Families across Wolverhampton are being urged to help cut the household to household transmission of coronavirus by staying apart this weekend ahead of new Government rules being introduced on Monday. Health chiefs are asking residents not to hold parties or large-scale gatherings before the so-called 'rule of six' comes into force – as cases of Covid-19 increase in the city and elsewhere in the region.
From Monday, it will be illegal for people to meet in groups of more than six, indoors or outside, except where additional members of the group are members of the same household or bubble or in certain settings such as schools and workplaces. Social distancing must be observed at all times whenever people from different households or bubbles meet. This afternoon, restrictions were announced in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull preventing any contact between households from Tuesday onwards – and Wolverhampton’s proximity to these neighbouring areas means that unless people's behaviour changes quickly the city is likely to face further restrictions and greater lockdown measures of its own.
Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “Covid-19 infection rates are rising rapidly across Wolverhampton and the West Midlands, and the spread of the virus is mainly being driven by social gatherings in the home.New guidance is being introduced on Monday to limit gatherings to no more than six people in most situations, but we really need local residents to go further than this if we are to avoid the introduction of measures such as those that will be imposed upon residents in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull from next week.”
John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "How we all behave over the next few days will have a big impact on what further restrictions we might see here in Wolverhampton, so please everyone, be extra careful this weekend, stay in your household or family bubble wherever possible and, if you must mix with people from other households, do so safely by social distancing at all times."
Latest figures show there were 43.12 cases per 100,000 residents in Wolverhampton in the seven days to 8 September, up from 11.83 cases in the week to 1 September, with the rise in cases mainly driven by a spike in infections among young adults.
Mr Denley added: "The rise in cases in recent days shows how easily Covid-19 is transmitted within households and from one family to another, and that's why everyone must do all they can to stop the spread of coronavirus and help us avoid a local lockdown."
- practice social distancing when they are with anyone who is not a member of their household or support bubble (from Monday, it will be illegal to meet in groups of more than six indoors or outside, with some exceptions)
- wear a face covering in enclosed public places like shops and on public transport, unless they are exempt on medical grounds
- thoroughly clean frequently touched areas in the home or at work
- continue to wash their hands more regularly with soap, for 20 seconds at a time.
Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. People with symptoms, no matter how mild, should immediately self-isolate and book a test by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus. The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/stay-safe-be-kind.