Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “Last night the Prime Minister announced that a new national lockdown would come into effect today, Tuesday 5 January.
“While this news is not wholly unexpected, it has a huge impact on all our lives and it is not the start to 2021 that we had hoped for.
“However, it is clear from public health data and the pressure across our National Health Service that these measures are absolutely necessary in order to save lives.
“I want to reassure everybody in Surrey that the County Council will continue to do everything we possibly can to guide our residents and businesses through this latest stage in our response to COVID-19.
“We have been at the forefront of the response here since the first UK transmitted case was reported in Surrey in February last year.
“Together with our partners of the Local Resilience Forum, we have worked tirelessly to protect residents and equip our frontline services.
“We will step up support to the most vulnerable, frontline services, and work with our education providers over the coming days, and continue to communicate openly with residents.
“We will not stop. And together, we will endure again and get through to better days ahead.”
Schools – Lockdown January 2021 update:
The Prime Minister’s announcement of 4 January 2021 included a move to remote learning for all children and young people in education from Tuesday 5 January 2021, except for children who are vulnerable and children of critical workers.
Primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will move to remote learning with immediate effect and school and college buildings remain closed to all other pupils.
Vulnerable children and children of critical workers
Vulnerable children and children of critical workers will continue to access to face-to-face learning at school, college and nursery. If you are a critical worker, talk to your existing provider or school in the first instance to arrange your child’s schooling.
The definition of Vulnerable Children and Critical Workers and further guidance can be found at Critical workers and vulnerable children DfE definition updated 31.12.2020
Nurseries and early years education
Nurseries and early years education remain unaffected by these announcements, although you should continue to look out for information from your local provider.
Special Schools and Pupil Referral Units
Special schools and pupil referral units are expected to remain unaffected by these announcements. Continue to look out for information from your local provider.
Some schools, colleges and early years settings may be affected by staff availability and capacity. In these circumstances, robust risk assessments will be used determine whether vulnerable learners, children of key workers and early years pupils can attend in person. Schools, colleges and nurseries will communicate directly with parents in this eventuality.
More detail on the changes is available at National lockdown: Stay at Home – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home)
We acknowledge how difficult these changes are for everyone concerned and thank you for your understanding during this period.
We would like to thank our school staff who have worked especially hard this year to prepare for the return to school and are now implementing further changes. We will be supporting all schools and providers as we move to remote learning together.
We would also like to thank all parents and carers for their patience and hard work in supporting our schools and children. Please continue to offer school staff this kindness and understanding as they make these new arrangements for learning.
For more information, visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/coronavirus