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Preparing for lockdown. A message from Phélim Mac Cafferty, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council

Graham Robson November 3, 2020

Preparing for lockdown. A message from Phélim Mac Cafferty, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC). 

Phelim Mac Cafferty

“We have been preparing in recent weeks in anticipation of stricter Covid-19 restrictions being imposed by government.

“I want to stress that the city council stands with all of our residents and businesses now facing a second lockdown, and to reiterate that I am now pushing to find the answers our city desperately needs on the key questions affecting all of us.

“We’ve been working with partners across the city to put measures in place to support residents and businesses and to understand what steps we can take together. We’ll continue to work across the city to provide the support and information everyone needs.

“There’s no doubt that the second lockdown to tackle rising rates of transmission of Covid-19 will see changes in how the city runs in the month ahead.

“Similar to the restrictions brought in back in March, we will again all have to work together to stay safe and protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

“I understand the frustration so many of you will already feel facing this new set of restrictions. However, I know our city can once again rise to this important challenge to protect the ones we love.

“In the days before restrictions set in, I also want to urge each of us to consider how we can keep transmissions low. Now is sadly not the time to increase our contacts, and although difficult, we can all act together to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We cannot be complacent about Covid and as a city we have done well to keep the rate of transmission lower than elsewhere in the country. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for working so hard, changing the way we live and being kind to others during the pandemic. This really makes a difference and will save lives.

“But if there is one place I know will rise to the challenge it’s the city we all love. Brighton & Hove’s communities have already shown steely commitment and will once again pull together. We will work to prevent this deadly disease reaching the most vulnerable in our society. I know this has been incredibly tough – eight months on from the start, it’s arguably tougher. But let’s pull together and stick together.”

Help for residents
BHCC’s Community Hub can still provide support with energy bills, organise emergency food and help with other essentials. This is organised through the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, and deliveries can be made to those who need essential food supplies, for example. These services will speak to you without judgement and are here to help.

You can contact the Community Hub and Emergency Referral Service through this website or you can call 01273 293117 and select option 2 if you can’t get online. The Community Hub operates Monday – Friday from 10am – 4.30pm.

Support for businesses
BHCC is requesting more detail from government about what financial support will be available for businesses and how to access grants during this new lockdown. If BHCC find that what the government is offering falls short of what the city needs, they will raise this directly. Councillor Mac Cafferty, council leader, has already spoken with government ministers and pushed for more information. As soon as BHCC has the details they need, they will be contacting businesses and sharing these on their website.

The main restrictions being proposed and likely to come into effect on Thursday:
  • To stay home except for education, work (if it can’t be done from home), exercise and recreation, medical reasons, shopping for food and other essentials, or to care for others
  • Pubs and restaurants to close, but takeaways and deliveries are permitted
  • Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues to close – supermarkets can sell non-essential goods
  • No households mixing indoors or in private gardens unless they’re in your support bubble
  • Schools, colleges and universities are set to stay open

MPs will vote on the proposals on Wednesday, November 4. If approved, the measures will be introduced at 00:01 GMT on Thursday, November 5 and the current plan is they will remain in place until Wednesday, December 2. After that date, government ministers have suggested that different regions will return to tiers one to three, depending upon the rates of infection. BHCC will keep everyone in the city informed of any changes.

What can we do when lockdown happens?

  • You can meet one person from outside your household in an outside public space
  • Support bubbles for people who live alone and households made up of single parents and children can continue
  • Children will be able to move between homes if their parents are separated
  • Schools, colleges and universities will remain open
  • Workplaces will be asked to stay open if people cannot work from home – including construction and manufacturing
  • Outdoor exercise and recreation will be allowed, but gyms will have to close
  • Clinically vulnerable advised not to go to work if they are unable to work from home