The recent government announcement of a new COVID-19 local alert level means that Walsall is now categorised as ‘high’ –with new government restrictions that came into effect as of 14 October to curb the spread of the virus, save lives and protect the NHS. The high category means a heightened risk of community transmission in Walsall. You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.
In the run up to Halloween and wider seasonal events, some hospitality businesses and communities have already cancelled planned celebrations in order to help keep the people of Walsall safe. Those remaining pubs, venues, and restaurants that are still going ahead with ‘mischief week’ events’ are advised that they must be fully compliant with the new restrictions and act in a COVID secure manner to protect their customers and staff. Businesses and venues that fail to comply with these restrictions may face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure.
Councillor Stephen Craddock, portfolio holder for Public health in Walsall said: “We have had a few enquiries from hospitality businesses and the community about Halloween, and the basic answer is that people still need to follow the rules and take action to avoid the spread of the virus.
“Walsall residents have worked hard to keep virus transmission at bay, but similar to the wider West Midlands region and parts of the Black Country, our figures have gradually increased. COVID-19, despite our efforts has not gone away -and as we head towards winter, we must slow down its transmission rates.”
“Whilst it is disappointing to have to cancel organised events, like Halloween nights, we have to put safety first. Protecting the public’s health and saving lives has to be the priority for everyone. So, if you are in the hospitality and pub trade please make sure you understand and follow the rules because lives and futures in the borough depend upon it. ”
“Therefore, don’t meet in groups of more than six, avoid household mixing, keep your distance, handing sweets out this year isn’t the best idea, but by all means decorate the house and celebrate within your families or bubbles.”
The Tier 2 instructions for hospitality businesses in Walsall now include certain businesses closing at 10pm, restrictions on group bookings and offering table service only. At least one person per household should give their contact details to the venue or check in using the official NHS COVID-19 app so NHS Test and Trace can contact you if needed.
You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants. Businesses are advised to review and update their COVID-19 risk assessment, so that it is reflective of the local COVID alert levels. This could include further lowering capacity, adapting practices to reduce the spread of infection.
What is a support bubble/household?
Notes to editors
For more on the latest COVID information please visit the council newsroom.
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