15 October 2020 18:30
By Julie Armstrong local democracy reporter Due to rising infection rates, Elmbridge borough is being classed as tier two in the new categorised system of Covid-10 restrictions. That means households are banned from mixing with each other indoors. Depending on the infections, every area of England has been designated either medium (tier one), high (tier two) or very high (tier three). Until now, Surrey has been in the lowest tier but, from midnight on Saturday, October 17, Elmbridge will be classed as high alert. The borough had 119 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people.
Households there are also barred from mixing in pubs and restaurants. The rule of six still applies outdoors, including private gardens. Pub and restaurant closing times remain 10pm but residents will still be allowed to travel in and out of the borough. The next highest rate in the county was Surrey Heath with 89 cases per 100,000. The borough with the lowest rate, Tandridge, was 43 cases per 100,000. Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey County Council, said: "We know the past six months has been challenging but we really must all come together now to do what we can to overcome this virus. "Sadly, in keeping with the picture we are seeing nationally, cases in the county are still increasing. "That rates have continued to rise sharply in Elmbridge means there is absolutely no room for complacency and some measures introduced will help curb the spread. "In this area specifically, we need to limit the number of people we're in contact with socially. "I'm grateful to all our residents for their perseverance in following the guidelines since March. But we must step it up now, to protect our loved ones, our NHS, and our businesses." "If we all follow the new restrictions we still have the chance to slow infection rates and prevent further restrictions in Elmbridge and the rest of Surrey." The rest of Surrey remains in tier one, along with most of the country. That means groups of more than six cannot meet indoors or outdoors, unless in a larger household or a support bubble. The North-east and London move into tier two from midnight on Saturday. The Liverpool city region had been the only area under stricter tier three measures, but Greater Manchester is now joining them. In both areas, that means pubs and bars must close, unless they serve "substantial" meals, and travel in and out of a tier three is not advised.