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Follow the new guidance – keep us all safe

Press release   •   Jul 31, 2020 16:45 BST

Health and council leaders in Bury are urging all residents to follow the new measures on not meeting other households announced last night by the Government following a rise in the local infection rate.

Latest figures show that cases of Covid-19 infection in Bury have increased in recent days, as in the majority of districts in Greater Manchester.

The restrictions cover Bury and the whole of Greater Manchester, along with parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

With immediate effect:

  • you must not meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden
  • you must not visit someone else’s home or garden - even if they live outside the affected areas
  • you should not socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions.

The Government has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions on what you can and cannot do: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

All other existing Covid-19 guidelines remain unchanged.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, leader of Bury Council, said: “This is not the news we wanted to hear, but it is essential that we all comply with the new rules.

“In the last few days, there has been a rise in the number of Covid-19 infections in nine out of the ten GM districts, including Bury.

“We need to act across Greater Manchester to tackle this and keep us all safe. We hope this early intervention will help reverse this rise and avoid the need for more drastic enforcement measures such as the type of local lockdown seen in Leicester.

“For this to work, we need everyone to play their part and take responsibility for keeping our community safe. Remember how quickly this virus can escalate – it was only 3-4 weeks between Bury having the first case in the North West and the full national lockdown coming into force.”

Cllr O’Brien added: “The evidence suggests that infection rates are rising as a result of transmission within households. We think that the sustained transmission is likely to be arising through the exposure of key workers and the increase in social activity following easing of lock down. This is particularly important in our region given the relatively high number of families living in large multi-generational households, and the higher proportion of people who are more likely to be in key worker or low-paid employment which adds to the risk of both contracting and transmitting the virus.

“I urge everyone to follow these additional measures and encourage others to do the same.”

While infection numbers in Bury remain low in comparison with neighbouring boroughs, Bury’s public health team have warned that the situation could easily change as coronavirus is so easily passed from person to person.

Lesley Jones, Bury’s director of public health, said: While this increase is a small one and could just be a temporary ‘blip’, it equally could signal something potentially more serious that we need to get under control.

“Our public health team are monitoring the situation carefully, and all will become much clearer over the next few days. In the meantime we all need to stick closely to the guidelines around social distancing.

“Coronavirus is very much out there in our community and there are steps we can all take to make sure we get it under control before we have to introduce further restrictions as we’ve seen in other places.”

Councillor Andrea Simpson, Bury Council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, added: “We all need to follow the guidelines to protect ourselves and the people around us.

“It is vital that everyone strictly follows the guidance on social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing a face covering where recommended. Everyone has a part to play. If you have symptoms get tested early, and self-isolate when advised to.

“If the rates of infection continue to rise, further measures may have to be taken. But as we head into the weekend we can all do our bit to stop this situation becoming much more serious.”

The message has been reinforced by Dr Jeffrey Schryer, chair of NHS Bury CCG. “As a practising GP in Bury, I know all too well the damage that coronavirus brings to people’s lives: in our hospitals, our care homes and in the community,” he said.

“People’s behaviour is crucial in controlling the spread of this virus, and action must be taken when infection rates rise. That’s why every single one of us must continue to follow the guidance on social distancing, washing our hands, and wearing face coverings.

“Only by everyone following the rules will we overcome this crisis.”

For the latest information on coronavirus and Bury’s response visit www.bury.gov.uk/coronavirus-localrestrictions

ENDS

Press release issued: 31 July 2020.