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Don't forget the basics as lockdown eases | Sandwell Council

Don't forget the basics as lockdown eases

Published 22nd April 2021

People in Sandwell are reminded to follow the basics to keep safe and help prevent the spread of Covid-19 as government restrictions ease.

  • Got symptoms? Get tested and self-isolate for 10 days
  • Use home test kits twice a week or book tests at our rapid test centre
  • Get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible
  • Hands, face, space – wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering where required, social distance from people you don't live with and spend time outdoors
  • Follow the rules on international travel – including quarantine and testing for people returning to the UK
  • Keep up to date with the latest government measures and follow the rule of six or two households when meeting others outside.

Dr Lisa McNally, Sandwell’s director of public health, said: "Infection rates have fallen fast but as lockdown restrictions ease, it's very important not to forget the basics or there’s a real risk of another spike in cases. If you've got symptoms, please get tested and self-isolate.

“I also encourage people to use rapid home tests twice a week – testing kits are available from local pharmacies and test centres. Or you can book a rapid test at West Bromwich Town Hall. Go to the council's testing webpage for more information. If you test positive using a home testing kit or rapid test, you MUST get a PCR test within 48 hours at a test centre to confirm you have Covid-19.

"If you are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, I urge you to book as soon as possible. The current vaccine take-up rates in Sandwell are really high and I hope this continues – please take up the offer to protect yourselves and others.”

Dr McNally added: "I would also strongly urge everyone to follow the rules on international travel and, if you’ve just returned to the UK from abroad, you must follow quarantine rules and take two tests.”

The Government has announced this week that India will be added to countries on its travel ban ‘red list’ for visitors to the UK from Friday (23 April). This is to protect against a new variant of Covid-19 and against other existing variants.

If you arrive in the UK from India before 4am on Friday (23 April), you must self-isolate for 10 days in the place you’re staying and take a Covid-19 test on day 2 and day 8.

From 4am on Friday (23 April), if you have been in India in the previous 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British, Irish or third-country national with residency rights. You will need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel.

Visit the GOV.UK travel abroad webpage for more information on international travel.

Dr McNally added: "We have also warned residents in recent weeks that if a local business isn't doing all they can to keep people safe, then don't go there. This includes encouraging social distancing and the use of face coverings as well as offering a QR code check-in and alternative sign-in for businesses such as pubs, restaurants and salons. 

"As lockdown eases, it is vital that everyone living and working in Sandwell remembers to take care of themselves. Wash your hands regularly, cover your face when in enclosed spaces, keep a 2 metre distance where possible and remember to only meet people outdoors.”

The main Covid-19 symptoms are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

If you have symptoms, book a test online or by calling 119.

Visit the Government coronavirus website for more information on what you can and can’t do as restrictions ease.