Living with Covid-19 – the steps we need to take to keep safe
With coronavirus infection rates on the increase, the leaders of the seven metropolitan councils across the West Midlands have joined forces to issue a rallying call to the people of the region.
The councils are continuing to work together and have a collective confidence in the measures each area has in place – ensuring everything possible is being done to keep on top of the threat, which has not diminished since the onset of the pandemic.
Some issues are of immediate concern to the leaders included the enforcement of face covering use by supermarkets and the collation of customer contact details by bars and restaurants, with an appeal for more consistency from these sectors.
The leaders have also urged for as much support as possible from government to ensure testing is as widely available as possible, as testing is seen as critical to reducing the spread of the virus.
They also want the government to be absolutely clear with businesses about what they must do in order to comply with the regulations designed to keep everyone safe, from staff to customers and visitors.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We cannot afford to undo the progress we have made since the spring in the fight against COVID-19, but we’re now at a crossroads.
“There is a continued resolve for the seven West Midlands Councils to continue working in partnership to keep our communities safe.
“But we all need to step up and do our bit – if we fall ill with the symptoms, we must get tested. There can be no ifs or buts on this.
“And we need the guidance from central government to people in our region to be as clear and simple as possible. It is now getting to the point where many people and businesses are confused and unsure about what they can and cannot do.
“If we don’t follow the basic health advice to keep washing hands, to wear face coverings, to keep 2m apart where possible and to get tested when we have symptoms, we will face more tragedy in the weeks and months ahead.
“More people will fall seriously ill, there will be more deaths and our economy will face another hammer blow, when it needs all the support it can get.
“We are living with COVID-19 and it isn’t going away soon, so we urge everyone to keep doing their bit to keep themselves, and everyone else, safe.”
Background note: The seven West Midlands councils are Birmingham, City of Wolverhampton, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall.