'Still wear masks in shops' urge health bosses in Wolverhampton despite Government rules changing

Health bosses in Wolverhampton are encouraging people to keep wearing masks in enclosed spaces - despite Government rules on face coverings easing.

The legal requirement to wear masks on public transport and shops will end on Thursday, having been stopped in schools last week.

Advice to work from home has also ended now Plan B restrictions are being removed.

However council staff in Wolverhampton are still being asked to wear masks when moving around buildings - and the authority is urging other employers to do the same.

John Denley, director of public health, said: "Although we have seen a reduction in Covid-19 rates over the last couple of weeks, it still remains extremely high and there are still more than 100 people in hospital in Wolverhampton with Covid-19.

"The remaining Plan B restrictions are being removed this week but we should not be complacent as the pandemic is not over and we need to remain cautious to reduce the spread of the virus in our communities.

"Face coverings have had an important part to play in helping reduce the spread throughout the pandemic and, while legal requirements to wear them are set to go we are encouraging people to keep wearing them in enclosed or crowded spaces, such as in shops and on public transport, while infections remain high.

"As a council, we are asking staff to continue to wear face coverings when they are moving around our buildings and we would encourage other employers to consider doing the same.

"Meeting people outdoors rather than inside and getting tested regularly are also still important and, if anyone develops symptoms of Covid-19, please remember to stay at home and book a PCR test as soon as possible.

"If anyone has not yet had their Covid-19 vaccination, or is due a second dose or booster, please get it as soon as possible as this will give the best level of protection against the virus."

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, cabinet member for public health and well-being, said: "Nearly 3,000 people in Wolverhampton tested positive for Covid-19 last week and, just because the restrictions are being lifted it does not mean that the virus will suddenly vanish.

"We have all got used to wearing face coverings over the last couple of years and I would encourage residents to keep doing so in busy places for a little while longer if they can.

"It is a simple thing to do and makes a big difference in helping to protect each other."

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