Observer column: 9 July 2021
During the last two weeks COVID-19 cases have risen quickly in Hastings. We also have fewer people vaccinated here than the national average. We have been worried about this for some time and with our partners we have been raising our concerns with health officials and doing all we can to help. At a meeting this week with the chief executive of the Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups it has been agreed to increase the number of places you can get your vaccination in our town and a plan is being developed to do this quickly.
Please encourage friends or family who are not vaccinated to get their jab and help them book if they are not able to do this themselves. We want to make sure that everyone who wants the vaccination has the chance to have it as soon as possible to help keep us all safe. The research shows that the vaccine is helping to reduce serious illness and hospitalisations in people who catch COVID-19.
If you haven’t yet had your vaccine, please book it now. Remember anyone who has difficulty getting to a vaccination centre can call the travel coordinator line on 07871 603235 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm).
The Hastings Centre is on the national booking database and can be booked online or via 119. There will also be more pop-up clinics coming soon and another clinic which will be open all week. Please check our website and social media for more details.
We are waiting to hear next Monday whether we will move into Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap on July 19, despite their announcement on July 5 which included details of the Step 4 lifting of restrictions.
Until then we must continue to follow the current regulations which include social distancing, wearing face coverings on public transport, in shops and other indoor locations, and the rule of six indoors.
While some of us might be looking forward to the lifting of restrictions, lots of us are still worried about the virus. Please be kind and considerate to others. Even after restrictions are lifted, we must continue to be careful to ensure we can enjoy all the things we want to this summer. Booking your vaccine and taking lateral flow tests before you see others will help keep us all safe. The pandemic has shown the fantastic community spirit we have in Hastings so let’s continue to support and care for each other as we emerge from the restrictions. Kindness and compassion are so important.
With community spirit in mind, I am pleased to see that Eggtooth have taken over the old Town Hall in the High Street. ‘The Nest’ will house all Eggtooth’s projects and provide a community hub, including a creative event space and community mental health service. There will also be a café and alcohol-free bar. This will be a great asset to the community when it opens later this year.
The last week has been Srebrenica Memorial Week, when we commemorate the more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys who were murdered simply because of their religion. We pledge to remember the genocide and reaffirm our commitment to standing up against hatred and prejudice. You can find out more on the Remembering Srebrenica website.
And finally, we did it – England’s men’s football team are in the final on Sunday! Please stay safe and enjoy the football or whatever else you choose to do this weekend!
Council Leader's column