Residents and businesses across Stafford Borough have been urged not to let the good work go to waste as the area was placed into the highest tier restrictions.
The borough is now in the new Tier 4 restrictions – joining millions more who are now subject to the highest restrictions – which comes with a government call for people to stay at home.
Councillor Patrick Farrington, Leader of the Council, said the news was a ‘blow’ but the primary concern was to ensure the community was safe and encouraged everyone to continue with their efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.
He said: “I know it is a blow to be told we are going into Tier 4, like many other areas of the country, but our primary concern must be to continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety of our community, protecting our NHS and preventing hospitals being overwhelmed, and the long term survival of our businesses.
“I will be asking the Government to guarantee those businesses who are already struggling, and now face even more hardship because of the Tier 4 restrictions, will get the financial assistance they need quickly.
“We have to continue with our efforts to reduce the spread of this virus and follow the new Tier 4 guidance but 2021 does give us new hope especially with the roll out of the vaccines and that is why we will also be focusing on ensuring our borough hits the ground running so we recover from the impact the pandemic has had on our economy, as well as our health.
“Our council is a key player in ensuring these new restrictions are lifted as soon as possible - for example through our work with track and trace, or advice to businesses in following national rules and making sure their premises are covid-secure.
We have plans in place to ensure our local economy recovers with businesses having access to dedicated financial support to help overcome the challenges this virus has brought on the wider sector. We have already provided more than £26 million to businesses who have been hardest hit by the pandemic and have initiatives to get people using the High Streets safely when able to do so.”
He added: “Please do not let the good work go to waste and continue following the basics of washing hands regularly, wear a face covering when required, limit your social contact and self-isolate and get a test if you have Covid-19 symptoms – as well as adhering to the new guidelines.”
If residents or businesses require more information on the support available for a range of issues go to the council’s dedicated Covid-19 webpage – www.staffordbc.gov.uk/coronavirus
Press Release No 5715