Seven councils across the West Midlands have called for Government support to ensure that Covid-19 testing is widely available as the Birmingham City Council leader warns they are ‘at a crossroads’.
Birmingham, City of Wolverhampton, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall councils said they have confidence in the measures they are taking to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
However, they warned that some issues were of ‘immediate concern’.
The council leaders appealed to supermarkets, bars and restaurants, calling for more consistency when it came to enforcement of face covering and the collation of customer contact details to help with test and trace.
The seven local authorities also urged the Government to be ‘absolutely clear’ with businesses about what they must do in order to comply with the regulations designed to keep everyone safe, from staff to customers and visitors.
Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: ‘We cannot afford to undo the progress we have made since the spring in the fight against COVID-19, but we’re now at a crossroads.
‘There is a continued resolve for the seven West Midlands councils to continue working in partnership to keep our communities safe. But we all need to step up and do our bit – if we fall ill with the symptoms, we must get tested. There can be no ifs or buts on this.
‘And we need the guidance from central Government to people in our region to be as clear and simple as possible. It is now getting to the point where many people and businesses are confused and unsure about what they can and cannot do.
‘If we don’t follow the basic health advice to keep washing hands, to wear face coverings, to keep 2m apart where possible and to get tested when we have symptoms, we will face more tragedy in the weeks and months ahead.
‘More people will fall seriously ill, there will be more deaths and our economy will face another hammer blow, when it needs all the support it can get. We are living with Covid-19 and it isn’t going away soon, so we urge everyone to keep doing their bit to keep themselves, and everyone else, safe.’
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