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Covid is on the increase - please continue keeping each other safe

Coronavirus has dominated our lives for the last six months and it feels to many of us that there is no end in sight.

Families, communities and businesses have struggled so hard to get through this year, and as we head into the gloomy autumn months, it feels like there are few reasons to be optimistic.

The Government press conferences at the start of this week painted a particularly bleak picture of rising numbers of cases, hospitalisations and – tragically – deaths, as the new three-tier system was introduce across the country.

Dorset is thankfully in the lowest ‘medium’ tier, with no changes to the level of restrictions imposed on us. Pubs, bars and restaurants will continue to close at 10pm and people must observe the rule of six both indoors and outdoors.

The south west has a relatively low level of Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations compared with other parts of the country. But even here in Dorset, levels of infection are on the increase, for example with a number of cases reported in schools across the county.

Young woman wearing a face covering

This is a critical timed in our fight against the virus and it’s vitally important that none of us let our guard down now.

We’ve all got a role to play in preventing transmission rates increasing any more in our area, and so everyone has to follow the Government’s regulations. With increased restrictions now in place in other parts of the country, we all need to do what we can to avoid this happening in Dorset.

People in our county are now worried about what a possible second national lockdown – or ‘circuit breaker’ – could mean for all of us, and the inevitable impact that will have on businesses, workplaces and individuals.

The situation is changing all the time, but this does not change our general message – please continue to follow the rules and guidance to keep you and your family safe as well as protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.

I’ve said many times over the last six months that while the police and other agencies will engage with our communities and enforce where necessary, we all need to take personal responsibility. This is just as important now – perhaps more so – than it was in the spring.

Remember, if you act recklessly or don’t follow these rules, it might not be you that has to pay the price, but someone else’s dad or grandma. You might not feel you are vulnerable to the virus but other people’s loved ones will be.

We know that the transmission of this virus can be rapid so we have to work together to stop it.

Stay safe

Martyn Underhill

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