Leader’s message to residents following government’s introduction of Plan B measures

Published: Thursday, 9th December 2021

Medway Council Leader, Cllr Alan Jarrett, releases new message to residents following Prime Minister announcement.

Dear residents,

Yet again we find ourselves living in very uncertain times and yesterday evening the Prime Minister announced that the Government would be implementing Plan B of its Winter Plan from tomorrow in response to the risks of the Omicron variant. As a reminder for you this means that:

  • From tomorrow, 10 December, face coverings will be required by law in most indoor settings except hospitality
  • From Monday, 13 December, office workers who can work from home should do so.
  • From next Wednesday, 15 December, certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or have an exemption.

Like you, I am sure, I am disappointed that we are facing more measures, but they are being brought in to help save lives and they will be critical in helping control the spread of the virus in the run-up to Christmas. Our priority must remain to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. 

From tomorrow we will be implementing the new government requirements around face coverings in all council venues where you are required to wear them, unless exempt or have a reasonable excuse not to, and would urge you to respect those rules. We will be going ahead with our much loved Rochester Christmas Market this weekend. We have done our bit to make it as safe as we can. You may want to take a symptom free test before visiting, but the council’s COVID-19 testing team will be in attendance should you wish to do so on the day. I would encourage you to wear face coverings and act sensibly to protect yourselves and everyone visiting.

None of us want to be in the same position as last year where we weren’t able to celebrate Christmas and New Year with our friends and family. We all need to do everything in our power to protect ourselves, and our loved ones, from this deadly virus. 

Whilst there are a small number of confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Medway, I would like to reassure you all that we are doing everything we can to stop it spreading and reduce transmission. We’ve come so far over the last 22 months and that is testament to Medway’s fantastic community spirit and resilience.  It’s time that we all pull together once again to continue to protect each other from Coronavirus.

The most important thing that you can do now is to ensure you are fully vaccinated and to have your booster injection when it’s your turn. It is the best protection against any form of COVID. More advice on vaccines and information to help you book your jab can be found here.

There are a number of things we can all do to reduce the likelihood of catching or unknowingly spreading Coronavirus. These include taking a symptom-free (lateral flow) test before social events or gatherings, meeting outdoors if you can, or if you’re indoors open a window to keep rooms well ventilated. We must also all continue to follow the latest government advice.

The health and wellbeing of all our residents is our top priority and we all must continue to follow the latest government guidelines.

Stay safe.

Cllr Alan Jarrett

Leader of Medway Council 

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