Have a happy and safe Vaisakhi is the call to all, as Hindus and Sikhs celebrate this important spring festival today (13 April).

Vaisakhi celebrates the Punjabi new year and the founding of Sikhism on this day in 1699.

Rajinder Singh, of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Wolverhampton, said: “While celebrations for the Sikhs will be very different this year amid Covid-19, because we still can’t worship properly at our Gurdwaras and there are no annual Sikh parades in the city, we will reflect and celebrate Vaisakhi with close family and friends. 

“Happy 322nd Birthday to Khalsa. A reminder to forever stand up, speak up and fight against injustice. Happy Vaisakhi!"

John Denley, Director of Public Health for the city, added: “The coronavirus restrictions mean that many special occasions and faith events have to be celebrated very differently to the way we would normally.

“Although these restrictions are easing, I want to encourage everyone to celebrate safely, continue to follow the Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air advice, and importantly, get a regular rapid Covid-19 test.

“Free rapid tests are available to anyone without symptoms of Covid-19 and are helping us to monitor and control the spread of the virus.”

More information on rapid testing for people without symptoms of Covid-19 is available at Coronavirus Testing. Rapid testing is not available for people who have symptoms of Covid-19, including a fever, a new continuous cough or a change to the sense of taste or smell, or people who have been told to isolate. 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 29.4 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 10 April. That means 77 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.