BASILDON Council leader Gavin Callaghan has warned the borough is facing a Tier 3 lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to rise. 

The warning comes as Basildon moved into the "top ten" most-affected areas in England after 588 new cases were confirmed in the latest seven-day period to November 29. 

It means the borough's infection rate is now 314.1 per 100,000 population. 

In a message to Basildon residetns this morning, the Labour council boss said: "We are very, very close to getting to the point of 300 cases per 100,000 of our population.

"That would mean we would be very, very close to going into a Tier 3 lockdown.

"That would be devastating for local jobs, for people's livlihoods and for people's mental health.


"We do not want, on the December 16, to be closing our non-essential retail and all of our other businesses that would have to close in Tier 3 just nine days before Christmas."

The Labour leader added: "I know everyone is fed up with Covid - I am fed up with Covid - everybody wants to go back to seeing their friends and families, to be going out, to be having a knees up as we get closer to Christmas. I get it, I understand it.

"But if we want to make sure that we are protecting our loved ones - the over 65s.

"When it comes to sitting around the table on Christmas Day, I am urging you in the next few days and weeks please play by the new rules.

"We have got to social distance, we've got to wear masks. If you can work from home, work from home. 

"We are so close to getting light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine is coming; it will be here before long but what we do in the next few hours, the individual choices we make in the necxt few hours will deyermine just how long that tunnel is 

"So please if we want to avoid Tier 3 on December 16 I am urging everybody in our borough to look after your families, look after your children.

"Keep playing by the rules and we will get through this together."