.
As of 00.01 Wednesday 6 January, you must not leave you home unless for the following reasons:
- Shopping for essential items
- Employment (should you not be able to work from home)
- Seeking medical assistance
- Escaping domestic abuse
- Exercise (this should be limited to one hour a day and if possible, undertaken alone)
Full details of what you can and cannot do can be found in the below link:
Schools will have to unfortunately close (expect for vulnerable children and those of key workers) and learning undertaken remotely.
We will continue to provide free school meals to those that need them and distribute more devices to facilitate remote education
To clarify, schools remain safe for pupils and teachers to attend (children are very unlikely to be affected by the new variant of COVID) but the latest data suggests that it is simply not possible to keep the new variant at bay across the whole country whilst schools remain open in some areas.
Whilst this lockdown will mirror some similarities of that of the March lockdown, the main difference is that we now have a clear way out of this pandemic.
More than 1 million doses of the vaccine have already been administered and the roll out of Oxford Vaccine began yesterday. By the middle of February, the government aims to have offered the vaccine to everyone in the top four priority groups:
- All care home residents and staff
- Everyone over the age of 70
- All frontline NHS staff and care workers
- Everyone on the NHS shielding patient list
I do understand how hard this is for everyone, myself include, but we must remember that the end is in sight.
Should you require any assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Phone: 0121 389 4419 or 020 7219 3982