Step two of the Government’s road map out of lockdown has come into effect today. Among the key changes are that:
- all shops, hairdressers, beauty salons and other close contact services can reopen
- restaurants and pubs are allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
- gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos and theme parks, and children can attend any indoor children's activity
- members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self contained accommodation
- up to 15 people can attend weddings, and up to 30 can attend funerals with 15 at wakes
- six people or 2 households can continue to meet outside, though people from different households must practice social distancing at all times
Further details of the restrictions currently in place, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at Covid Alert.
John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "It's great news that more places are able to reopen from today – and that we can get a haircut or go to the shops or the pub again if we want to.
"But it is crucial that we do this safely. As more places open, more people will be mixing and that leads to an increased risk of transmission.
"It's really important therefore that people follow the Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air guidance to help minimise this risk as much as possible, and enable us to take this next step out of lockdown safely.
"As a city we have come together to fight Covid-19 and, by following guidance and restrictions, infection rates are lower than they have been in many months. Last week 87 people in Wolverhampton tested positive for Covid-19, compared to over 2,600 people in the second week of January. This shows just how far we have come in the fight against the virus.
"But we cannot afford to let our guard down and throw away the good work of so many people over recent weeks, so please continue to follow the current advice.
“Please remember that you can only meet with people who are not in your household or support bubble if you are outdoors, and then only as a group of up to six or two different households.
“If you are going to meet with family or friends, the best protection you can give them is by getting a rapid Covid-19 test first so you can be reassured you don't pose a risk to others.
“As soon as you are eligible, please make sure you get your Covid-19 vaccination and, don't forget, it is still advised that you undertake regular testing even if you have been vaccinated.”
More information on rapid testing for people without symptoms of Covid-19 is available at Coronavirus Testing. Free rapid test kits are available for collection at the Civic Centre, Pendeford Library, The Hub at Ashmore Park, the city's PCR test centres and from participating pharmacies. For a full list of home test collection points, please visit NHS.
Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 is reminded they should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test by visiting GOV.UK or calling 119.
Latest figures show there were 32.9 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 9 April. That means 87 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that 7 day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be higher.