Director of Public Health, Matthew Ashton, said: “Rates of infection have rocketed over the last few weeks in those age groups which have not yet been fully vaccinated and is having a knock-on effect for schools, hospitality and employers as people are having to self-isolate.
“This is a stark reminder that Covid-19 has not gone away and still poses a danger to people, so it is absolutely vital we continue to do everything we can to keep it under control.
“We are asking all residents people in the three areas of the city which have the highest rates of infection to get themselves tested in the next three days, as you can have the virus without displaying symptoms and be transmitting it unknowingly.
“Wherever you live in the city, if you are unwell you should get a test rather than just taking a guess. If you have fever, cough or a loss or change in smell or taste, you should self-isolate and get a PCR test so that you can be as sure as you can be that you have or haven’t got the virus. It is a good idea to get tested a couple of times a week if you are out and about regularly.
“We also need to continue to follow the rules around social distancing, handwashing and face covering, as well as limiting our contact in areas with large groups of people.”
Cabinet member for Public Health, Councillor Frazer Lake, said: “Covid-19 has impacted on all of our lives over the past 18 months but we need to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe in the coming weeks while the vaccine rollout continues. I can’t stress the urgency of this enough to everyone. Covid isn’t something that is going to go away on its own. We need to make sure we protect ourselves and others.
“Two doses of the vaccine gives you the best possible protection and reduces onward transmission, but it does not guarantee that you will not get ill or pass it on to others. That is why we need those who have had their jabs to also abide by the advice and guidance. Please continue with the rapid Lateral Flow tests twice a week, and if you have any symptoms, please self-isolate and get a PCR test.
“We all need to work together on this – only by following the advice and guidance are we giving ourselves the best chance at a return to normality.”