Published: Thursday, 5th November 2020
Sent on behalf of the Norfolk Resilience Forum
Norfolk’s leaders are joining together to urge their residents, businesses and visitors to stay at home where they can as they come together with the rest of England to return to lockdown until Wednesday 2 December.
As with the initial lockdown, the agencies who make up the Norfolk Resilience Forum are reminding residents that they must adhere to these new regulations.
The new national restrictions include:
- To only leave for food, medical reasons, exercise, education or work
- Working from home if you can
- Avoid travel unless essential
- Not to gather with people from other households
- Closing certain businesses and venues.
The Norfolk Resilience Forum is a multi-agency group comprising Norfolk’s local authorities, the police, health and supporting agencies which, through the first lockdown, supported the county by organising emergency help to vulnerable people via the Resilience Delivery Group.
With residents who are extremely clinically vulnerable being told to stay at home unless they have a medical emergency and many people being impacted by the month long lockdown, the NRF are working together to offer support, emergency food and other supplies in the coming weeks to those who need it.
As well as the support available in accessing food, medicine and befriending services, there is also help available for people who may be struggling financially, due to the effects of COVID-19 or otherwise. This is through the Norfolk Assistance Scheme (NAS) which aims to support people through difficulty by awarding funding, which can be a cash donation or used to make specific purchases. People should apply directly to the scheme online, or by calling 01603 223392 (option 5).
Tom McCabe, Norfolk County Council’s Head of Paid Service and Chair of the Covid-19 Strategic Control Group, said:
“We understand how difficult this must be for everyone in Norfolk, but to ensure we protect as many people as possible and to help us to return to the rule of six freedoms we had when we were in Tier 1, we must stay home where we can.
I believe, this time we’re better equipped to deal with a lockdown with many support systems in place to help vulnerable residents and the wider community.”
“Working in close partnership with our colleagues in the districts, health and voluntary sector has been key when delivering support to residents in need and we shall continue to work together to get through this second lockdown.
“As before, thanks to the collective work of the Norfolk Resilience Forum, a county wide support offer is available to assist vulnerable residents, as well as those residents who are asked to self-isolate. Help is on hand to access supermarket delivery slots, volunteer support to help with shopping and medicine collections, as well as financial support and advice. Help is also on hand to help residents find other services that may help them in the longer term. In addition, we know this may be a lonely time for people and we would urge anyone who is feeling socially isolated to contact us so that we can help provide befriending and loneliness support.”
Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk’s Director of Public Health said: “While we recognise the inconvenience and potential hardship that comes with the return of increased restrictions, we must remember that this is an opportunity to protect Norfolk from the increasing levels of the virus.
“If we want to return to Tier One, we must all work together to make this happen by following the Government’s new guidelines, to stay at home and not to gather with people from other households. While we will miss visits to venues and other businesses, there is a real need to put the brakes on now to avoid further loss of life and reduce the ever-growing pressure on the NHS.”
“This time, we know what to do. All the things we have been practising, washing our hands regularly, keeping our distance and covering our faces, are still important but now we must also stay home.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Julie Wvendth said: “We know these restrictions can be difficult and for some of you uncomfortable but they’re in place to protect you and your loved ones.
“Our approach to enforcing the regulations has always acknowledged the challenges people are facing, with officers engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow the rules with enforcement used as a last resort.
“We enter this second lockdown eight months into this pandemic – people know the risks and what is expected of them. This time around, officers will look to engage and establish people’s circumstances in a fair, sensible and proportionate manner.
“However, we cannot waste time with endless encouragement for people who are knowingly and blatantly breaking the rules. These people leave us with no other option and can expect to receive a fixed penalty notice. We believe the public would expect that from us because experience tells us our communities feel strongly about the rules being breached. We must protect each other and try to prevent the spread of this virus.”
Norfolk Resilience Forum has launched a targeted campaign to ensure that all the relevant information reaches residents, with messages focused by district. Outdoor posters, adverts in the local media and social media messaging will guide communities to follow the new restrictions.
Everyone who has symptoms can get a test
We can only safely come out of lockdown if we know where the virus is in Norfolk, so please get a test as soon as you notice symptoms.
Rates of coronavirus in Norfolk continuing to increase
Rates of coronavirus in Norfolk are continuing to rise and people across the county are being urged to stay at home as much as possible to protect Norfolk and the NHS.
The new regulations begin as rates of coronavirus in Norfolk continue to increase with 92.2 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to October 30, compared with 89.2 per 100,000 the previous week. The highest rates are in Great Yarmouth (170), Breckland (118) and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (116).
There are now 107 people in hospital in Norfolk and Waveney and six in intensive care, this compares with 89 people in hospital last week, when two people were in intensive care.
When the UK last went into lockdown, on 23 March, there were 42 people in hospital and five in intensive care.
Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health for Norfolk, said: “Our data shows that Norfolk’s rates could be at 150 per 100,000 by early December if we don’t take this action now and in the worst case we could have double the rates of the last peak.
“We understand that these new restrictions will be hard for people but we need to all play our part and stay at home as much as possible to make this lockdown effective.
“The risk otherwise is that rates continue to climb and hospitals face increased pressure. We are already two weeks ahead of previous projections in terms of hospital admissions and we need to work together to protect ourselves and our communities.”
Support for the clinically vulnerable
The council will be working with its partners to support those who are extremely clinically vulnerable to stay at home as much as possible. A letter is being sent to all of those affected, detailing the support that is on offer. This includes support to access food and medication. Although those who are isolating or defined as extremely clinically vulnerable will receive priority for support, anyone who is vulnerable and needs help can contact the council on 0344 800 8020. Council services are continuing to operate during the restrictions.
Throughout the lockdown period, people are also being reminded to continue isolate and to get tested if they have any of the main symptoms of the virus - high temperature, continuous cough, loss or change of sense of smell/taste,
To book a test call 119 or visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus