Weekly Update: 28th August 2020
Birmingham avoids lockdown but some restrictions introduced
A rise in Covid-19 cases in some parts of Birmingham led to the Council warning of a possible lockdown or new restrictions. In the end lockdown was avoided and action is mainly greater enforcement of rules affecting businesses, although this will have knock-on effects on citizens. Even though there had been local spikes, the number of new cases dropped from 30 to 23 in 100,000. Additionally, there have been no new hospital admissions or Covid deaths in Birmingham for 28 days.
However, people should not be complacent. The rise in cases was mainly connected to younger people (under 50) as they returned to work and the hospitality sector re-opened. Although anyone can catch Covid-19, not everyone suffers badly from it. Younger people who are fit & healthy report symptoms no worse than a very bad cold or flu. However, council leaders are worried that people who are only mildly unwell or asymptomatic may transmit the virus to older people 70+ and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, putting their lives at risk.
Here’s a reminder of the rules and guidance on gatherings:
- No more than two households should meet indoors (including gardens).
A single adult household may form a support bubble with another household of any size – so a support bubble and one other household can meet indoors. Maximum 30 people.
- No more than 6 people from different households or 30 from two households should meet outdoors.
It is not necessary to wear a face cover outdoors but you should maintain 2 metres distance from people you’re meeting.
- If you go to a restaurant or pub, the proprietors should take your name and contact details for tracing close contacts of anyone who tests positive for Covid-19.
Restaurants and pubs are requested to retain the information for 21 days. You can ask to see their data protection policies to check they comply with the Data Protection Act.
- If you display any of the main symptoms of Covid-19, you are asked to self-isolate and book a test BookNHSTestOnline or call 119.
If you have a positive result, NHS Test & Trace will contact you to ask you for your recent close contacts so they can be invited to take tests.
- Unless you are medically exempt, it is compulsory to wear a face cover (covering your nose and mouth) on all forms of public transport and in certain indoor spaces including shops, banks, building societies, post offices, museums, art galleries, cinemas, libraries and transport hubs.
With effect from 28.8.2020, the fine for refusing to wear a face covering will be increased to start at £100, doubling on non-payment up to a maximum of £3,200
Measures being introduced in Birmingham from Wednesday 26th August –
- Restaurants can only take bookings of a maximum of 6 people or two households
- Businesses that fail to conduct proper risk assessments or to make their premises ‘Covid-secure’ could be fined and even shut down
- Weddings and funerals could be prohibited on the basis of maximum event size
- Other events may take place but with a strict limit of 30
- The Council could shut down or restrict access to public spaces
Fines for illegal gatherings – NEW
- Anyone organising an illegal gathering (ie more than 30 people) can be fined up to £10K
- Anyone attending an illegal gathering may be fined £100 which will double on non-payment up to a maximum of £3,200
The new fines will come into place on Friday 28.8.2020 Fines28-8-20
- The best ways of reducing transmission are
- Maintaining social distance
- Frequent thorough handwashing
- Good respiratory hygiene
A group of universities developed a toolkit for infection control ‘Germ Defence’ which has been updated to cover Covid-19: https://www.germdefence.org/protectYourself3.html
It helps you identify the potential hazards in your daily life and suggests ways of reducing the risk of transmitting or contracting the virus.
http://chs.germdefence.org/index.html < for Chinese version of Update
Birmingham Council is rolling out a new ‘BHealthy’ campaign promoting:
- Healthy eating
- Weight loss/management
- Physical activity
Obesity has been found to be a risk factor in Covid-19, therefore improving the population’s health will save lives as well as protect the NHS from being overwhelmed.
We will give more details on the BHealthy campaign over the next few weeks.
The Government expects all schools in England to re-open in September.
The Government has stated that it will reintroduce fines for parents who fail to send their children to school; however, schools tend to levy fines only as a last resort, when parents/guardians take children out of school for ‘trivial’ reasons.
Birmingham Council has produced a short video showing how schools are making premises Covid-secure Covid-SecureSchools
Government guidance: EY_schools
The Government has announced that secondary schools can require children to wear face covers in designated areas of the buildings or if they believe circumstances justify it.
It will be compulsory to wear face coverings in communal areas in secondary schools located in local lockdown areas.
The World Health Organisation generally advises against children under 6 wearing face covers. For children aged 6-11, it depends on the circumstances; but the WHO advise that children over 12 years should wear them in the same way as adults WHO_Children&Masks
The ban on evicting tenants who have incurred rent arrears due to the pandemic has been extended by 4 weeks.
- 如果企业或商户未进行适当的风险评估或将其场所设置为“ Covid安全”场所，则可能被罚款甚至关闭