5 January 2021
“Today we woke up to another national lockdown following the Prime Minister’s address to the country last night. This is not the start to the new year that any of us wanted but it is a decision that we must all wholeheartedly support.
In Harrow, and indeed across the country, coronavirus cases are out of control and our NHS is close to being overwhelmed. Here, our cases currently stand at 939 cases per 100,000 and this is likely to rise to 1,000 imminently. The national average is 487.
Northwick Park Hospital is under severe pressure with increasing numbers of our residents of all ages requiring mechanical ventilators to keep them alive. Large numbers of people in this borough will die unless the infection rate is reduced. This is why we are all being called on to stay at home, break the chain of infection – and ultimately save the lives of our friends, neighbours and loved ones.
The move from tier 4 to 5 (lockdown) is necessary to deal with the new, more infectious strain.
Under the new rules and with the new infectious strain, just as with schools we would strongly advise places of worship only open in exceptional circumstances.
Remember support is available for those who have not yet moved services online.
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious or commemorative events such as stone settings or ash scatterings can be attended by up to 6. Weddings and civil partnerships must only take place with up to 6 people. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances. Read more
Everyone is being told to stay in their homes and leave only for a limited set of reasons – including going to work if you are unable to work from home, essential shopping, medical reasons and exercise once a day. Read more
I know it is tiring and will be difficult – it is especially tough on mental health and wellbeing, those who live alone and hard for those managing work with home-schooling children.
Please remember that staying at home is the best way to break the chain of infection.
It was absolutely the right decision to close schools and move into a lockdown, especially as we are not yet seeing the full impact of household mixing over Christmas.
We have positive news in that vaccines are here and the rollout continues but, as the Prime Minister stressed last night, we will not be out of this situation until at least March.
We know you have many questions and are inviting you to another Covid Community Webinar on Tuesday 19 January at 6.30pm to discuss matters in greater depth. We will also set out in more detail plans around testing and vaccination. Please save the date and we will share details of how to join next week.
By working together, and with the community looking out for each other, we previously managed to reduce the infection rate in Harrow by following the Public Health guidance and the national restrictions – and we can do so again.
Please stay at home, stay safe and take all necessary precautions to do so.”
Cllr Graham Henson
Leader of Harrow Council