Social distancing barriers to be removed in Sunderland as covid cases start to drop across the city
Barriers put in place to encourage social distancing are to be removed from Sunderland’s busiest streets as the number of covid cases across Wearside begin to decrease.
Barriers were originally put in place to widen footpaths and allow pedestrians more space to distance themselves from each other.
As restrictions started to ease, the red and white plastic barriers were removed from High Street West, Athenaeum Street and Fawcett Street in May – and now barriers are also set to be removed from Holmeside, Vine Place and Newbottle Street, Houghton.
Coronavirus cases across Wearside have been reducing in number since the city saw their highest rates ever recorded earlier this month.
Last Tuesday, July 20 covid cases started to drop and have continued to decline over the past week.
Leading expert, Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (Spi-M) has said schools closing for the summer break is likely to be one of the reasons why coronavirus cases are falling across the UK.
He said: “I think what we need to think about, though, is that there has been a change recently and I think the big one is that, in a lot of parts of the country, schools have now closed for the summer.”
The expert in infectious diseases added that because students are no longer doing lateral flow tests twice a week in school, ‘cases in younger people are currently not being detected’.
Sunderland’s weekly rate recorded on Sunday (July 25) was 972.3 per 100,000 people, which is still far higher than the England average of 532.1.
But figures have shown that the number of new cases of Covid-19 reported each day in the UK have fallen for the fifth day in a row.
Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Claire Rowntree, said: "As we see all Covid restrictions lifted, it is great to see more businesses welcoming back customers and our streets return to normal.
"While social distancing is no longer being enforced on our streets, it is important that we remember the virus is still in circulation and continue to stay safe and act responsibly as we move around the city.”