HOUSEHOLDS in Solihull will be banned from mixing in a newly announced lockdown rules following a surge in cases of Covid-19.
Together with Birmingham and Sandwell the measures are being introduced as the latest figures show the city region has the second highest rate of infections.
The announcement was made by the leaders of the West Midlands Combined Authority and the new restrictions will start from Tuesday, September 15.
The chief executive of Solihull Council, Nick Page said: “We are concerned by the rate of increase and the pattern of spread which affects the whole borough and a wide age group.
“This has seen the number of local cases rise from 84 across the whole of August to 135 in September so far.
“This means that as at September 8 our rate stands at 63 per 100k with five per cent of people who are being tested testing positive.
“We are working with our partners in the NHS and social care who know first-hand the impact of the virus. Our hospital experts tell us that the virus has not changed.
“The new national restrictions announced today mean that, from Tuesday, September 15, people will not be able to meet in each other’s houses or gardens unless you are in your support bubble.
“This includes people who live in or outside Solihull. Further details of what this means will be available here.”
Ruth Tennant, the director of public health, sets out Solihull Council’s top six:
1. Understanding the routes of transmission so we are clear where and how the virus is spreading and can quickly spot links. We have talked to more than 50 local people this week who have given us valuable clues to help us stop the spread.
2. Increasing access to testing for the right people at the right time. We have worked with NHS Test and Trace to open a new testing centre this week– bookable online for people with COVID symptoms only – in the borough. University Hospitals Birmingham health professionals are providing a rapid testing response to manage outbreaks. It’s essential that that people self-isolate for 10 days if they have symptoms, whether or not they have had test. The test tells you if you’re positive but it’s self-isolation – of you and your close contacts – that stops the spread.
3. Rapid control of outbreaks. Local outbreaks are a reality of COVID. Working with Public Health England, we will continue to support businesses, workplaces, care homes and schools where there is an outbreak. We need all our partners to be on the alert for cases, to report these rapidly so they can follow the right advice to stop this quickly.
4. Driving compliance. We have been providing advice to pubs, bars, restaurants and other businesses and events in the borough. There will be more staff carrying out this important work and we are also calling on everyone – businesses and the public – to do the right thing when they are out and about. Where necessary, we will use legal powers (Section 3) to stop events or businesses that are a risk to public health.
5. Let’s do the right thing for Solihull: our staff and our Community Champions will be reinforcing key messages to the public about what they can do to stop the spread. Using social media, a visible street presence and ‘word of mouth’ we will make sure people know what they need to do to help us get the numbers down. The fewer people you meet and socialise with and the fewer places you go, the lower the risk. And remember Hands, Face, Space.
6. Protecting our most vulnerable: We have already taken the very difficult decision to suspend care home visiting in Solihull temporarily, while recognising that there are exceptional circumstances when there may be a need to enable safe visiting. More information about this is on our website here.
Leader of the Council, Ian Courts, said “I would encourage everyone to watch this video here – with a message from the Council and NHS. And for the latest updates please visit our website www.solihull.gov.uk”