THE leader of Dudley Council has today issued a stark warning after recorded Covid-19 cases almost doubled in the borough last week.

Residents are urged to reduce household transmission by staying apart wherever possible.

Under the government’s new ‘rule of six’ it is now illegal for people anywhere in the country to meet in groups of more than six, indoors or outside.

The rule applies to most settings, except where additional members of the group are members of the same household or bubble or in certain settings such as schools and workplaces - and social distancing must be observed when people from different households or bubbles meet.

With greater restrictions now in place in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull preventing any contact between households – Dudley, due to its close proximity to these areas, now faces the possibility of tougher restrictions being imposed unless people quickly begin to change their behaviour.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: "Today we are faced with a stark choice, reduce our social contact or risk facing increased local restrictions.

"Covid-19 infection rates are rising rapidly across Dudley and the West Midlands, and the spread of the virus is mainly being driven by social gatherings in the home.

"New guidance limits gatherings to no more than six people in most situations, but we really need local residents to go further than this if we are to avoid the introduction of measures such as those that have been imposed upon residents in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull from this week."

The seven-day incident rate in the Dudley borough is now 30.2 per 100,000 with 99 recorded cases of coronavirus from September 4 to 11. This is up from 25.2 per 100,000 last week.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, Dudley's cabinet member for health and adult social care, added: "We are concerned about the increase we are seeing in Covid-19 figures.

"We all need to act now to protect our communities and we can play our role by remembering the all-important hands, face, space.

"People must remember not to gather in groups bigger than six and anyone who is symptomatic should ensure they isolate and seek a test."

Residents across Dudley are urged to

Practice social distancing when they are with anyone who is not a member of their household or support bubble

Wear a face covering in enclosed public places like shops and on public transport, unless they are exempt on medical grounds.

Thoroughly clean frequently touched areas in the home or at work.

Continue to wash their hands more regularly with soap, for 20 seconds at a time.

People with symptoms of Covid-19 - such as a fever, a new/continuous cough and loss or change to sense of taste/smell - should immediately self-isolate no matter how mild symptoms are and book a test by visiting or calling 119.

Latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at and on the council’s coronavirus pages at