12:14PM, Friday 25 September 2020
Royal Borough residents have been urged to follow the new COVID-19 restrictions to avoid a local lockdown.
Stuart Carroll (Con, Boyn Hill) cabinet member for health said people need to 'do the right thing' to protect other people and themselves from coronavirus.
His comments come after new restrictions were announced by the Prime Minister on Tuesday which include pubs and restaurants closing at 10, office workers working from home and face coverings being worn by all retail staff.
Cllr Carroll said: "There’s always a fine balance to be struck around such measures and how practical some of them are but it’s vital people comply and adhere to the guidance because that is the best way, not just to protect yourself and others, but to vulnerable people who may be at risk.
"It’s frankly the best way to stop more restrictive measures whether that be a lockdown, or a full shutdown, not just at a local level but at a Government level.
"Do the right thing, protect other people and yourself."
Cllr Carroll urged those who can to get a flu jab and reminded people how essential it was to follow basic guidance such as washing hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds with hot water and soap.
He added: "We’re at a point now where it’s a pivotal moment, a crossroads where the epidemiology of the virus is.
"If people do comply and we can see a downturn in the number of cases, we can see relative control of the virus, but if not we are going to have to look at more restrictive measures. That's the last thing we want to do at the Royal Borough, we only look at lockdown as a last resort, it's not the first option but if cases continue to rise, we would of course leave that option on the table.
"In the end it's about protecting lives and protecting the NHS and local services. We don't want to have to do that option, it's not our first point of call but it's an option on the table if absolutely needed. We shouldn't hang around and delay to take that decision because if we delay that means people dying."
The Royal Borough said there had been a ‘number of cases’ where it was difficult to trace the connection and has requested the borough has access to more testing sites.
The council said it would publicise these testing sites once it is given the locations.
A spokeswoman added: “We are aware of an increase in the numbers that have been reported and we are working to ensure that the numbers don’t increase further.
“There is always the possibility that areas can be placed on the Government watch list if case numbers continue to rise.
“There is now very high demand for coronavirus tests and it is vital we test people with symptoms to help stop the spread of the virus.
"If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you must get a test. If you don’t have symptoms, don’t get a test.
"We all need to play our part to protect the NHS Test and Trace service for those who really need it. If you have any coronavirus symptoms you must isolate immediately for 10 days and don’t wait for a test or a test result before doing so.”
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