People urged to continue wearing face coverings after Covid restrictions are lifted

People have been called on to continue wearing face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces across Sandwell borough after restrictions are lifted next week.

The Government has ruled that Plan B restrictions will be lifted on January 27, including the requirement to wear face coverings, and work from home.

But health chiefs have said that although Covid-19 case rates have fallen over the last week, infection rates still remain "extremely high" across the borough.

Hospitals are continuing to see people with coronavirus admitted daily in the area, prompting calls for people to continue to stick with the safety measure.

Dr Lisa McNally, Sandwell Council's director of public health, said: "The virus doesn’t care about Plan B. With the latest data suggesting that one in 15 people have Covid-19 in our region, protecting ourselves and those we love is still crucial.

"We can all reduce our risk by continuing to wear face coverings in busy indoor areas and, of course, making sure we’re fully vaccinated."

People have also been urged to get themselves tested for the virus regularly and stay at home, then book a PCR test if they feel unwell – as soon as possible.

Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, cabinet member for adults, social care and health, said: “While the measures put in place under Plan B are set to be lifted, I encourage the people of Sandwell to continue to follow safer behaviours to protect themselves and others.

"These include: letting fresh air in if you meet indoors – meeting outdoors is safer; get tested and self-isolate if required; get vaccinated and get your booster dose; and please continue to wear face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces."

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