Published Friday, 25th September 2020
Councillor Ruth Dombey's column from our Sutton Scene newsletter, Friday 25 September.
In Sutton, and across the country we are getting used to new constraints as COVID infection rates increase. On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced additional measures across the country to limit the spread of the virus.
Office workers who can work from home are being asked to do so. All pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways and must close at 10pm. More people must wear face coverings, including staff working in shops and supermarkets, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and all staff and customers in indoor hospitality venues except when eating and drinking. A maximum of 15 people can attend weddings and the Rule of Six is being extended to all adult indoor team sports.
On Monday I met with other Council leaders in London, the London Regional Director for Public Health and the Mayor of London to look at the most recent data on COVID-19 infection rates in our city. We discussed our concerns about the lack of testing capacity in London and heard that the labs are struggling to keep up with the demand for test results.
We are lobbying the Government to increase the testing capacity in London so that more people with symptoms can access the tests they need and understand if they and their families need to self-isolate. Today (Friday 25 September) London has been added to the Government's list of ‘areas of concern.’ While no additional restrictions have been announced, Sutton residents must follow the new rules announced this week.
These are worrying times for everyone but especially for people who are most at risk from this deadly virus. We all have a duty to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities and to ensure we abide by the rules. We should wear face coverings at all times except when we're in COVID-secure places like our homes and offices, wash our hands often, maintain a safe distance from people not in our households and bubbles and we should adhere to the Rule of Six.
No-one wants to see our schools close down again, public transport grind to a halt and offices and shops shut down. If we all use caution and common sense, abide by the rules and reduce the risk to ourselves and others, then we can get through the next weeks and months and protect ourselves, our families, our jobs and our NHS.
It's not easy for any of us - but we have no choice and I know that our community here in Sutton is resilient and strong and that we will come through it together.