Wolverhampton became an area of national intervention on Friday due to a sustained raise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. The new restrictions mean:
- you must not allow people you don't live with or who are not part of your support bubble into your home or garden
- you must not visit people you do not live with or who are not part of your support bubble in their home or garden, in Wolverhampton or elsewhere
- people can only come inside your home or garden for specific purposes set out in law (see the guidance for further details)
These restrictions apply to everyone living and working within the city of Wolverhampton, though the Government announced yesterday that grandparents, extended family members and others who provide either formal or informal care for children aged up to 14 or vulnerable adults would be exempt where it is necessary for caring purposes.
The measures do not affect schools, public transport or workplaces, though people should still practice social distancing and wear a face covering where required. Households within a support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit public places together.
For full details of the local restrictions, please visit Local restrictions in Wolverhampton. Posters detailing the local measures are available to download from the same page. Further measures for England, including a nationwide 10pm curfew for pubs, restaurants and bars, are expected to be announced by the Government later today.
Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "In the fight against coronavirus, we're all in this together. That's why I am today calling on all Wulfrunians to play their part, follow these new Government regulations and help stop the spread of Covid-19.
"We know that the vast majority – around 90% - of cases of Covid-19 are being transmitted either within the home or from one household to another, so by staying within our household or support bubble as much as possible we will be able to reduce the number of infections.
"These measures are like those which were in place at the height of the pandemic. We've all had to do this before; now we need to do it again if we are to stop the spread of coronavirus, keep our loved ones safe and protect jobs and our economy. Please play your part and together we will get through this.”
The new rules are law. Fines could be levied on anyone breaking them. Chief Superintendent Andy Beard from Wolverhampton Police said: "Preventing the spread of coronavirus is a shared effort and the police are playing our part alongside the council, businesses and hospitality owners.
"Local officers and PCSOs will continue patrols using our approach of engage, explain and encourage people to follow the latest restrictions, however we will issue fines when people refuse to comply.
"Rules around gathering in public, together with the wearing of face coverings and limiting household to household contact are all key to help reduce the infection rate.
"In circumstances when people wish to inform us of potential household contact breaches, I would strongly encourage the use of online reporting rather than the phone. The demands on the police service are now at similar levels to before the pandemic, which makes it crucially important that we all take personal responsibility to comply with the restrictions and prevent the spread of this deadly virus."
As well as avoiding household to household contact, people are reminded they should continue to follow the Hands, Face, Space guidance:
- Hands: Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds
- Face: Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult or where you encounter people you do not normally meet
- Space: Stay 2m apart from people you do not live with, or 1m-plus with extra precautions in place if 2m is not possible
People should also get a test if they have symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, by visiting NHS or calling 119, and share their contact details for Test and Trace purposes.
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.