THE director of public health in Solihull is calling for people arriving in the borough from a Tier 4 area to assume they have the virus and self isolate for ten days.
London and the south east have been declared to be Tier 4 areas following the discovery of a new, more virulent strain of Covid-19.
Ruth Tennant spoke out as coronavirus rates in Solihull once again started to climb.
In the last seven days it has gone up by 17 per cent to 180.2 per 100k while rates in people over the age of 60 are up by 10 per cent to 159.3 per 100k.
She said: At the moment, Solihull is not in Tier 4 and we do not yet know how much the new variant is circulating locally.
“What we do know is that no where is an island.
“There are some key things you can do: Do not travel to Tier 4 areas. Any travel risks increasing the speed that the new variant will get round the country and the speed that our local rates will go up.
“We are asking anyone who has travelled to Solihull from any Tier 4 area or Wales, to assume they have the new variant of Covid and self-isolate for at least ten days when they arrive.
“This means remaining inside the house where they’re staying for the whole ten days.
“Other people who live in the house do not need to self-isolate unless anyone gets symptoms but no visitors should be allowed in that house at all, even on Christmas Day. Even if you have a negative test, you should continue to self-isolate.
“Although Solihull is currently in Tier 3, our rates are increasing and it is highly likely that the new variant is circulating. So please reduce your contact to a minimum, act like people you see have the virus. Remember that people may have the virus and show no symptoms.”
She also urged people to change their Cghristmas plans ‘as much as possible’.
“You can only meet your Christmas bubble on December 25. Keep your visit as short as possible, with as few people as possible and outdoors if you can,” she said.
“If you have Covid symptoms you must get tested through the national booking system.
“You must self-isolate for 10 days and don’t wait for your test result to start self-isolating.
“Your close contacts must also self-isolate for 10 days. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person
“If you need help with food or money while you self-isolate, please ask for help. https://www.solihull.gov.uk/COVID-19/here2help.”
She also urged people to stick by the mantra ‘hands, face, space’ to avoid contracting the virus.