TOUGHER coronavirus restrictions in Essex could be in place for six weeks, according to public health bosses.

Although the new Covid-19 restrictions will be reviewed after four weeks, Dr Mike Gogarty revealed infections “won’t flatten for six weeks”, meaning the new ‘high’ level of restrictions could be in place until at least December.

The warning comes as John Spence, councillor in charge of health and adult social care at Essex County Council, addressed about 150 councillors across the county over Zoom on Friday, explaining County Hall’s action plan.

The meeting saw Dr Gogarty and Mr Spence answer questions and present a 15-slide presentation with the latest data.

Dr Gogarty said: “The virus is everywhere. It’s in the community, hospitals, and schools.

“With doing this now, the requirement for shielding won’t be needed.

“If we do it now, if it will be over quicker.

“If we left it alone, in two or three weeks, the secretary of state will move us up.

“We’re at a higher level to where Manchester was a month ago.”

The presentation revealed figures from the latest modelling which show 11 of the 12 authorities in Essex are now in an epidemic phase.

Data shows the bulk of coronavirus cases in Essex is among young people, but more cases are now being reported in the over 50s.

Mr Spence added: “It’s about changing people’s behaviour. The behaviour of our residents will prevent us from moving us into Tier 3

“I’m as sick of this as anybody else. The restrictions are painful but modest. This will be reviewed every four weeks.”