“COVID has not gone away and will continue to evolve” – that’s the message from Solihull’s public health bosses as plans to lift the final restrictions were revealed.
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on England’s Living with Covid strategy Solihull’s director of public health, Ruth Tennant, has spoken out.
She said: “Covid has not gone away and will continue to evolve – as it has done before – so we must be prepared for new variants to emerge over time, which could mean a fast re-introduction of the interventions we’ve had during the pandemic.
“The virus is still disruptive and we must continue to take it seriously with a rather cautious series of steps towards normality.
“We have better options to protect against and treat people with Covid, which have allowed us to start taking steps to manage things differently.”
From February 24 those who tested positive for the virus were not legally required to self-isolate, contacts of cases were not followed up and the the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme ended.
Anyone who was told to self-isolate before February 24 can still make a claim for payments until April 6.
In Solihull there were 261 cases per 100,000 people recorded in the week up to February 21.
There were 568 positive cases in the borough taking the total to 64,304 since the start of the pandemic.
Sadly, 716 coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded in the borough to February 18, an increase of four over the previous week.
Ms Tennant added: “If you have Covid stay at home and take steps to avoid passing it onto others.
“The basic steps of ventilation, handwashing and keeping your distance will all help to keep us safe.”