“We have seen how quickly cases have risen in Staffordshire, and after being put into High Alert over the weekend, we now find ourselves joining the rest of the country in a second national “lockdown” on Thursday.
“I know from earlier in this year that Staffordshire people are incredibly resilient. Lockdowns aren’t easy; we must do everything we can to look after each other, stop the spread of infection, and try and get these restrictions lifted as early as possible. I have no doubt that our residents will once again rise to this challenge.
“I also want to acknowledge how hard this will be for our local businesses, who were just getting back on their feet after the first lockdown in March. This lockdown will be especially hard for the tourism industry in our county, which relies on seasonal income and was already hit hard earlier in the year. Our economy has already felt the effects of the first lockdown keenly, and will no doubt bear the brunt of a second lockdown too.
“To this end, I welcome the government’s commitment to extend the furlough scheme, and we will also be lobbying for extra support to our businesses and doing everything we can as a county to help them through this worrying time.
“This second lockdown is a serious wake-up call. It shows that Covid-19 hasn’t simply gone away, how quickly it can spread and take hold in communities, and the extreme measures the government is prepared to take to save vulnerable people and protect the NHS.”