There were minimal reports of people flouting the rules over the Bank Holiday weekend – with the vast majority of Wulfrunians staying at home and practising social distancing when out and about.
The City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Public Health John Denley said: "It's clear that most people fully understand, and are following, the mantra to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
"We were very concerned that the hot weather over the Bank Holiday weekend might encourage people to come out and breach the Government's social distancing measures, but there have been very few instances of individuals not following the rules and regulations locally.
"This is really important, because reducing our day to day contact with other people is the most powerful measure we have to stop the spread of coronavirus, and to help save lives. Remember, anyone can spread coronavirus, even if they don’t show symptoms.”
Residents are strongly urged to continue to stay at home as much as possible. People should only leave the house:
- to shop for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
- for one form of exercise a day, for instance a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of their household
- for any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- to travel to and from work, but only where work cannot be done from home, or to take children to and from school if parents are classed as 'critical workers'
These measures should be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for people or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.
The Government has ordered non essential businesses and public spaces to be closed and banned all public gatherings of more than 2 people, except where they are from the same household or where the gathering is essential for work purposes. All social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies, have been stopped. Funerals continue, but should only be attended by immediate family members.
When out in public, people must stay 2 metres – or 6 feet – away from other people at all times, unless they are from the same household.
To enable shoppers to keep their distance, retailers which have been permitted to remain open – including supermarkets and corner shops – have been encouraged to place limits on how many people can be in-store at any one time and to ask customers to stand 2 metres apart when in store and whilst queuing. In addition customers are encouraged to pay using contactless to reduce the amount of cash being handled by staff.
The council has produced a poster for shops and businesses to print off and display, advising staff and customers of social distancing measures in operation on the premises.
Mr Denley added: "For the vast majority of us, social distancing has become the new norm and we are slowly getting used to life with these restrictions in place. Every indication is that these measures will be with us for the foreseeable future, and it's crucial that we all persevere in our efforts over the coming weeks; we cannot take our foot of the pedal at this stage.
"It's also really important that people don't use public transport, including taxis to travel to medical appointments, unless it is absolutely essential. I understand how difficult this may be, but by cutting out unnecessary travel we can reduce the risk to those who do have to travel, as well as helping to slow the spread of coronavirus."
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 Advice for everyone - 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.