Essex is to enter Tier 2 - high level - Covid-19 restrictions from a minute past midnight on Saturday morning, October 17.
The move was announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in parliament this morning (October 15) and follows a sharp increase in the number of corona virus cases in the county.
The main differences between the current medium level and the high level is that there is to be no household mixing indoors, the rule of six will apply outdoors and pubs and restaurants will have to shut at 10pm.
The move was welcomed by David Finch, the leader of Essex County Council, who said it was "a clear recognition of the severity of the situation we find ourselves in as a county, and indeed across many parts of the country."
He added: “We understand that the move to the high COVID alert level may affect people’s lives and businesses and we understand the very strong feelings about this. However, we have a duty of care to the people of Essex, and we firmly believe that this is the best route to minimise disruptions, to save lives - not just for those with the virus, but for other patients as well - and to protect businesses."
• More information is available on the government website about what the new restrictions will be - click here.
• Essex County Council requested that the county enter Tier 2 earlier this week. The council's statement about that can be read here. The data that informed that decision can be read here.
• The council has also published 20 questions about moving to the high COVID alert level.