As we come to the end of four weeks of national restrictions, I want to thank everyone in Croydon for all they have done to help keep our borough safe. It has been incredibly hard for all of us – for our businesses who have had to close, for those who have been unable to celebrate religious festivals in the way we would have done before, and for everyone who has missed seeing their loved ones.
Infection rates in Croydon are gradually starting to fall, showing that all your personal sacrifices have started to make a real difference. Together, we have helped to protect people in our communities who are most at risk and ultimately, this is saving lives.
However, it’s vital that we stay vigilant. We have 70 people being treated in Croydon University Hospital and tragically, last week 10 residents lost their lives in three days. We are still seeing the impact of the rise in infection rates before the November lockdown and this is a clear reminder of how dangerous this virus can be.
As national restrictions end and along with the rest of London, we now move into Tier 2 restrictions, I urge all of us to continue to think carefully about where we go and who we see. We have reduced the rate of transmission locally because we have limited our contact with others. The last thing we want is a return to the rising infection rates of October and April and to risk moving into Tier 3. With the very positive news that a national vaccine roll out could begin in the next few weeks, we can be hopeful that the end is in sight – but we aren’t there yet.
Tier 2 – what this means for you
Croydon, like the rest of London, has been classed as a Covid-19 High Alert Level Area and will move into Tier 2 when national restrictions end at midnight tonight. In Tier 2, the Rule of Six will apply again. This means you will be able to meet in groups of up to six outdoors including in private gardens, providing everyone maintains a 2m distance from each other.
However you must not mix with anyone from outside your household or support bubble, indoors including in private homes, pubs, restaurants and places of worship.
You can find more information on the Tier 2 restrictions and what they mean for you here. Tiers will be regularly reviewed by the government. Over the Christmas holiday period, from 23 December until 27 December, the government has announced a relaxation of the rules. Tier restrictions will resume following this holiday period. You can find out more here.
So we must stick to the Tier 2 rules and at all times, follow the public health guidance on hands, face, space to prevent the virus from spreading. If you have symptoms, self-isolate and get tested – you can book a free test here.
The other important thing we must all do to help Croydon’s recovery from Covid-19, is to get behind our local shops. Many of our businesses have now endured two lockdowns this year – they have demonstrated amazing resilience and they need and deserve all the support we can give them. So if you are Christmas shopping, please look first to your local high streets, district centres and our town centre. We’re supporting them with our LoveCroydon, ShopLocal campaign and I hope you will too.
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council