DUDLEY is to join the rest of the Black Country authorities in Tier 2 of the national alert system, with further restrictions coming into force from Saturday morning, the council has just confirmed.

The move to the high alert level has been confirmed by the government this afternoon and comes as cases of coronavirus have continued to rise.

The seven-day incident rate in the Dudley borough now stands at 243.8 per 100,000 – with 686 recorded cases from October 17 to 23.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: "I know everyone has made huge efforts so far in helping to curb the spread of coronavirus, and I want to thank you for all you have done.

"Sadly, despite this, cases in Dudley, as across the country, have continued to rise.

"Your efforts helped us remain in tier one, the last authority in the West Midlands Combined Authority area to do so, but we have now joined our neighbours.

"Our borough will now move into the high alert category (tier two), with further restrictions, particularly around social mixing, coming into place.

"It is vital we follow them. Figures are doubling every two weeks and we must act now to safeguard ourselves and our families and we all have a duty of care to our older and vulnerable residents.

"We know these are very difficult times for everyone, it’s impacting on our lives and our economy, but we can’t stress how vital it is we redouble our efforts and all follow these national measures to protect each other."

Bal Kaur, Dudley’s director of Public Health added: "We all have a role to play in protecting each other from coronavirus. We’d previously asked residents to voluntarily avoid social mixing in other people’s homes to help curb the spread of the virus, but this is now mandatory under the Tier 2 measures.

"I would urge everyone to continue following health guidelines and make themselves aware of the new measures so we can work together and stop the spread of coronavirus in our borough.

"Wash your hands regularly, keep a safe distance from others, limit your contact with other people and wear a face covering over your nose and mouth. If you have symptoms you must self isolate and get tested."

The new tier restrictions come into force from 00.01 on Saturday October 31.

Under the new restrictions:

  • People must not socialise with anybody outside their household or care or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in public
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or park
  • Businesses and venues can continue to operate in a Covid-secure manner, other than those already closed in law, and schools, universities and places of worship will remain open
  • Pubs, restaurants and bars must continue to close at 10pm (takeaways can operate after 10pm but only via delivery service, collection or drive through)
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees, while exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors, and indoors, as long as people are able to avoid mixing with other households and for youth or disability sport
  • At all times, people are urged to follow social distancing rules, wear a face covering, work from home if possible and travel only where necessary