As we approach the holiday period, I want to update you on Covid-19 and let you know how we and our partners are here for you and working to keep Croydon safe.
Sadly, Covid-19 won’t be taking a break for Christmas – however much we might wish it would. The situation remains grave, with the incidence rate in Croydon 504.3 per 100,000 over seven days and the R number in London now above one. I wish all those who are unwell, particularly those receiving treatment in hospital, a safe and swift recovery.
The instructions are clear – we must all stay at home this Christmas. We can only leave home for essential reasons, such as to get food or medical supplies, or if you cannot work from home. You can find the Tier 4 rules here.
While it is desperately disappointing not to be able to see family and friends, we cannot forget that the true cost of this pandemic has not been cancelled plans but tragically, human life. For some, this will be their first Christmas without loved ones. My deepest sympathies are with them and at a time when we are all fatigued, I hope it can remind us why we must do all we can to prevent any further loss. The best way we can show our loved ones we care is by not visiting them at Christmas, or getting together on New Year’s Eve.
Over the holiday period we will continue to work to keep vital council services running, from collecting your waste and recycling to caring for our most vulnerable residents. You can find our Christmas opening hours here. Don’t forget the changes to your waste and recycling collections – you can find the schedule here.
For many, the holidays can be a tough time and this year more than ever. If you need help or support, are struggling or feeling isolated – please ask for help. We are here for you and working with our partners across the voluntary sector to get you the help that you need. You can find out about local and national support services at www.croydon.gov.uk/coronavirus. You can also find information on mental health and wellbeing at ThriveLdn and for young people aged 11-22, local online counselling service www.kooth.com It’s really important that we all stay connected with friends and family, even if we can’t see them in person – pick up the phone or meet up online.
For Tier 4 areas, shielding arrangements for people who are extremely clinically vulnerable to Covid-19 are the same as during the period of national restrictions in November. We are contacting all those residents who told us they needed help last time to check they are ok and help them to access support if needed. If you or anyone you know is extremely clinically vulnerable, please make sure you register on the government website as this will help you to access priority supermarket delivery slots and also lets us know if you need help. Anyone in need of urgent help and support as a result of Covid-19 can call us on 020 8604 7787.
We are also here for our businesses who have had to close their doors for the third time this year, and we will do everything we can to help them access the funding and support available. Our Love Croydon, Shop Local campaign encourages everyone to support them – whether by purchasing gifts from local shops online, or using them for takeaway or delivery. If we want to keep the small shops that make our high streets and neighbourhoods unique, we all need to support them.
Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who is working so hard for Croydon, particularly at a time of year when we might usually be looking forward to a much-needed break. From local NHS staff to our own council officers – our social workers, waste and recycling crews and all those on the frontline of our Covid-19 response; carers, volunteers; local businesses, schools and all our partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors – a huge thank you for all you have done this year and continue to do.
I know this Christmas won’t be the one we all hoped for, but if we stand together and support each other we will continue to get through this and hopefully, we can look forward to a brighter 2021. I wish you all a safe and restful Christmas and a peaceful New Year,
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council