Residents urged to do all they can as tier three restrictions begin
Dudley borough has moved into the highest tier of local restrictions today, after the country’s second national lockdown came to an end.
The local authority area joins the rest of Birmingham and the Black Country in tier 3, as rates remain high in the region despite a reduction in cases over the last two weeks.
Dudley Council bosses are calling on all residents to continue to follow government restrictions, in the hope the area may see a step down in restrictions ahead of the Christmas period.
The government has confirmed it will review all tiers in two weeks’ time, when it is hoped the reduction in cases will have progressed further.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:
The decision to place Dudley in tier 3 was a predictable but disappointing one given how much our residents and businesses have sacrificed in order to bring virus rates down.
As leader of the council and a businessman I have seen all too well the devastating impact the pandemic is having on our regional economy and this why I will be lobbying the government to ease our restrictions when they are reviewed on December 16.
In the meantime, I want to thank everyone in Dudley for playing their part and I beg all of you to take this time to go the extra mile and get the rates down as low as we can.
Our collective efforts now will help to save lives, reduce virus rates further and give us a fighting chance of seeing our nearest and dearest this Christmas.”
The local authority is continuing to offer the Covid-19 helpline, in conjunction with Citizens Advice Dudley, Dudley Council for Voluntary Services (DCVS) and the Black Country Foodbank.
Help is available to those who are self-isolating, may be feeling lonely or isolated, are unable to leave their home, or struggling financially due to the pandemic. People can call 0300 3302 152 from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 12.30pm.
Tier 3 areas must operate under the follow stipulations, as well as other restrictions:
- People must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with or is not in their support bubble. This includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
- People must not socialise in a group of more than six in permitted public spaces, such as parks and countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility
- Hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants must remain closed, but they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway or delivery
- Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses will only be open to people staying for work or main residence
- Indoor entertainment, tourist venues, indoor attractions and entertainment venues must close
- Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close
- Wedding and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events
People can access testing seven days a week and residents are reminded to seek a test whenever they become symptomatic.
Bal Kaur, director of public health in Dudley, said:
Dudley borough has been placed in tier 3, very high alert, and Covid-19 figures remain critically high despite a reduction.
It is vital we use isolating and testing to reduce any further spread if experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 - a high temperature, a new continuous cough and or a loss of taste or smell.
Anyone displaying these symptoms, no matter how mild, must isolate and book a test immediately by contacting the NHS Test and Trace service, regardless of the day of the week.
People must book a test in advance by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Dudley borough currently has four testing sites. The main two testing units are located at Flood Street car park (off Oakeywell Street) in Dudley and on Jackson Street car park in Lye.
There are also two temporary mobile test sites at Brierley Hill and Himley Hall (access through West Gate entry only), which are drive through only and people should not attempt to access the sites on foot.
All those attending an appointment will be provided with guidance on getting to and from their designated test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and
Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.
Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.
Residents and businesses can keep updated on the council’s latest response to the covid-19 crisis at www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirus
Details of financial support available to residents impacted by the pandemic can also be found at www.dudley.gov.uk/covidfinancialsupport