Confusion for Kingston residents over new Tier 2 lockdown restrictions

Kingston residents expressed confusion last week over whether new Tier 2 lockdown restrictions applied to them. 

The government announced that all London boroughs would move to Tier 2 lockdown measures from Saturday 17 October. 

Under Tier 2, households will not be able to mix indoors, including in bars and restaurants. while the rule of six still applies to households mixing outdoors. 

Kingston residents took to social media to question whether they qualify as part of London. 

Residents seemed most confused by their addresses, which for many Kingston residents include Surrey. 

Phillip Richens, 43, who has a KT2 postcode said: “Yes, the cases did go up but we don’t come under London; we are a royal borough and come under Surrey.

“I think the communication about everything is so confusing and misleading that a lot of them don’t make sense.” 

To add to the confusion, the government’s ‘Find out the coronavirus restrictions in a local area’ page on Friday showed the restrictions for a postcode as they were, not the ones set to be implemented on Saturday.  

Leader of Kingston Council Councillor Caroline Kerr said: “Most people know they’re in a London borough.” 

Kingston has been a London borough since 1965, but before that it was within the county of Surrey.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Jon Tolley said: “We just need to understand that postcodes aren’t related to a government boundary. 

“If you pay your council tax to Kingston, if you voted in the Kingston borough elections, you are under Tier 2 measures.

“The people who know about Richmond Borough Council communication channels are probably quite clear they live in the Kingston Council area. 

“It’s the people who aren’t engaged in the council communications, which realistically is most people, that we need to reach.”

Kerr was more concerned about the lack of communication from the Government with the council concerning Tier 2 measures. 

She said: “We knew the figures and the health concerns but the actual announcement I discovered through the Evening Standard and so did our director of public health. 

“There hasn’t been a briefing that has given any detail about how Tier 2 will be implemented.

“We want to inform residents and keep them safe.” 

In the week 6 October to 12 October, Kingston upon Thames had a rate of 96 cases per 100,000 people. 

Kingston Council has put out information on the Tier 2 restrictions on its website and social media, and will send out a letter to every household in the borough next week. 

The council also runs a stall in Kingston town centre handing out masks and raising awareness about coronavirus measures. 

Credit for feature image: Kingston Council

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