DURSLEY district councillor Doina Cornell has welcomed the news of a national lockdown, saying it is essential to stop hospitals being overwhelmed this winter.

Cllr Cornell, who is also leader of Stroud District Council, said: “I’d hoped 2021 would begin with more positive news, but this new lockdown is essential to prevent our NHS being overwhelmed this winter.

“The vaccination roll out is going well locally, so there is hope ahead, and in the meantime we must follow the rules and stay safe.”

Dursley Town Council also stressed the need for residents to adhere to the latest restrictions.

A town council spokesman said: “Dursley Town Council would encourage all residents to follow the Government’s advice during this lockdown period.

“It is important that we reduce social contact to protect the most vulnerable people in our community therefore we would ask people to “stay at home”.

People who can are now working from home, and schools have closed to most pupils.

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

Pubs, restaurants and cafes have had to close, but restaurants will be able to continue to offer delivery or takeaway.

Essential retailers such as supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, builders merchants may stay open.

Leaf & Ground in Dursley is one of the businesses which will be offering a takeaway service during lockdown.

A spokesman for the venue said: “The deli and the garden shop are open and the hut is still serving takeaways.

“Our online kitchen takeaway service will be operating on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only and will offer breakfast baps and a lunch menu.

“The grounds and playground are open for your daily exercise and you will still have access to our toilets.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Kelly of Thistledown Cafe in Nympsfield said: “We are running takeaway Indian nights and offering takeaway drinks, cakes and hot snacks, with vegan options as ever, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which can be combined with a walk around the farm and collection of local organic Woefuldane milk, Salt Bakehouse bread, Sherston eggs and so on.”