Thurrock Council has welcomed news that its concerns have been listened to and the borough will remain at the lowest COVID-19 alert level – Tier 1 Medium – despite Essex County Council successfully escalating a request that they move into the High Alert level.
Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: "Common sense has prevailed and this is the right decision for Thurrock. I would like to thank Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for taking the time to speak with me and for listening to our views. I would also like to thank Public Health England East for their recognition of what we are doing in the borough.
"I would especially like to thank Jackie Doyle-Price, MP for Thurrock, who strongly re-enforced our case in the House of Commons on Tuesday and the council's chief executive, our Director of Public Health, our staff and especially our residents who have done their utmost to ensure we have stayed in Tier 1 Medium alert.
"As I have said earlier this week Thurrock ranked as having the 126th lowest number of positive COVID-19 test results out of 149 upper tier authorities nationwide – remaining at the Medium level is therefore right for us now.
"Increasing the alert level to High in Thurrock would have impacted businesses, especially in the hospitality sector, and our residents as they may not have been able to see family and friends and it may well have had a further negative impact on those with physical and mental health conditions.
"However, I would urge Thurrock residents to look at the new restrictions for the Essex County Council area and the impact it may have on their ability to visit and meet up with family and friends. I would remind everyone in Thurrock to remain vigilant, follow the guidance, use common sense and stay safe to keep playing their part in keeping the rate of infection down, that is the primary way to of preventing further restrictions being applied to Thurrock.
"We cannot be complacent. I have repeatedly thanked our residents for all they have done in the fight against this virus, but we must continue to play our part. The only way that Thurrock can avoid being moved to a higher level of restrictions is for us to remember hands, face, space. Don’t give coronavirus a chance!
“We will continue to monitor the data and respond accordingly. I will be issuing more information as to how the restrictions in Essex County Council and London areas will affect Thurrock residents."