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As many of us will see in the new year tonight, leaders across Essex say now has never been a more important time to follow tier 4 rules to minimise the spread of coronavirus.
They’re urging everyone to play their part by complying with the regulations to help drive down infection rates and to follow the rules during 2021.
Anthony McKeever, executive lead for Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership, said: “With a vast vaccine roll out effort underway, there really is light at the end of the tunnel.
“However, to get there we must all play our part by keeping ourselves, families, friends and neighbours safe.
“New Year’s Eve is a time when many of us would normally be out enjoying ourselves.
“We hope that this year everyone who does want to mark it, will do so safely, at home and think of others.
“Please remember ‘hands, face, space’ – washing your hands regularly, covering your face in enclosed spaces and social distancing from anyone you do not live with or who isn’t in your support bubble.”
Co chair of the Essex Resilience Forum and Chief Constable of Essex Police, BJ Harrington, delivered a message to the system while preparing to patrol with officers on New Year’s Eve.
He said: ‘Tonight and over the New Year, I will be on patrol in Essex alongside PCs and others. I always do this shift, but this year’s different.
“We’ve heard about the doctors and nurses in our hospitals doing their best to care for people suffering from COVID-19.
“They are working tonight too, harder than ever. If you stay home and stay safe, you’ll be helping them.
“And you’ll allow me and my officers to focus on catching criminals, which is what we’re here to do.
“To you and your families Happy New Year, and #StaySafeEssex.”
Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Essex County Council, said: “As we near the end of 2020, I am appealing to everyone, please, stick with the guidance – please don’t party tonight.
“I know we are asking our residents to make further sacrifices and I sympathise, I truly do. But if we make these sacrifices now, we will be able to enjoy next year and those which follow all the better.
“The past 12 months have been extremely challenging for everyone. But it has shown what a truly kind, determined and remarkable county we live in, which makes me extremely proud.”
Health and care leaders are reminding those individuals who require urgent or emergency care they should attend their nearest hospital.
Under tier 4, you:
cannot leave your home unless there is a reasonable excuse
cannot meet others indoors unless part of the same household or support bubble
can only meet one person from another household outdoors
must not stay overnight away from home
cannot travel abroad.
Those who are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable should not go to work and should limit time outside of their homes.
For pharmacy opening times across Essex, please visit: https://www.england.nhs.uk/east-of-england/nhs-england-and-nhs-improvement-east-of-englands-work/pharmacy-information/