Devon, Torbay, Plymouth, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have all been designated an ‘enhanced response area’ by the government today.
It’s because coronavirus case rates in the far South West are so high, so the government is prioritising the area for additional support to drive down case numbers.
It doesn’t mean another local lockdown, but it does mean that local authorities will have more flexibility to introduce additional public health measures if considered necessary, so we welcome this decision.
Here in Devon, most coronavirus cases are among late teens and younger adults. Socialising is seen as the main driver for the rise in case numbers. It’s not unexpected, given the removal of restrictions and the opening up of opportunities to mix. Our popularity as a major visitor destination also makes us busy with crowds, where coronavirus quickly spreads.
We already work with our neighbouring authorities, Public Health England and NHS Devon, but the enhanced response area designation means that we’re now also working with the government to see what else can be done to reduce Devon’s coronavirus case rate.
We need you to work with us too. Please do your bit by:
- limiting your social contacts to stop the virus spreading
- meeting others outside, because that’s safer than meeting inside
- continuing to wear face coverings when indoors in public places
- washing your hands properly and regularly
- testing yourself regularly with rapid lateral flow device tests
- having the COVID-19 vaccine when offered
- self-isolating and arranging a PCR test if you show any symptoms of coronavirus or you are told to by NHS Test and Trace
Devon’s Covid 19 case rates are among the highest in the country, and our health and care system are under extreme pressure – see more>