Essex County Council
Easing of restrictions delayed until Monday 19 July. The government announced on June 14th that it will be another 4 weeks until we move to the fourth and final step of the roadmap out of lockdown. There's been a fast increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and the Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the UK. Step 4 of the roadmap would have removed all limits on social contact. The delay will allow more time to gather data, plus thousands more people will get vaccinated before the easing.
“As a country, we absolutely need to tread a fine line when it comes to the further easing of restrictions, balancing the need to contain the spread of the virus with the wider impact on local businesses and the wider economy," said Cllr Kevin Bentley, Leader of the Council. “I know the announcement will cause concern amongst residents and businesses alike, particularly those within the hospitality sector. However, I would like to reassure them that we have prepared for such an eventuality and we are here to support them. "It is vital that the decision to proceed with any further unlocking is based on facts and insight so that we can take the necessary action to keep people safe and well.”
Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health, said: "The data is very clearly telling us that we need to proceed with caution. I am sure lots of people will be disappointed by the news today. However, the delay is a reminder to us all that the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over, although the ending of restrictions is on the horizon."
You can read the press release by clicking on the icon.