The government has announced that Thurrock will enter the new tier 4 restrictions from 0:01am on Sunday 20 December.
Some of the key rules in tier 4 will be that all non-essential retail will close, along with gyms and leisure facilities and close contact services such as hairdressers.
As well as this, people will be unable to mix with any other household indoors unless they are in a support bubble – this includes during the Christmas period, and the previously announced mixing of households from 23 December to 27 December can no longer take place.
Cllr Rob Gledhill, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: "This decision will come as a massive blow to residents and businesses alike. The news that households can no longer mix indoors will hit those that had planned to spend Christmas with family and friends hard. But the rise in numbers of positive tests, the number of over 60s that have been infected and the massive pressure on Basildon hospital are all clear to see.
"Positive test results in the last 7 days were 1,056 as of yesterday evening, a rise of 303 even since we last shared our figures from Wednesday of this week.
"This is going to be a further terrible setback to some businesses in Thurrock which will now be forced to close again. Those who are to shut, barbers for example, can claim support under existing grant scheme.
"I am calling on everyone in Thurrock to work even harder to protect each other, protect the NHS and bring down the rates of this virus, irrespective of the variant. Everyone will need to abide by the new rules as outlined by the government, and continue to follow the advice of hands, face, space which couldn't be more important. It's on each and every one of us to play our part, we all need to take responsibility for maintaining social distancing at all times both during time spent outside and when in essential shops.”
For further information and a full list of the new guidance, please visit GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID‑19).