Wolverhampton – and the rest of England – is being placed back into a national lockdown as a result of a dramatic increase in coronavirus infections across the country.

The new restrictions must be followed by everyone and require people to stay home as much as possible. You should only leave your house for limited reasons permitted in law, including:

  • to shop for basic necessities like food or medicine
  • for medical reasons, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • for exercise, either alone or with members of your household
  • to travel to and from work, but only if you cannot work from home

Primary and secondary schools, and colleges, will be closed to all children except for vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers.

Extremely clinically vulnerable people have been advised that they should begin shielding again. They should stay at home as much as possible and only leave for exercise and health appointments. They should not go to work, even if they cannot work from home.

People should follow the rules now, and they will come into law in the early hours of Wednesday morning (6 January, 2020). Full details of the new measures will be available at GOV.UK.  

Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "As everyone will be only too aware, our fight against Covid-19 is once again reaching crisis point.

"Infection rates are rising rapidly in Wolverhampton because of the discovery of a more contagious variant of the virus. The number of cases in the city has more than doubled in a fortnight; we are testing of thousands of people a day and one in 4 tests are coming back positive.

"Much as it is the last thing that any of us want, the lockdown measures announced by the Government tonight are desperately needed if we are to get the virus under control again.

“Like we did last March, we must now all stay home unless absolutely necessary and limit our contact with people outside our household as much as possible.

"I am sure many parents who have expressed concern about the prospect of their children returning to school at this time will welcome the fact that schools will move to online learning for the next few weeks.

“I wrote to the Secretary of State for Education expressing serious concern over our city's high rates of Covid-19 and it is right that, for now, our schools remain open only to our most vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers, while continuing to support their other pupils at home.”

He continued: "These continue to be difficult times, but I know our city will get through them. We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that Covid-19 vaccines are now being rolled out across the region – and I would urge everyone who is invited to receive it to have it as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, can I thank you again for everything you are doing to stem the spread of this virus; please now continue to play your part by staying at home, protecting our NHS and saving lives."

John Denley, Wolverhampton’s Director of Public Health, added: "When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of the infection, and it is vitally important that all of us follow these measures if they are to be effective.

"The new strain of Covid-19 is passing from person to person far more easily, which means we have to be even more vigilant. One in 3 people who have Covid-19 show no symptoms and so could be spreading it without realising it. This means we should behave as if we, or those we come in contact with, have the virus.

"So please follow these new Government measures and practice 'hands, face, space' by washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering where required and staying 2m apart from anyone who isn't a member of your household or bubble."