Wear a mask in shops and on public transport – that is the urgent call issued by Metro Mayor Dan Norris to all West of England residents.
Metro Mayor Norris is writing to 10,000+ public facing businesses across the region with a poster to display in their windows urging customers to wear a face covering. He has also taken out a full page advert in local papers and has written to the Secretary of State for Health calling for vital additional resources for the West of England.
The Metro Mayor says the soaring levels of Covid 19 in the West of England are alarming.
⁃ In Bath and North East Somerset: 1075 per 100,000
⁃ In South Gloucestershire: 918 per 100,000
⁃ In Bristol: 761 per 100,000
This compares to a 484 per 100,000 England wide average.
The Metro Mayor suspects the sharp rise is in part due to the PCR testing fiasco where tens of thousands of local people with Covid were wrongly told they were negative due to the incompetence at the laboratory in Wolverhampton.
Mr Norris said: “Through no fault of the NHS, local civic leadership, local businesses, or local people, infections continued to spread unchecked within our region. Now we face a hugely difficult situation.”
Given that the problem was caused nationally, Mr Norris believes the Government has a special obligation to the West of England.
He has written to the Health Secretary to request additional assistance as well as renewing his call for Metro Mayor powers to make face coverings mandatory as is the case in some other parts of the country.
Dan Norris said: “There is a looming crisis. The last thing I want to see is more death and heartbreak with patients queuing on trolleys as our precious NHS is brought to its knees. As the Metro Mayor, with responsibility for jobs, I am also deeply worried that the regional recovery is about to be undermined. The government should be intervening now and I will keep asking them to do so. But they currently seem overly fixated on sticking to their Plan A when Plan B is clearly necessary.
While it is down to us, my message to everyone is very simple. The killer virus has not gone away. Flu season is approaching. I urge everyone who can to please wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Wash your hands. Doing this is the best possible gift we can give our NHS this Christmas.”