CAMBRIDGE City Council has welcomed the government announcement that, in response to rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will from 1 November become an Enhanced Response Area (ERA).
ERA status will mean more resources from government for additional measures to drive down recent rises in Covid-19 infection and to protect vulnerable people, the NHS and other vital services as the winter months approach.
Rising rates in older people coupled with building pressures on local health and education services led Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council to ask government to grant the whole area ERA status for at least five weeks from Monday 1 November.
The aim is to bring down infection rates which are currently higher in most areas than seen in January’s peak.
An application by Jyoti Atri, the area’s joint Director of Public Health – supported by the leaders of the county, district and city councils and health partners – for ERA status was agreed by government today.
The ERA status means partners can now push for additional support to:
- Accelerate and target 12-15 vaccination roll out to key areas and schools where infections are highest
- Accelerate booster vaccinations for eligible groups who have had their second vaccination more than six months ago
- Increase vaccination rate in areas with the lowest uptake
In addition, as part of ERA status further discussions will be held with the Department for Education about additional measures it can use in schools.
A government funded additional communications push will also begin from next week recommending wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed areas where people come into contact with those they do not usually meet.
It will also remind people to get their vaccinations, test regularly and particularly before attending events, meet with others outside their households in well ventilated spaces and wash hands regularly and well.
Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities and Deputy Leader, said:
“This reminds us that the pandemic is far from over, and that good ventilation, getting vaccinated and wearing face coverings are just as important as ever.
“I want to encourage anyone who is eligible for a vaccine or booster but hasn't yet had one to get their jab as soon as possible.
“I urge residents to wear a face covering, unless they are exempt, especially in crowded spaces, on public transport and where appropriate indoors.”