Last night’s Government decision to place England in lockdown, level 5 on the COVID-19 alert system, is based on the latest available coronavirus data, the rapid rise in case rates due to the new mutant strain of the virus and is in line with the measures set out in the Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan.
This means that all residents in Northamptonshire and across England are officially being told to ‘Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.’
With each level of the alert system comes tighter local restrictions and guidance. The national lockdown restrictions are now in place until further review.
Under the national lockdown restrictions, the Government is ordering everyone to stay at home. You may only leave the house for limited reasons permitted in law, such as:
- To shop for essentials
- To work, if you absolutely cannot work from home
- To exercise once a day
- To seek medical assistance, for example to get a COVID-19 test
- Or to escape domestic abuse
See Gov.uk for the full National Lockdown guidance.
Lucy Wightman, Director of Public Health Northamptonshire said:
I know this is exceptionally difficult news for residents and I can only reassure you that, given the concerning data and the current pressure on our NHS services, the Government’s action is absolutely essential. Positive case rates are on an upward trend, hospital services are already at capacity and need to be protected urgently. We are now in a situation of exponential growth which undoubtedly, if left unchecked, will lead to our NHS services being overwhelmed.
“We must all play our part and stay at home. If we do venture out, for reasons permitted, then we must continue to wash our hands, cover our face and keep our distance.
“Residents have shown remarkable resilience in combating this virus to date but as a country we are now faced with a new challenge. The virus has mutated to be up to 70 per cent more contagious. This means continued adherence to the guidelines, however restrictive, is absolutely vital if we are to protect ourselves, our loved ones and beat the virus.”