Significant changes to the lockdown measures come into effect tomorrow (Saturday 4 July), as the Government allows more businesses and activities to reopen to the public and social distance guidance changes from 2m to 1m-plus in instances where remaining 2m apart is not possible.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “The reopening of more businesses from this weekend is of course very welcome news, but it is also a time of heightened risk for us all because Covid-19 has not gone away.
“If we were to let down our guard and allow the virus to begin spreading more easily, we risk not only a second wave of cases and more deaths, but also the re-imposition of lockdown measures as we have seen in Leicester this week.
“We need to do all we can to ensure that we avoid a local lockdown in Wolverhampton, and we all have a key role to play in this.
“As part of gradually lifting lockdown there are additional freedoms from this weekend. More places will be able to open – but only if they can do so in a safe and ‘Covid-secure’ way, but how safely the city can re-open depends on all of us doing our part.
“It is absolutely vital that if anyone choses to go out they must stay alert and keep a safe distance from others at all times to reduce the risk of transmission. Failure to do this will increase the chances of seeing a local spike in cases or outbreaks.”
Wolverhampton Police Chief Superintendent, Andy Beard, said: “Everyone that lives, works or socialises in Wolverhampton has a personal responsibility to stay alert and comply with the latest Governmental restrictions. We have all made so many sacrifices over the last 15 weeks and I feel sure that none of us would want to see this undone.
“Local Police Officers and PCSOs will continue to be on patrol, engaging with the public, businesses and City Council to ensure everyone is aware of the latest restrictions. Let’s all continue to help each other to avoid a local lockdown across Wolverhampton.”
From tomorrow, people will be able to go to a pub, cafe or restaurant, the hairdressers, museums, theme parks, bingo halls, cinemas and places of worship, or stay in a hotel, bed and breakfast or on a campsite, as long as the venue in question is able to operate in a Covid-secure way.
In addition, more places of worship will be opening their doors with services permitted from this weekend.
‘Close proximity’ venues, such as swimming pools, gyms, nightclubs, casinos, bowling alleys, soft play centres, spas, nail bars, beauty salons and tattoo parlours will remain closed at this time.
Not all venues which are permitted to reopen from Saturday will do so, and people are advised to check before travelling. Please note that the City of Wolverhampton Council’s museums, art galleries, libraries and archives service will not be reopening this weekend; announcements about plans for their reopening will follow in due course.
Social distancing guidelines will also change tomorrow, from 2m to '1m-plus'. People should continue to remain at least 2m away from anyone who is not a member of their own household but, in instances where this is not physically possible, members of the public can be 1m away from each other as long as other measures are put in place to limit the transmission of the virus.
These include wearing a face covering, installing screens, making sure people face away from each other and providing extra handwashing facilities.
In addition, from Saturday, people will be able to spend time indoors or outside with another household. Outside, up to six people from different households can meet, while inside six people from no more than two households can meet. Social distancing should apply in all cases.
Residents are reminded they must continue to:
- stay at home as much as possible
- work from home if you can
- limit contact with other people
- keep your distance if you go out, at least 2m or 1m-plus if 2m is not possible
- wash your hands regularly
Anyone, irrespective of age, should be tested if they have symptoms of Covid-19, including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. For more information, and to apply for a test, please go to GOV.UK. If you do not have access to the internet, please call 119. All appointments must be booked in advance.
Anyone in Wolverhampton who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to isolate and share information about people that have been close contacts recently.
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Coronavirus (COVID-19).
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 Stay Safe, Be Kind.