This Monday the Prime Minister set out a new “three tier” system for responding to the coronavirus outbreak. These measures mean that everywhere in England now falls into one of the following tiers – Medium, High, and Very High. At the moment, Rugby and Warwickshire are within the “Medium Tier,” however with cases rising locally we must all take steps to reduce transmission of Covid-19 to prevent further measures from being introduced as they have been elsewhere. The full details of these new rules can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Rugby Borough Council and public health experts have identified that within our area, the overwhelming majority of cases are being transmitted in households, often from friends mixing within homes. Because of this, Rugby Borough Council is urging people not to visit the homes of friends or family, unless they are in your support bubble. Whilst I know that many people will be concerned by this measure, I would urge residents to follow this advice to prevent further restrictions being imposed, which would be far stronger and have a significant impact on our local economy.
The Government also recognises that those areas with greater restrictions will need additional support and so the Chancellor has brought forward a package of measures to assist businesses and residents affected. Whilst these restrictions do not apply locally, I am pleased that Rugby Borough Council is now making available support payments of £500 on behalf of the Government. These payments are targeted at those on low incomes who have to isolate following a notification from NHS Test and Trace. This measure will help enable people who do have Covid to do the right thing and self-isolate and I would encourage anyone who is contacted by NHS Test and Trace to go to
https://www.rugby.gov.uk/supportpayment to find out if they are eligible.
I know that many people are concerned about the ongoing challenges raised by the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictions necessary to contain it. I share the concerns of residents and businesses about the impact that a further lockdown would have, and I do not wish to see one imposed. However, with cases rising, both locally and nationally, we must all therefore continue to follow the current rules on Hands, Face and Space to stop the spread and protect the NHS.