Faith leaders have been encouraged to keep their congregations safe from Covid-19.

With infection rates remaining high in the city, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health John Denley has written to faith groups asking them to continue with the measures they have put in place to protect their congregation, and to keep windows and doors open to allow fresh air to flow through places of worship.

He has also called on faith leaders to encourage members of their congregation to get both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, continue to follow Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air adivce and get a twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 test to reassure themselves they don't have the virus.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Faith leaders in Wolverhampton have worked extremely hard over the last year to keep their congregations safe and to reopen their churches, temples and mosques in a Covid secure manner.

"Sadly, the virus hasn't gone away, and with hundreds of people still testing positive for Covid-19 in our city every week, it's crucial that they continue to do all they can to ensure members of their congregations are able to worship safely.

“We have also asked them to encourage members of their congregations to get their life-saving jab as soon they can, because this will help both reduce the risk posed to them from the virus and help life get back to normal sooner rather than later."

The latest figures show there were 277.9 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the last 7 days. That means 731 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that same period – though the true number of new cases will likely be higher.

Vaccinations are available without an appointment at dozens of walk-in clinics being held in Wolverhampton each week; details of locations, times and dates plus vaccine type available, can be found at Walk-in Vaccinations. Vaccinations can also be booked online at NHS or by calling NHS 119.

For more information about the vaccine, including the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Covid-19 Vaccine or NHS.

For details of rapid testing – for people without symptoms of Covid-19 – please visit Lateral Flow Home Test Kits. People are reminded that, if they develop symptoms of Covid-19, they must book a PCR via GOV.UK or by calling 119.