Councillor Phil Bateman today warns that “Wednesfield with Wolverhampton – along with the rest of England – has begun a four-week period of lockdown to suppress Covid-19 as figures show over 100 people a day in the city are testing positive for the deadly virus.”
MPs approved the nationwide lockdown last night and the measures came into law at one minute past midnight today (Thursday 5 November). The key points are:
• You must stay home as much as possible and only leave for a limited number of reasons such as education, exercise and recreation or to shop for essentials.
• You should work from home if you can.
• You should not mix with other people indoors or in private gardens, unless they are part of your household or your care or support bubble.
• Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues are closed, as are pubs and restaurants, though takeaways and deliveries are permitted. To help businesses affected by closure, the council is putting in place packages of support.
• Schools, universities and colleges remain open (secondary school staff and students must continue to wear face coverings in communal spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained) as do places of worship for individual prayer and funerals.
• You can continue to exercise or visit outdoor public places with the people you live with or your support bubble or, when you are on your own, with one person from another household. Children under five and disabled people who are dependent on care are not counted towards the limit on two people meeting outside.
For full details of the measures, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/covidalert and www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Please note, if you are clinically extremely vulnerable, additional guidance applies. The City of Wolverhampton Council is reinstating its Stay Safe, Be Kind telephone helpline to support the city’s most vulnerable residents.
Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “Make no mistake, the situation is serious: over 100 Wulfrunians are testing positive for Covid-19 each and every day.
“The true figure is likely to be even higher because, for some, coronavirus can be very mild so they might not realise they’ve caught it. For others, however, Covid-19 can be fatal – and tragically we’ve seen a big increase in the number of people hospitalised and even dying from this terrible virus.
“Despite the sacrifices we’ve all made to try and suppress Covid-19, we now find ourselves in a similar position to the one we were in back in March and April. If we don’t act now, more people will die and our NHS will be overwhelmed.
“This lockdown is not as extensive as the first, for instance more businesses can remain open and students should continue to attend school, college and university at this time. But this means it is even more important that we do everything we can to stop the spread of Covid-19 by sticking to the rules, washing our hands more often, wearing a face covering where required and practising social distancing.
“We need to look after those who need our help the most so, over the next four weeks, let’s drive down the infection rate and protect our loved ones. We’ve done this before – I know that we can do it again and I know that, by uniting as a city, we can and will defeat this virus.”
John Denley, Wolverhampton’s Director of Public Health, added: “The people of Wolverhampton have made huge sacrifices over the last few months and I thank every one of them for their efforts. Now we must go even further in the fight against Covid-19. Everyone has a pivotal role to play so please continue to do all you can to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Superintendent Simon Inglis from Wolverhampton Police said: “As we enter a further period of enhanced restrictions it’s clear that there has never been more of a need for the city to come together and do all it can to reduce the infection rate than right now.
“As those responsible for policing across the city, we will continue to support our council and Public Health partners at this time and our officers and PCSOs will be visible in key locations at all times, engaging with the public regarding the need for compliance.
“Our ask is that you continue to comply with the restrictions in the way that you have so far. The response across the city has been tremendous with us only having to issues fines in a small number of cases. We don’t set out to issue fines, but in the interest of public safety we have been compelled to do so when faced with flagrant breaches of the rules.
“However the vast majority of you are complying and so we ask that this continues during this difficult further period in order that the city can return to a state of normality at the earliest opportunity.”
At the end of the lockdown period, it is expected that regions will return to the tiers one to three, depending upon the rates of infection. Wolverhampton was previously subject to Covid-19 High Alert (Tier Two) restrictions.
Latest data shows there were 297.71 cases per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the seven days to 2 November. That means that 783 people in the city tested positive for the virus in the same seven day period – though the real figure will be higher.
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. For full details of the lockdown measures, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/covidalert or www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. To book a test, visit www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119. People can get tested within eight days of developing symptoms.