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Chairman's Column - 3 August 2021

Published on Tuesday, 3rd August 2021

COVID Threat Still Real

“I’m very sorry to return back to the subject of Coronavirus so I’ll keep this column shorter than usual! I really had hoped we would move on from this subject as the figures moved downwards, but on Monday 19 July the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, agreed to ease most UK Covid restrictions declaring it to be 'Freedom Day'. Social distancing ended, the wearing of face masks no longer mandatory, no legal limits on gatherings, and the guidance to work from home where possible was also relaxed. This has of course caused tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases throughout the country and indeed, 372 people in Maldon District tested positive from data released on July 20th - a 32% increase!

“Fortunately, most people have seen sense and when I was shopping locally in Maldon and Burnham I was relieved to see most people still very sensibly wearing masks, being cautious, courteous and polite.  I think it was very unwise to call it Freedom Day because lifting restrictions does NOT mean that the risks from COVID-19 has disappeared, as the recent increase in positive tests highlight.

“Better, I think, to have called it ‘Responsibility Day’ and as I write this column I am greatly encouraged to see that according to the Essex Covid Data figures - our District still manages to keep the lowest recorded figures in Essex. So well done!

“I thank you for being responsible enough to keep Mum, Dad or Grandparents safe. But as I mentioned last month, our future is in the hands of the young and more and more young people are now being infected and therefore, affected. It has never been a more important time to be responsible and ensure young people take both injections to give us all greater (not total) freedom to be together again.

“We continue to work hard at MDC to keep our staff safe, working and providing the services you are paying for. Please help us to help you. Please join me in urging people to get vaccinated, carry out regular testing and to self-isolate if they have any symptoms. As always, I wish you, your families and friends good health.  

“Please take care.”

Councillor Mark Heard's Signature

Councillor Mark S. Heard
Chairman of Maldon District Council