A Malmesbury councillor has warned of the "extremely serious" need to abide by new lockdown restrictions.

The Prime Minister made a televised address at 8pm last night, where he announced a new national lockdown.

People are now being asked to work from home, if possible, and schools will close for most pupils from tomorrow.

It is expected the new lockdown will last until the middle of February.

Malmesbury Town Councillor Councillor Gavin Grant is chair of the trustee of HEALS, a small local charity supporting individuals and families in Malmesbury and the surrounding area

Trustees met virtually today “to get the band back together” and establish how, moving forward, volunteers can work with other organisations to support the community.

Mr Grant said: “This pattern in restrictions does reflect the covid statistics we have seen.

"People have been advised to shield once more, which will change things, and we do expect a rise in demand for foodbank vouchers and applications for our hardship fund.

"The weather is worse, the feeling is gloomy and people are tired after suffering nearly a year of this."

He added: "But people need to be realistic and realise this is an extremely serious situation.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: MalmesburyMalmesbury

"Cases are rising rapidly, very rapidly. We were in the same stage in Wiltshire yesterday as Swindon was in a week ago and that shows how quickly things are progressing."

Mr Grant asked Wiltshire Council this morning on provisions and support to be made available to vulnerable people in the coming weeks.

He has also urged for "clear and concise" messaging to avoid confusion over grey areas of restrictions.

He said: "There are three main reasons why this lockdown is different from the first one.

"First, this time the variant is stronger, and has the ability to spread very quickly.

"Secondly, people's own financial resources are exhausted and I have no doubt there will be a surge in Universal Credit applications.

"Finally, people's mental health is at further risk.

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"We will work with local organisations to ensure we support people amid these challenges."

To find out more about HEALS click here

Meanwhile, Malmesbury Care Centre is set to receive its first delivery of the Covid vaccine on Thursday or Friday.

The vaccine will be shared with five over local practices but all will be given in Malmesbury.

A spokesman for Malmesbury Care Centre said: "We are pleased to inform our patients that we will be getting our first delivery of the Covid Vaccines on January 7/8.

"The vaccine rollout is being conducted as per national guidelines, with the most vulnerable groups being invited first."