It follows reports of some instances of poor compliance with the Covid-19 guidelines in Wolverhampton, with up to a third of people found not to be wearing face coverings in shops and shopping centres. Others were not practising social distancing or following the one way systems which have been put in place to help keep staff and customers safe.
Although non-essential retail can now reopen, people are reminded they must continue to wear face coverings in shops and shopping centres, unless they are exempt for medical reasons. They should also practice social distancing from people they don't live with. These rules apply even if they have had their Covid-19 vaccine.
Ross Cook, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Director of City Environment, said: "Officers from the council are out and about this week inspecting businesses and offering support.
“Most shoppers and retailers are acting very responsibly, and we thank them for helping to keep themselves and others safe.
“Disappointingly, however, some people are not wearing face coverings, following one-way systems or practicing social distancing when they should be.
"Our staff have also witnessed overcrowding in some stores and issues around the correct use of PPE in some close contact services.
"I’d urge customers to ensure they are following the Covid-19 rules to help keep everyone safe from this deadly virus and enable us to make the move out of lockdown a successful one.
“And I would remind businesses that they are responsible for the health and safety of customers and staff on their premises and would invite them to contact us if they need support implementing the latest Covid-19 guidance.
“We have created a range of webinars to help and they are available by contacting our Trade With Confidence team on email@example.com or by calling 01902 552079.
“People who wish to report a business which they feel is not acting in a Covid-secure manner can do so at Report COVID-19 rule-breaking.”
John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "It's great news that more places can now reopen – but it is crucial that they do so safely. As more places open, more people are 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.
"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 6 or 2 different households.
“As soon as you are eligible, please make sure you get your Covid-19 vaccination and, don't forget, even if you have been fully vaccinated you must continue to follow the rules to protect yourselves and others."
People with symptoms of Covid-19, no matter how mild, should immediately self-isolate and book a test by visiting NHS or calling 119. Symptoms to watch out for include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell.