Officials speak out over Bexley & Kent border ‘confusion’

Officials in Bexley have issued a statement after confusion regarding the new tier system, and warned about crossing over the border to Dartford.

The Government announced their new tier system yesterday (November 26), revealing that London has been placed in ‘High Alert’ Tier 2.

The rules, which will come into force on December 2, applies to all 32 boroughs of London, whilst neighbouring Kent has been placed into the highest level of restrictions, Tier 3.

Bexley council leader Teresa O’Neill OBE “welcomed” the decision as good news for “some of our hard-pressed local businesses” as those in the hospitality sector will now be allowed to reopen.

She also warned the public to follow the rules set out for Tier 2 to keep the number of cases down.

But despite the news that Bexley is to enter Tier 2 with the rest of London, the Mayor of Bexley has also spoken out after “some confusion.”

With neighbouring areas in Kent put into Tier 3, residents living on edge of Bexley and Dartford, namely in areas such as Erith and Crayford which straddle the border, have expressed confusion at which set of restrictions will apply to them. Some live within the borough of Bexley, but belong to Kent postcodes.

Councillor James Hunt, the elected Mayor of Bexley, posted on social media last night:

“Sadly, due to some confusion locally please can I reiterate, Bexley is in London.”

He added: “As of next week we go to TIER 2.

“This does not mean we are back to normal, so we must still stick to the rules:

– Keep Your Distance

– Wear a mask

– Wash your hands

“Our friends and neighbours in Kent (Dartford etc) and Swanley are in TIER 3 (a higher level) so please check before travelling.”

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Cllr O’Neill also warned of the dangers of crossing the Kent border in an official statement.

The council leader said “We should all avoid travelling to, or staying overnight, in tier 3 areas unless it is really necessary.

“We think that the different tiers applying in Bexley and Dartford back in November caused an increase in cases in both our areas when people travelled between them to socialise.

“With Kent moving to tier 3, we need to do everything we can to stop this happening again.”

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O’Neill also said: “The sooner the number of cases comes down, the less risk of a return to more restrictions.

“With the hope of an early start to a national vaccination programme, we all need to keep doing the right things.

The best Christmas present we can give is for everyone to be safe as we move into 2021, when we can start to look to a brighter future.”

Restrictions will be relaxed for five days over the Christmas period between the 23 and 27 of December.

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