As readers will be aware, the Government has introduced additional restrictions across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull in order to slow the spread of Coronavirus locally.
The number of local cases in Solihull has risen from 84 across the whole of August to 135 on the 8th September. This means that as of 8th September, our rate stood at 63 per 100k with 5% of people who are being tested testing positive.
Full details of what these restrictions are can be found online at www.gov.uk/guidance/birmingham-sandwell-and-solihull-local-restrictions
The biggest restrictions which we will see in our town are those on social contact. The Government advises that you should not:
- Host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
- Meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble
For the avoidance of doubt, a support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size. For example, this may be a single parent, or perhaps an elderly loved one who lives alone.
I understand that this will be difficult for many of us, these restrictions are something which nobody wants to see but we must slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Those who follow my social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter will know that I have written to the Health Secretary about the matter of informal childcare – namely where relatives help with childcare after schools, nurseries and other formal childcare settings are closed.
In the case of key workers, this could mean doctors, nurses and other health professionals unable to find childcare when we desperately need them to be at work helping our NHS, or businesses recovering from lockdown finding workers unavailable.
I have therefore urged him to make a small exemption to the rules of the local lockdown and allow grandparents or friends to continue to care for children of key workers and shift workers.