Councillor Arooj Shah, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and cabinet member for Covid-19 recovery, said:
“We are working relentlessly here in Oldham to tackle the spread of Coronavirus, but, despite the efforts of our residents, businesses and public services positive cases continue to rise. Earlier this week we warned of the risk of imminent lockdown for the borough and, despite today’s announcement, those warnings remain.
“In the absence of a vaccine, an effective testing and tracing system is vital in the management of this crisis. We welcome the opportunity to work more closely with government both to improve our access to government testing facilities for residents and to deliver more contact tracing at a local level.
“At the same time, our door-to-door engagement approach will be stepped up across the borough, focusing first on areas with larger numbers of Coronavirus cases, to pass on public health advice and gain more information from our communities on how they can be best supported.
“We know people in the borough have, on the whole, been behaving responsibly and abiding by the Coronavirus restrictions. But the fact remains that rates are now rising. To avoid a second lockdown, we need everyone to act now – which means us as an authority taking stronger action, as well as our communities making changes to the way they live and how they interact with other people.
“For the minority who are not acting responsibly we will be more visibly ensuring compliance in households, businesses and in our public spaces.
“We are all at risk of this terrible virus and it is our responsibility to protect ourselves, our friends and wider society.”