Following the news that the whole of England has been placed under lockdown restrictions,
Warwickshire County Council wants to reassure residents and businesses in the county that they can access support.
Moving into lockdown means that everyone must stay at home unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’, such as going to work if it is unreasonable for you to do your job at home, essential activities such as buying items at shops or obtaining services, education and childcare where eligible, and exercise once a day, as set out in Government guidance.
Adhering to the lockdown restrictions is crucial; we need Warwickshire’s residents to continue to do the right thing to contain the virus, help our hospitals and protect clinically extremely vulnerable residents while the vaccination programme continues to roll out.
For some people, including the elderly and vulnerable, these new restrictions may leave them feeling anxious and isolated as we start 2021.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council said:
“We know how difficult this new lockdown will be for so many people in so many ways, but we need our communities in Warwickshire to pull together again over this, just as they did last March.
“We need everyone to follow the rules. Infection rates in Warwickshire are still very high and we know that the new COVID-19 variant spreads incredibly quickly.
“Whilst we have started the national COVID vaccination programme, and this offers hope for a better year ahead, it will take some time before we get enough people vaccinated to protect our community. Until that time, you need to follow the national Government guidance to protect yourselves, your families and others.
“The risk to you is not just from COVID-19, but if hospitals are overwhelmed that may impact other care if you or your family need it unexpectedly.
“We need to pull together and get through this really difficult initial phase. But I’d like to remind Warwickshire residents that no one has to be alone. Support is available, whether that be a friendly voice to speak to on the phone, help getting food items if you have no one else to turn to, or financial support through government grants.
“Warwickshire County Council and all of our public sector partners are here for you, to help you and support our communities and residents through the challenges this lockdown will present.”
With the closure of non-essential retailers and other organisations, the move to lockdown is likely to have a significant impact on many Warwickshire residents and businesses.
Although we are back to the toughest of restrictions, Warwickshire County Council is committed to continuing to provide essential services for its residents and supporting the most vulnerable children and adults living across Warwickshire.
The County Council is reminding those in need that there are a range of advice and support services available to them.
These include the Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme which provides essential help for food and energy to our most vulnerable residents; self-isolation payments of £500 to those on low incomes or certain benefits who will lose income as a result of having to self-isolate; and a range of financial support for businesses that have been impacted or forced to close. The self-isolation payments and business grants are administered by the district and borough councils.
Details of all of these, and how to access them, can be found online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk or by calling the Warwickshire County Council hotline on 0800 408 1447
One in three people with COVID-19 don’t display any symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it, so Warwickshire residents are also encouraged to use one of the new community testing sites for people with no symptoms.
By identifying those people who have no signs of the virus, we can stop them spreading it without knowing. Appointments can be booked from www.warwickshire.gov.uk/covidcommunitytesting .