Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council, has praised local people for their resolve throughout the pandemic but believes it is absolutely vital that the guidelines of this new lockdown are followed to help defeat the virus.
Speaking at a meeting of the Council's Cabinet on Tuesday evening, he admitted that the next few weeks will be tough but he believes there is now 'light at the end of the tunnel'.
He said: "As we are now all aware, we are entering a further period of lockdown restrictions as part of the fight to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic. I fully support the measures implemented by the government, particularly in light of the new variants which are currently in circulation, and which are dramatically increasing the transmissibility of the virus.
"Additionally, the virus is spreading quickly in the East of England and far more of our residents and communities are being affected by this latest wave. We know there is light at the end of the tunnel and that vaccinations will make a huge difference in the months to come. However, for now, we absolutely must follow the guidance laid down, to the letter, and do our bit to help slow the spread of the virus if we can.
"So, this is not just about staying at home but also following the established guidelines to wear a mask, wash hands and keep a two-metre distance from people if you do need to go out for essential reasons.
"The residents and communities of East Suffolk have shown incredible resolve during the past nine months and I know that this has been a really difficult time for so many people. Naturally, we will of course continue to support people however we can.
"We will work with businesses to ensure they get the funding payments they need and we will work in our local communities to make sure our residents are supported – particularly through the ongoing Home But Not Alone Scheme. And of course we will continue to deliver vital services and our workforce will once again step up to the plate to ensure this happens as smoothly as possible."
Cllr Gallant also asked that people not to travel to and around East Suffolk - particularly our coastal towns - for exercise, while lockdown measures are in place.
He said: "East Suffolk is a truly beautiful part of the country with an incredible coastline which draws millions of visitors each year. But this is not a normal situation and people really should not travel anywhere unless for absolutely essential work or care related reasons, no matter how tempting it is.
"We can't wait to welcome people back to our fantastic destinations once restrictions are lifted but for now, please stay at home and stay safe."