'Complacency' has led to Tier 3 rating for Walsall - council leader

Walsall Council boss Mike Bird believes “complacency” has resulted in the town being placed in the highest Covid risk category from next week.

Walsall Council leader Mike Bird
Walsall Council leader Mike Bird

The Government announced the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire will go into Tier 3 after December 2, when the current national lockdown comes to an end.

This means strict restrictions will still be in place including bans on meeting people outside support bubbles indoors, hospitality businesses such as pubs, cafes and restaurants only being allowed to offer takeaway or click and collect service and a rule of six outdoors being imposed.

Councillor Bird said it was not unexpected and believes there are people who have become complacent and are not abiding by the rules.

He added there was evidence of increasing transmissions in some supermarkets in Walsall where people were failing to use hand sanitisers going in and out of the stores.

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Councillor Bird said: “It is not unexpected, I have to say, but the people need to keep taking the medicine until the disease starts going away.

“People still aren’t listening and as a result, these measures are there to improve the situation.

“They have got to understand the complacency that has crept in over the last few weeks has been evident.

“Evidence is now coming forward that a lot of the infections are being transmitted through supermarkets.

“That’s one of the issues we’ve raised now with Government about what can we do to educate people about using hand sanitiser going in, hand sanitiser going out.

“A lot of that seems to have gone by the board with some supermarkets, not all I would add. It is disappointing but not to be unexpected.”

He added: “It is a blow for business but the Government has two things it has to look at. One is the economy and the second is of course the threat to life.

“The recovery of the economy will happen in whatever way it will. It could be a slow recovery but it will recover. We look back over history and the economy has been in a state of despair on many occasions but has recovered.

“Unfortunately, if you catch the virus and you die, you are not here to see that recovery and that’s the message we have to get across.

“People need to put the complacency back in their pockets and accept the fact they’ve got to be very careful and abide by the rules that have been laid down.”

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