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People in Birmingham, Sollihull and Sandwell will be banned from socialising with anyone outside of their households after a rise in coronavirus cases.
West Midlands mayor Andy Street said the restrictions apply to Birmingham and neighbouring Solihull and Sandwell boroughs.
The latest seven-day infection rate for the city to September 8 showed 78.2 cases per 100,000 with 892 cases recorded – among the highest in Birmingham since April’s peak.
The city’s director of public health Dr Justin Varney said the uptick in cases was “linked primarily to private household gatherings” at the end of August and across the bank holiday weekend.
In a statement, Mr Street said: “The following areas will now be escalated to an area of national intervention, with a ban on people socialising with people outside their own household.
“The ban will take effect from Tuesday, September 15, but residents are advised to avoid household mixing before then as it has been identified as one of the drivers of transmission.”
He added that the bans applied to the whole of Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull.
Mr Street, addressing a weekly call with journalists on Friday, concluded the statement by saying: “This decision has been made in collaboration with local leaders who are considering additional local measures to tackle the increase in the number of cases.”
He added: “So to emphasise, this is about mixing between households, it is not about prevention of schools, workplaces, transport, any of the other options – it is about household mixing.”
The mayor also said younger people “had got to take responsibility” with the biggest growth in the under-40s age groups.
Councillor Ian Ward, the leader of Birmingham City Council, said there had been a rise in percentage of cases reported, including from “people of a white ethnicity”.
He said there had been “an increase of hospital admissions with Covid-19 and an increase in cases in care homes”.
“The spread appears to be primarily occurring through social interactions, especially private household gatherings, and workplaces where social-distancing is not being observed,” he added.
Licensed premises, like pubs and bars, and restaurants flouting contact-tracing rules and social distancing, are also believed to be part of the problem behind rising rates.
Cllr Ward said: “The city’s position now is that we have become an area of intervention in line with places such as Greater Manchester.”
Mr Street said the full Government announcement on measures, potentially affecting other areas of the country, would be made “later”.