I don’t think there can possibly be one person in our community today that has not felt the weight of last night’s announcement or the anxiety that it will inevitably bring and my thoughts are with you.
It is now more important than ever that we work tirelessly to maintain the health and wellbeing of every member of our community. As a community we have been very successful at keeping the number of Covid-19 infections very low thus far and it is vital that we redouble our safe practices in order to ensure that remains to be the case.
This most basic actions set out at the outset of the pandemic remain our first line of defence.
Wash Hands, Cover Face and Maintain 2m Space.
I urge everyone to do this diligently over the coming weeks. Remember that 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 have no symptoms so will be spreading the virus without realising it. In order to reduce your risk of becoming infected it is therefore advisable to assume that everyone you meet is a potential carrier.
The move to a lockdown increases the level of restrictions placed upon us. You must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes.
The main guidance (as at 5 January 2021) is as follows:
YOU MUST STAY AT HOME. THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ACTION WE CAN ALL TAKE IS TO STAY AT HOME TO PROTECT THE NHS AND SAVE LIVES.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare – for those eligible Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
- Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.
- If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.
- If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work
- You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).
- You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
- You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.
- Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.
You can find more detailed guidance at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home#summary-what-you-can-and-cannot-do-during-the-national-lockdown
The past year has taught us a great deal about how to cope and support each other. No matter how challenging you find your circumstances support is out there for you. Bridport has its own community support helpline that can either arrange support (for those needing help with food, prescriptions, health and wellbeing), or can put you in touch with the right people for other types of support.
ALL THE BEST AND STAY SAFE