Mole Valley residents are being warned that local lives are at risk from the current high rates of Covid-19 infection.
Council leader Stephen Cooksey issued a new message to residents as the national lockdown rules took effect this week, asking that we remember "our responsibilities to ourselves and to each other".
He says: "Local lives are at risk. Surrey residents are in our hospitals right now, both battling to recover from this virus and those NHS staff working to save lives and ensure there is capacity available for others who need help."
Infection rates in Mole Valley have surged since mid-December. Cases per 100,000 of population in the district have risen almost five-fold in that time.
As recently as December 11 there were just 79 Covid cases over the previous 7 days.
But in the week before January 6 this had risen to 488 cases, with infection rates elsewhere in Surrey higher still.
Councillor Cooksey continues: “The introduction of this lockdown is being driven by the faster transmission of a new virus strain. We are asking that you take this, hopefully, ultimate lockdown very seriously. This includes not gathering in any outdoor spaces, and the rules concerning exercise outside during the national lockdown have been updated accordingly.
“I appreciate we are all feeling fatigued by the number of changes to restrictions over the past ten months, but we must always remember our responsibilities to ourselves and each other and follow the rules. We must all continue to play our part by minimising the contact with one another to reduce hospital admissions in Surrey.
“Please ensure you stay at home, and only go out where absolutely necessary to:
· shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
· go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
· exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
· meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary. This is only if you are legally permitted to form one
· seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
· attend education or childcare - for those eligible.
Where to find help
If you or members of your family are needing help because of the tighter Covid restrictions, or unexpected changes in your circumstances, there are numbers you can call.
The Community Coronavirus Care network of volunteers operating within the area of Fetcham, Leatherhead and Bookham can be reached on 0800 3077 111.
There is also an extensive list of resources put together by Surrey County Council under the banner of 'I need help'.
If you are struggling to buy sufficient food there is a list of locations offering help on the Mole Valley District Council website.
The complete government guidance concerning this lockdown can be found on the GOV.UK website.