Government deploys support package to Brighton and Hove amid ‘significant rise’ in covid cases
The Government is deploying additional support to the city following a ‘significant rise’ in covid cases.
The support package includes additional testing and support to encourage people to get COVID-19 vaccines.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said the aim of the additional support was to slow down the rate of infection in the area, allowing time for more people to get both vaccinations.
The wall of protection the vaccine is providing is severely weakening the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths, the spokesman said.
The support from the Government includes:
– Additional testing in the city at two symptom free walk-in PCR Mobile Testing Units, one at the Peace Statue on Hove seafront and one in Jubilee Square, by Jubilee Library
– Additional advertising and campaigning support and materials – to further promote both testing and vaccination, aimed at the highest risk groups.
– An engagement team to supplement the work the city’s Covid Marshalls and other council teams are doing in bars and restaurants and heavy footfall areas to promote testing and vaccination.
–The green light to ask all secondary schools and colleges with children and young people aged Year 7 or above, to reintroduce face coverings in classrooms and communal areas for staff and pupils.
As part of the enhanced support package, extra guidance will be set out on steps people can take – such as minimising travel in and out of the affected areas, to keep their loved ones and their communities safe, the spokesman said.
This approach has also been deployed in areas across the North West, and Bedford and Birmingham.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “Working closely with the local authority, we are providing a strengthened package of support in Brighton and Hove.
“We know this approach can work and it is based on our successful partnerships with other areas where there was a significant rise in cases.
“This extra support is intended to help slow the rate of infection as we begin to lift restrictions, allowing more people to get double jabbed.
“The most important thing that people in this area can do is take a test if they are offered to do so, practise hands, face, space and fresh air, and get their jab - the vaccine is building a wall of protection around us all.”
Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, said today that additional support is good news for the city, especially in the run up to 19 July when we expect many lockdown measures to be relaxed.
He said: “Our city is very much open for business, but the high quantity of Covid cases in the city means we need residents and visitors to be especially cautious.
“Most legal restrictions are likely to end in a week; however, Covid is sadly far from over and we must all keep taking responsibility to protect ourselves, families, friends and communities.
“I urge everyone to keep up washing hands, wearing a face mask indoors and in crowded spaces, maintaining a safe distance, keeping rooms well ventilated and meeting outdoors as much as possible, this week and after 19 July.
“Help keep our city open and safe.”
Speaking about the rise in cases, Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health for Brighton & Hove said it was important to slow the rate of infection while people are still having their vaccinations.
He said: “If you’re 18-29 and are living or working in the city, get tested at our new symptom free testing sites.
“This will help will find cases quickly so that you can self-isolate and stop the spread.
“The vaccine programme is a fantastic success and is weakening the link between infection, serious illness and people having to go to hospital.
“So I also say again to everyone who hasn’t had their first vaccination, please go and do this as soon as possible.
“Convenient, no appointment, no documentation vaccination sessions are open now every day in Brighton & Hove.
“They are at Brighton Racecourse, Hove Lawns, and at the Brighton Centre as well as other mobile locations.
“And, if you had your first vaccination eight weeks ago and are waiting to get your second, you can also do this now at the no appointment, no documentation vaccination sessions.
“Text your friends and family to support them to get their vaccinations too.
“All the details of these sessions can be found at www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/get-my-jab.”