Coronavirus: Sandwell traders fear possible local lockdown is ‘last nail in the coffin’ | UK News


Traders in the West Midlands market say business was already tough before the coronavirus – and now they fear a second wave or local lockdown could be the ‘last nail in the coffin’.

The borough of Sandwell, which includes West Bromwich, Oldbury, Tipton and Smethwick, is currently in the top 10 for regions in England with the highest infection rates.

This leaves it at risk of local government-imposed restrictions.

Sandwell’s infection rate rose to 28.1 per 100,000 people in the week to July 27, from 26.9 the week before.

Brett Packer sells clothes and home furnishings at a market in West Bromwich

Last month West Bromwich Albion was promoted to Premier League football, but now the region is climbing to a less welcome table.

In the city market, commerce is only just beginning to return to health after the rigors of the lockdown and none of the merchants or traders want to see a second wave.

Brett Packer has been selling clothing and home furnishings in the market for over 15 years.

He said trade was already difficult before the coronavirus.

“There was an uprising here every day, Monday through Saturday,” he said.

“But that could be the last nail in the coffin. What if we get a second wave that could really devastate the whole region.

“If they lock Sandwell and Smethwick, people will drive to Birmingham, they will drive to Merry Hill. They have to shop somewhere.

“And the danger is that they won’t come back. “

July 31: Boris Johnson delays easing of lockdown

The council is trying to prevent the kind of government intervention seen in Leicester, Greater Manchester, Blackburn, Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford.

He held an emergency meeting on Friday and issued amended advice to keep the infection rate low.

Deputy council leader Maria Crompton said: “Nationally, the government has advised people who protect to stop protecting themselves from Friday, July 31, but anyone in Sandwell who protects is strongly advised to continue to protect themselves. protect to protect oneself.

“We know people are eager to go back. However, we strongly advise people who are protecting to stay put for the time being and to get out as little as possible. ”

The council issued the following opinion:

  • Continue to protect if you are already protecting
  • Do not enter other people’s homes
  • Get tested and isolate yourself if you have symptoms

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said there were no plans to lock down boroughs in the area.

But Sandwell officials add the warning that if the new advice is not heeded, more restrictive measures are “highly likely.”


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