18 September 2020 18:31
Wolverhampton has been added to the local lockdown alongside Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell, the Government has announced. It means that people in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell - and now in Wolverhampton too - are banned from socialising with other people outside of their own households or support bubble, in private homes and gardens. Wolverhampton City Council had asked the Department for Health and Social Care to include them in the lockdown, which came into force in Birmingham on Tuesday Sept 15. The Department of Health and Social Care has just published the latest update to local restrictions across the country, and they include new rules for Merseyside. Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens; Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: "We are seeing cases of coronavirus rise fast in Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Warrington, Halton and Wolverhampton.
Local leaders in these areas have asked for stronger restrictions to be put in place to protect local people, and we are acting decisively to support them. "I know these restrictions will make every-day life harder for many, but I know that residents will work together and respect the rules so we can reduce rates of transmission. "I urge local people to isolate and get a test if you have symptoms, follow the advice of NHS Test and Trace, and always remember 'hands, face, space'. People who have symptoms of Covid-19 are strongly advised to book an appointment by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119 as soon as possible. Due to the current national issues with testing availability, people may need to keep trying regularly in order to book an appointment.
Wolverhampton residents will not be able to mix with people who are not part of their household, in their homes or gardens, from Tuesday, September 22. Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support bubble. Friends or family who you do not live with should not visit your home to help with childcare unless they are part of your support bubble. The only people who should help you with childcare in your home are people you live with, people in your support bubble or registered childcare providers, including nannies and carers. Why can we meet people at work, school or hospitality venues, but not other households?
The reason that these restrictions have come in place is that the data shows that the infection rate has risen mainly due to social interactions, particularly in private household gatherings. People living in Wolverhampton can travel to attend a wedding, civil partnership ceremony, or funeral, but they must not meet with another household in a house or garden. You may attend places of worship, but you should socially distance from people outside of your household. The restrictions will go on for as long is needed to bring down the coronavirus rates of infection. On Friday, Wolverhampton joined West Midlands neighbours Birmingham and Sandwell on the local lockdown list after cases increased by "five-fold" in a fortnight. Oadby and Wigston in Leicestershire have also gone back into lockdown – with the county council's director of public health saying the rise "underlines that residents need to change their behaviour". Wolverhampton City Council said there were around 60 cases per 100,000 residents in the seven days to September 12 compared to 12.6 cases per 100,000 in the week to August 29. Rates in Oadby and Wigston increased up to 145 per 100,000 people, over three times the national and Leicestershire averages, placing it second in the country. Commenting on the new restrictions in the region, Leicestershire County Council's director of public health Mike Sandys said: "This steep rise is off the scale – and underlines that residents need to change their behaviour. "We know that the virus is spreading in communities so it makes sense for the Government to restrict mixing between households. Also giving his reaction, county council cabinet member for health, Councillor Lee Breckon, said: "The rates are startling and we need to get the rise under control. Tough new Covid-19 lockdown measures banning people from mixing in homes and gardens was imposed on Birmingham in response to a rocketing infection rate on September 15. Similar measures will come into force in Wolverhampton on September 22 – but the city's council has urged residents to abide by the restrictions immediately. Commenting on the city's new restrictions, Ian Brookfield, the leader of the city council, said: "All the evidence shows that close contact within the home or between households is a major cause of the spread of Covid-19, and that's why for the last few days we've been urging households to stay apart from one another. "We urge residents to continue to support our plea not to visit other households – this will be the law from Tuesday. "These measures are like those which were in place at the height of the pandemic and the message is simple; you mustn't allow people who are not part of your household or bubble into your home or garden, or go to visit them in their house or garden in Wolverhampton or elsewhere. John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "Everyone in Wolverhampton has a role to play in the fight against coronavirus and we need everyone to take these new restrictions extremely seriously in order to protect each other and keep everyone safe. Wolverhampton will follow Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull by imposing stricter lockdown measures to cope with a rise in coronavirus cases.From Tuesday different households will not be allowed to mix at their homes or gardens. The Leader of City of Wolverhampton Council says 90 per cent of new cases have originated in the home. You must not allow people you don't live with or who are not part of your bubble into your home or garden. You must not visit people you do not live with or who are not part of your bubble, in Wolverhampton or elsewhere. Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "All the evidence shows that close contact within the home or between households is a major cause of the spread of Covid-19, and that's s why for the last few days we've been urging households to stay apart from one another." We've all had to do this before; now we need to do it again if we are to stop the spread of coronavirus, keep our loved ones safe and protect jobs and our economy. Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council The message has been reinforced by John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health who said everyone in the city "has a role to play in the fight against coronavirus". Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell saw new restrictions put in place on Tuesday after a rapid rise in coronavirus cases. "The ban will take effect from Tuesday 15th September, but residents are advised to avoid household mixing before then as it has been identified as one of the drivers of transmission."