No time for complacency warns council leaders, with Tier Two restrictions on the horizon

Martin Stears-Handscomb (top) and David Williams (bottom) have both spoken on the decision to place Hertfordshire under...

Martin Stears-Handscomb (top) and David Williams (bottom) have both spoken on the decision to place Hertfordshire under Tier Two COVID restrictions. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

The leaders of both county and district councils in Hertfordshire have commented on the news that we will be under Tier Two COVID restrictions from next week.

Cllr Martin Stears-Handscomb, who leads North Herts District Council and David Williams, leader of Herts County Council, spoke after the news broke earlier today.

In a statement, Cllr Stears-Handscomb said: “As we head out of lockdown into Tier Two restrictions, please do not let your guard down or become complacent.

“While it might seem tempting to break the rules following lockdown, particularly on indoor mixing, they are in place to keep us all safe and stop infections in North Herts rising.

“We cannot afford to let our hospitals be overwhelmed with admissions.

“With news of vaccines on the horizon, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but we need to continue to play our part and protect ourselves and others throughout this period of high restrictions. Stay safe and look after one another.”

The government says it will be reviewing the tier system every two weeks, with areas able to move up and down a tier depending on a case rates across all ages, but especially in the over 60s, hospitalisations, and whether case rates are rising or falling.

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David Williams, leader at Herts County Council, added: “We have been in ongoing dialogue with the Government and this decision is based on a series of indicators that reflect the continued prevalence of the virus in the county.

“In recent weeks we have been working closely with the NHS, and Hertfordshire’s district and borough councils in preparation for the end of the national lockdown.

“As such, we are well prepared to continue supporting our communities to come through the new level of restrictions.

“We understand that being in Tier Two will bring concerns for many. These will include the restriction on socialising with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, as well as the economic consequences, especially for our hospitality sector.

“Now, it is more important than ever that we re-double our efforts to ensure that the recent downward trend in our infection rates is sustained in order to secure a move to Tier One as soon as possible.

“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all Hertfordshire residents who have continued to play their part over the last month by adhering to the national restrictions.

“However, the virus is still circulating widely in the community, and we must not let our guard down in the run up to the festive period.”