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Leader of South Kesteven District Council Kelham Cooke urges people to 'follow the guidelines' after relaxation of rules over Christmas is cancelled

The leader of South Kesteven District Council has called for residents to show patience and understanding following the announcement by the Prime Minister of changes to coronavirus restrictions yesterday (Saturday).

Following the announcement, which saw the five-day relaxation of rules over Christmas cancelled and in its place up to three households able to meet only on Christmas Day, leader Councillor Kelham Cooke and chief executive Karen Bradford took part in a national emergency briefing where one of the key messages was for people to stay local.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement during a press conference amid a rise in coronavirus cases and growing concern about a new variant of the virus which spreads more quickly.

SKDC leader Kelham Cooke (43006067)
SKDC leader Kelham Cooke (43006067)

A new tier 4 is also being introduced from tomorrow for London, the South East and East of England, "broadly equivalent to the previous lockdown" in which non-essential shops and gyms will have to close and people in that area will not be able to see other households at all for Christmas.

Coun Cooke said: "A significant part of South Kesteven borders Peterborough which has been placed in Tier 4. This will affect many of our district's residents, especially those who have family and friends outside the local area.

"Christmas plans for many, if not all of us, will have to change now that the planned five-day relaxation of restrictions from December 23 to 27 cannot happen. The limit on household mixing across England has been reduced to just Christmas Day and those in Tier 4 cannot meet other households, other than members of their support bubble who must also live in Tier 4.

"South Kesteven remains in Tier 3 where support bubbles of up to three households will now only be allowed on Christmas Day itself. Those of us in Tier 3 have also been encouraged to stay local and cannot host or visit people who live in a Tier 4 area.

"Our thoughts are with everyone who will be affected by this latest announcement. This is an incredibly difficult time but it is vital that we follow the Government advice and make the right decisions to protect ourselves and others.

"We must continue to protect ourselves, our families and the NHS, and continue to follow the guidelines that are now in place."

Full details of which areas have been placed in the new Tier 4 category and what that means, along with other changes, are available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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