By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
Public health messaging around wearing face coverings in Nottingham is changing as Covid-19 case rates rise in the city.
Lucy Hubber, Director of Public Health in Nottingham City, said the authority is planning to change the message to residents, particularly on public transport.
It comes after case rates rose during the last week, particularly among children who have recently returned to school.
The comments were made during Nottingham City Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board meeting on September 29.
Ms Hubber said: “We are looking at moving away from saying ‘thank you for wearing a face covering’ to ‘you should be wearing a face covering’. The national guidance says ‘should’.
“We are moving back to an expectation around wearing a face covering on public transport.”
The previous legal requirement to wear face coverings in enclosed public places – meaning wearing coverings was enforceable by law – was removed in England on July 19. Since then advice on when to wear them has been issued instead.
Nottingham City’s rate of Covid-19 infection currently sits at 253 per 100,000, and 856 cases were reported in the seven days to September 23.
The case rate is below England’s as a whole, which is currently 354 per 100,000.
Ms Hubber added: “Over the last week we have seen an increase in cases very much driven through school age children. The rates remain lower than the rest of Nottinghamshire.
“In Nottingham, we have a really good vaccination uptake in young and old people but in the parent age population of 25 to 40 we are seeing low levels of uptake.
“In the next couple of weeks, we will probably see an increase in cases.
“For our NHS and police colleagues, we can expect to see that next hit in terms of staff absences.
“Hopefully it will be short-lived and then we can begin to contain that but it is something we should be aware of.”
She added that the 25 to 40 age group will be reminded that they can walk into vaccine sites to get jabs.