New Years Bank Holiday Weekend Message from PFCC, Roger Hirst
Hello everyone, I am Roger Hirst your Police Fire and Crime Commissioner.
Like you I have real concerns about the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in our county and across the country right now. While we now know that the vaccines are on the way we also know they aren’t there yet and right now here in Essex we face a critical situation. Over the last week the Essex Resilience Forum has declared a major incident as a result of demands on our acute hospital trusts in the county, especially in Mid and South Essex. This is so we can seek further assistance from the government and work together to increase capacity. This is not a decision that is taken lightly and indicates the seriousness of the situation we are in.
We must act because of the pressures of the people, doctors and nurses, social workers and carers, working within our health and social care systems to look after us, to keep us safe and save the lives of those affected by this terrible virus. On Wednesday we heard from the government about the extra steps they are taking to try and limit the spread of this new much more contagious strain of Coronavirus. Moving more of the country into tier four and delaying the return of secondary and primary schools for those areas most severely affected, including those parts of Essex that were already in tier four before Christmas. So, Tendring, Colchester and Uttlesford districts. We can see that we are in a very difficult situation. The next few days and weeks will be crucial to controlling the spread, protecting our NHS and Social Care Systems and reducing the impact this virus has on our communities, on us.
Since this global pandemic began in March we have come together as a county and have done what we need to do to keep our community safe. Together we have restricted our movement, lived with limits on our freedoms and looked after each other, and that’s helped. Its worked over the summer. Yes, there have been a small minority have flouted the rules and in those cases the police have done what we needed to do to keep our communities safe. And together we can make sure that we see this through. The vast majority are doing their bit. We’ve done very well together, but now we need to do more and this is the time to do it. While the national and local restrictions give us a guide of what we should be doing what has made the difference is the decisions that each of us have made every day. The decision to delay meeting up with friends, to meet up with family via video link rather than in person. To wash our hands, to wear masks and to give people space. The guidance for Essex is to Stay at Home wherever you can. Can’t be much clearer than that.
It is now up to us to make the right choices, so as we enter this bank holiday weekend, please remember the risk we currently face and the many people, doctors, nurses, officers, volunteers and friends, who are putting themselves at risk to keep us safe. We each need to play our part, we need to continue making the right choices and help break the chain of infection.
Thank you and please look after yourself, your families and our communities this New Year bank holiday weekend.