Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum commitment to COVID-19 response

Posted by LRF Manager

The Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum has reaffirmed its commitment to work together to keep people safe as the country prepares to leave the national COVID lockdown

The Government today announced that Wiltshire and Swindon will be placed in Tier 2 when the national lockdown ends next Wednesday (December 2).

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, chair of the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum, said:

As we prepare to move to the next phase of restrictions, I want to reassure you that all partners across public services in Wiltshire and Swindon will continue to work together to keep you safe and informed. This is the number one priority for all partners who have worked tirelessly throughout the period of the pandemic to protect you.

I would ask everyone in our county to ensure they are up-to-date with what restrictions are in place until next Wednesday and then what the restrictions in Tier 2 look like. You can find all the information you need by visiting the UK Government Coronavirus web page.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support. Throughout this pandemic we have seen very high levels of compliance across Swindon and Wiltshire, and it is clear that the vast majority of the public understand the reasons why these restrictions continue to be needed and have done their best to follow the rules.

I appreciate that Christmas will be very different this year, but if 2020 has shown us anything it is the power of community spirit, of supporting each other through difficult times and of remaining resilient when things get tough.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said:

While it’s disappointing we’ll find ourselves in a higher tier from 2 December, we have been planning for such an eventuality.

We have worked so effectively with our partners throughout the pandemic, and we’d like to reassure businesses and residents that we are here to help them get through this.

COVID-19 is still very prevalent so we all have to play our part to drive case numbers down which will help us get back to a normal way of life as quickly as possible. Better days are ahead but in the meantime we have to keep social distancing, have good hand hygiene, wear a mask and self-isolate when required to do so. If we maintain that behaviour then there’s no reason why we can’t move to the lowest Tier and eventually get to the other side of this.

Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, said:

I know many people in Swindon will be disappointed the Government has moved us into the ‘High Alert’ Tier 2 level, especially as our case rate has fallen quite markedly over the past week, but we are still seeing considerable pressure on our local health services.

It is crucial we continue to keep our guard up against COVID-19 in the weeks leading up to Christmas. We do have slightly more freedom under these new restrictions than we had during lockdown, but it is still up to all of us to ensure we keep our communities safe and that we help free up beds at the Great Western Hospital, while ensuring we maintain health capacity to continue the crucial medical care and treatment we all depend on.

Tomorrow, we will be launching our joint campaign with Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to encourage Swindon residents to follow public health guidance, to reduce Swindon’s COVID-19 case rate and protect the local hospital. We all still have a huge part to play in containing the spread of the virus.

To everyone across Wiltshire and Swindon, it’s a simple message