The Government’s new three-tiered coronavirus restrictions come into force today with Shropshire placed at ‘medium’, the lowest level.
However, cases in both the Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council areas have seen a sharp rise in recent weeks with tougher restrictions possible.
For the week ending 10 October, there were 70 cases per 100,000 people in Telford and Wrekin and 79 cases per 100,000 in Shropshire. The average area in England had 81 cases.
Summary of the current ‘medium’ restrictions
– You must not socialise in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors.
– Hospitality businesses like pubs and restaurants are open but with restrictions including, 10pm closing time, and table service only.
– Travel in and out of the area is allowed – do not travel to areas where the Covid Alert Level is “very high”.
Help stop the spread
Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Council are urging local residents to do their bit in helping stop the spread of coronavirus.
You must wear a face covering in those areas where this required by law such as shops and public transport. Continue to follow social distancing rules, wash hands as often as possible and work from home where you can.
Limit the number of times you come into contact with others outside your household or bubble – whether it’s in a shop, at the school gates or meeting friends.
This isn’t a time to pause and do nothing
Shropshire Council’s Public Health team, in partnership with colleagues from Public Health England, continue to manage and contain local outbreaks. The Council has also undertaken community engagement work in those parts of the county that had seen the highest number of new cases to reinforce important public health guidance and advice.
Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s Director of Public Health said:
“Almost every area of Shropshire at the time of writing is experiencing a rise in cases, and across all age groups.
“This time last month we had 29 cases in a week– now we have 222 cases so this shows how rapidly the virus can spread.
“COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon and it remains a danger across our community. I need to be brutally honest with people – if the infection rates continue to rise like they have done in recent weeks – we will be facing tougher restrictions and a local lockdown.
“This isn’t a time to pause and do nothing, we need everyone to follow the measures designed to keep ourselves and our loved ones.
“We are asking people to be even more vigilant about the basic steps. It means keeping 2 metres from people you do not live with, wear face coverings and wash hands.
“Please limit the number of times you come into contact with others outside your household or bubble – whether it’s in a shop, at the school gates or meeting friends. This will help reduce the rising rate of transmission.
“If you have symptoms, please stay at home, self-isolate and book a test. Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
“The power is in our hands. If we all step up and do our part, we can cut the rates of infection.”
We must all play our part
David Sidaway, Chief Executive at Telford and Wrekin Council, said:
“The number of confirmed cases we have has now risen for four consecutive weeks.
“We also had the sad news of the first death of a local resident from coronavirus since July.
“With the virus continuing to spread in the borough, we must all play our part to contain the spread to protect each other.
“Thank you to all who have been following the rules by continuing to wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a face mask.
“The best way to stop the spread of the virus it to reduce the number of people you meet each day at home, outside your home in your leisure time and at work.”
We cannot get complacent
Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:
“We cannot get complacent about the very real threat of COVID-19 and make no mistake it is here in the County. With the number of cases continuing to rise, I am calling on the people of Shropshire to help support their local NHS by ensuring they all follow the national guidance and wear face coverings, wash hands frequently and practice social distancing.
“If anyone has any symptoms do not go to your local GP practice and instead check out www.nhs.uk which had lots of information and details on how to book a test or call NHS 111.”