Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new national lockdown for England. Below is a statement from Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett:

Dear residents, 

I know the last thing any of us wanted to face in the New Year was another lockdown; however, if this will help save just one life from being taken by this deadly virus it has to be worth it. 

The pandemic is relentless and we’ve all had to adapt to a new way of living over the past year. It’s also been a difficult couple of weeks for us all, with many spending the festive period away from loved ones for the first time. 

I appreciate you may be fatigued by the changing of restrictions, but it is so important that you continue to follow the guidelines. The government has updated the national restrictions for one reason and that is to save lives. 

It is no secret, despite the valiant efforts of our local NHS workers, the NHS is facing mounting pressures. We are also seeing the impact in our care system. The new national restrictions announced by the Prime Minister tonight (4 January) is the next step in our fight against coronavirus and to alleviate this pressure and consequently help keep people safe.

We might be back to facing the toughest of restrictions, but Medway Council is committed to continuing to provide essential services for its residents, including weekly household waste collections and supporting the most vulnerable children and adults living across Medway. 

The new lockdown will come into force this evening (midnight from 5 January) and is expected to last until mid-February.

Infection rates in Medway are still very high and we know that the new COVID-19 variant spreads incredibly quickly. Whilst we have started the COVID vaccination programme, it will take a short time before we get enough people vaccinated to protect our community. Until that time, we must all act now to protect our family and friends. 

As we prepare to enter a national lockdown, I’d like to remind Medway 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. 

It is vital that we continue to stay in touch with each other, either over the phone or online, for our own mental wellbeing. 

Protect yourself and your loved ones. Stay safe.

Cllr Alan Jarrett
Leader of Medway Council