North Somerset residents urged to stay at home

11:53am - 05 January 2021
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Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, North Somerset Council’s health bosses are urging residents to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives as the new lockdown measures begin, with North Somerset’s coronavirus rates hitting their highest level since the start of the pandemic. 

The latest reported figures show the seven-day rate per 100,000 of population is 326.9. They previously peaked at 305.5 during the November lockdown and 68.4 during the spring. 

Everyone in North Somerset is now required to stay at home and only leave for specific reasons including, to go to work - where working from home isn’t possible, for exercise, for shopping for essentials, for medical assistance and to escape domestic abuse. 

All schools are closed for face to face learning until at least February half-term, except for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. 

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people must begin shielding again and will shortly receive a letter from government about this. 

North Somerset Council's Deputy Leader and executive member for health, Cllr Mike Bell, said: “Our rates have risen sharply in the last couple of days to a level we have not yet seen in North Somerset. Therefore it’s essential that everyone respects the new rules in place and works together to bring infection rates down. 

“We know from the previous lockdowns that these measures work and we can turn it around. Everyone’s previous efforts have made our rates go down, so if we all work together, we know we can do it again. 

“It’s been said many times, this is a marathon, and you might be feeling like you’re hitting the wall. But, there’s hope now that we didn’t have in the previous lockdowns as vaccinations are happening. People are already getting protected against Covid-19, and many more will get the opportunity during the coming weeks. 

“So, while the prospect of the lockdown might feel daunting, it's more vital than ever that we all play our part so that we can all look forward to enjoying more freedoms again as the year progresses.” 

Director of Public Health, Matt Lenny, added: “Now's the time to hold our nerve and keep doing what we know works. 

“It’s hard, yes, but it’s the best way to look after each other. By staying at home you are protecting yourself and those you love from this potentially life-threatening disease. 

“A new high in our rates shows us that Covid is more present than ever in our community right now, and we also know the new variant is much more transmissible than the previous version, so please do all you can to protect yourselves, and each other.” 

Anyone with concerns about how the new lockdown might affect their ability to access essential support at home is encouraged to visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together or call 01934 427 437.

The North Somerset Together support network has been put in place by communities working together across North Somerset to ensure that the area's most vulnerable residents can continue to get the help they need during the pandemic.