Residents are being warned to be on their guard this weekend as Covid-19 cases continue to rise around the UK.

The Department of Health yesterday reported a total of 5,274 positive tests in the past 24 hours, the highest daily total since 26 March and a 49% increase week on week.

The rise is being driven in part by the new, more transmissable Delta variant, which has become the dominant strain in parts of the country – with Public Health England indicating it also brings with it an increased risk of hospitalisation.

And, while Covid-19 cases in Wolverhampton remain low, people are being urged to take extra care over the coming days.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Despite everyone's best efforts, Covid-19 hasn't gone away and unfortunately we are now seeing evidence that it is starting to make a resurgence in some parts of the country.

"It's really important that we avoid a third wave by stopping this deadly virus in its tracks and preventing the Delta variant from taking hold here in Wolverhampton.

"That means continuing to follow the Hands, Face and Space guidance and getting a free rapid Covid-19 test before you meet with people that you don't live with to reassure yourself and them that you don't have the virus. If you have symptoms of Covid-19, no matter how mild, you need to self-isolate and book a PCR test as soon as possible.

"We also know that having both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine prevents the vast majority of people getting ill or dying with Covid, even against the new strain. It was reported this week that only 3.7% of Delta cases are in people who have had both doses of the vaccine, so the message is clear – if you are eligible and haven't yet done so, make sure you book your jabs today.

“Stay safe and protect yourself, your family and friends if you are out and about this weekend and remember that it is safer to be outside so, with the weather set to stay nice over the coming days, why not enjoy some time in the park, garden or another outdoor space?

“Although the rise in new cases is a concern, we should be reassured by the progress we have made over recent weeks and months – and that by doing all we can to prevent the spread of Covid-19 we will see the back of this virus in due course.”

Further details about the restrictions now in place, plus frequently asked questions and answers, are available at Covid Alert

For more information about rapid Covid-19 testing – for people without symptoms of the virus – please visit Lateral Flow Home Test Kits. Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR text at GOV.UK or by calling 119.