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Rutland and Melton MP addresses rising Covid-19 infection rates in her latest column

In her latest column, Rutland and Melton MP Alicia Kearns talks about the rising Covid-19 infection rates:

Locally I know residents will be concerned by media reports of rising infection rates in Melton, Peterborough, Northampton and how these higher rates of infection might impact us in Rutland. I will focus on Melton, as this is closest to us. While there has been a rise in cases, just 16 cases in total were recorded last week in Melton, and preventative action is being taken to make sure we identify and isolate the virus. From today there will be a new testing site established in Melton and I have urged residents there to immediately self-isolate and book a test should they develop symptoms. There are no current plans to lockdown Melton, and the enhanced testing regime is being put in place specifically to prevent further action being needed.

Alicia Kearns MP
Alicia Kearns MP

Nationally, the evidence shows that infection rates are slowly rising. I have always been honest with residents that any moderate easing of lockdown restrictions were, and will continue to be, subject to our continued progress in combatting the virus. This is why the Government was, unfortunately, unable to reopen close contact services, bowling alleys and other parts of our economy scheduled for last Saturday which I know has been a real disappointment to many of our local businesses. This is also why the guidance on where face coverings should be worn has been extended, and from August 8, they will become legally enforceable in; beauty salons, social clubs, cinemas, theatres, bingo halls and other social spaces.

I am, however, pleased to report some good news. Our local police do extraordinary work every day and I am delighted that the Government has awarded Leicestershire and Rutland Police an extra £1.5 million from the Safer Streets Fund – making us the largest recipient in the country. On top of this, I am very pleased that an additional 57 police officers have joined Leicestershire and Rutland Police since September 2019. I will continue to work to secure a greater focus on tackling rural crime.

Rutland continues to have some of the lowest infection rates in the country. This is, of course, thanks to our outstanding community spirit, but also due to the hard work of Rutland County Council, headed up by Helen Briggs until last week. Helen has served the people of Rutland for many years with dedication and diligence, and I know residents will join me in thanking her for all that she has done for our community. Helen extended her retirement to guide Rutland through the pandemic, once again putting the needs of residents first. Thank you Helen for your care of the community during this most difficult time.

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