SANDWELL residents are being urged not to visit others at home and for vulnerable people to continue shielding, in a bid to avoid a local lockdown.

Sandwell Council has today issued urgent advice after the council’s emergency committee met to discuss the rise in Covid-19 cases in the borough.

It comes as 85 people have tested positive for the virus in Sandwell over the past seven days.

Despite shielding advice coming to end in England today (July 31), Sandwell residents who are currently shielding are strongly advised to continue to do so for their own safety.

All residents are also strongly advised not to go inside the homes of other people and anyone who has symptoms must self-isolate and book a test.

Sandwell Council’s Deputy Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “The coronavirus situation in Sandwell is serious.

“To avoid a local lockdown we’re strongly advising those who are shielding in Sandwell to continue to do so after the national shielding period ends today while there is an increase in cases locally.

“We know that people who are shielding are vulnerable to Covid-19 and they are more likely to become very ill or to die if they are infected.

“We know people are looking forward to going out again but we’re really strongly advising people who are shielding to stay put for now and go out as little as possible. This applies to everyone in Sandwell who is shielding."

Health professionals and council chiefs are also urging Sandwell residents not to visit others inside each other's homes.

Cllr Maria Crompton added: “We’re also asking people across Sandwell not to socialise with others inside each other’s homes.

“We know that Covid-19 spreads more easily indoors. So, we really strongly recommend that people do not go inside other people’s houses while the infection rate is increasing.

“We also need people to continue washing their hands regularly, wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport, to social distance from other people and – most importantly – to get a test and self-isolate if you have symptoms.

“We really need people to follow this important advice.

“We are seeing a significant increase in coronavirus cases and by working together we can do our best to avoid lockdown in Sandwell.”

Local lockdowns have already been imposed by the government in Leicester, Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Anyone in Sandwell in need of urgent help or assistance due to continuing to shield should contact the council on 0121 569 2266 or visit