SHROPSHIRE Council is urging all residents to act now and avoid a local lockdown in any of Shropshire, following an increase in Covid-19 cases.

In the first week of September, Shropshire saw a further 37 confirmed cases, and council officials are urging people to continue to play their part and follow government guidelines.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s director of public health, wants people to take the message seriously to avoid lockdown measures being brought into the county.

“As we are seeing an increase in cases locally, and local lockdowns across some of the country, I must stress how important it is for our residents to help keep Shropshire safe," she said.

"The virus isn’t going away anytime soon, and we must remain vigilant.

“Some of our new cases involve young people, and we are seeing an increase of cases since pubs and bars have reopened.

"Most venues we have visited have excellent Covid-19-secure measures in place, but we feel people are letting their guard down and not understanding the need to social distance.

“We need to be honest with the public and ask them to act now to avoid any local lockdown.”

Council staff have been going around pubs and clubs regularly to ensure businesses and drinkers are observing social distancing measures.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, added: “I know we all want to get back to doing the things we love.

"However, we cannot do that if cases continue to rise. Let’s not throw away the hard work and sacrifices made by so many of our friends, neighbours and loved ones during lockdown.

“That is why it is important that we all do our best to contain the virus and prevent ongoing spread to others.

“Everyone in Shropshire has a role to play – by getting tested if they have any symptoms, making sure they continue to socially distance, washing their hands, wearing face coverings and, from tomorrow, only meeting socially in groups of a maximum of six people, indoors or outdoors.

“If you have symptoms, isolate immediately and arrange for a test. Tests can be booked for yourself or any member of your household, if they have symptoms. All tests must be booked in advance. Residents can register by calling NHS Test and Trace on 119 or online.”

Symptoms of coronavirus include a high temperature, new continuous cough, and/or a loss or change in your sense of taste and smell.

It is critical that everybody observes washing hands regularly and for 20 seconds; cover your face indoors where social distancing is not possible and stay at most two metres apart where possible.

From Monday by law in England, you can only meet socially in groups of up to six people indoors or outdoors unless you are gathering as a ‘household’ or ‘support bubble’ which is larger than six.