Enhanced government support for Brighton & Hove to bring Covid cases down

Updated 16 July

Due to the high numbers of people currently in the city with Covid, extra support is being deployed in the city of Brighton & Hove, building on all the fantastic work we’ve all been doing to keep each other and the city safe and open for business.

The aim of this additional support is to slow down the rate of Covid-19 infection in the city, allowing time for more people to get both vaccinations.

This support includes:

  • Additional testing in the city, two symptom free walk-in PCR Mobile Testing Units:

    • one at the Peace Statue on Hove seafront
    • one in Jubilee Square, by Jubilee Library
  • Additional advertising and campaigning support and materials – to further promote both testing and vaccination, aimed at the highest risk groups. 
  • An engagement team to supplement the work the city’s Covid Marshalls and other council teams are doing in bars and restaurants and heavy footfall areas to promote testing and vaccination. 
  • The green light to ask all secondary schools and colleges with children and young people aged Year 7 or above, to reintroduce face coverings in classrooms and communal areas for staff and pupils.

Urgent Covid testing for 18-29 years olds

If you’re aged 18-29 and live or work in Brighton & Hove, please get tested for Covid-19. 

Cases are really high in the city in this age group, and we need to try and stop the spread while we wait for the impact of the vaccine to catch up.

Recent rapid increase in rates are highest in people aged 18-29 but rates are rising in most age groups.

Reintroducing face coverings in schools

Cases have also increased rapidly in school aged children and so we are advising all secondary schools and colleges with children and young people aged Year 7 or above, to reintroduce face coverings in classrooms and communal areas for staff and pupils from 13 July if they have not already done so.  

The exceptions to this remain: 

  • Where someone is exempt – we are especially mindful that this will likely to be the case for some of our children with additional needs  
  • Where the wearing of a face covering directly impacts on the ability to deliver education  

We know that some education providers have moved towards the partial reintroduction of face coverings already and we thank you for your support to help minimise the risk of transmission at this time.

Everyone, but especially 11-18-year olds at schools and colleges and their families and support bubbles, should still be taking Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests at home, two times a week and reporting the results. This ask will continue over the summer holidays.

Test before you travel

Brighton & Hove continues to be open for business. If people have made firm travel plans for the coming days and weeks, we welcome them. But to repeat a key message from the Prime Minister’s statement at the beginning of the week, the pandemic is not over and we urge 'extreme caution'.

We ask visitors and residents to take twice weekly LFD tests before embarking on any journey, especially if they’re travelling on public transport, to protect those most vulnerable and avoid spreading the virus. Keep wearing your face coverings in crowded spaces and meet people outdoors wherever possible. 

This is about being safe, sensible and pragmatic. This will help us to drive cases down.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council said today that additional support is good news for the city, especially in the run up to 19 July when we expect many lockdown measures to be relaxed. He said:

“Our city is very much open for business, but the high quantity of Covid cases in the city means we need residents and visitors to be especially cautious.

“Most legal restrictions are likely to end in a week; however, Covid is sadly far from over and we must all keep taking responsibility to protect ourselves, families, friends and communities.

“I urge everyone to keep up washing hands, wearing a face mask indoors and in crowded spaces, maintaining a safe distance, keeping rooms well ventilated and meeting outdoors as much as possible, this week and after 19 July. Help keep our city open and safe.”

Speaking about the rise in cases, Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health for Brighton & Hove said it was important to slow the rate of infection while people are still having their vaccinations. He said:

“If you’re 18-29 and are living or working in the city, get tested at our new symptom free testing sites. This will help will find cases quickly so that you can self-isolate and stop the spread.”

“The vaccine programme is a fantastic success and is weakening the link between infection, serious illness and people having to go to hospital.  

“So I also say again to everyone who hasn’t had their first vaccination, please go and do this as soon as possible.  

“Convenient, no appointment, no documentation vaccination sessions are open now every day in Brighton & Hove. They are at Brighton Racecourse, Hove Lawns, and at the Brighton Centre as well as other mobile locations.  

“And, if you had your first vaccination eight weeks ago and are waiting to get your second, you can also do this now at the no appointment, no documentation vaccination sessions.

“Text your friends and family to support them to get their vaccinations too. 

“All the details of these sessions can be found at www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/get-my-jab.”

Calling all 18-29 year olds working and living in the city

Where are the new walk-in PCR test sites and when are they open? 

  • Peace Statue, Hove Seafront 12noon–7pm every day
  • Jubilee Square, next to the library Monday-Saturday 10am–5pm and Sunday 11am-5pm 

Why should I take a symptom-free PCR test? 

  • 1 in 3 people can have Covid without realising. 
  • Symptom-free PCR testing will find cases quickly so that you can self-isolate and stop the spread. 
  • Not everyone in the city is vaccinated yet, there are still vulnerable people who could become very unwell if they get Covid. 
  • If Covid rates are allowed to rise, there is a risk of new variants developing.
  • Cases are rising fastest in people aged 18-29.
  • Many bars, cafes, restaurants, and pubs in the city have had to close in the last few weeks. More are at risk because staff in those age groups contract Covid or need to self-isolate – help our businesses stay open! 
  • You should not take a symptom-free PCR test if you have had a positive Covid test in the last 90 days.

Keep following the rules and advice 

Brighton & Hove is open for business – and if we all continue to follow the rules and advice, we'll be able to continue enjoying what the city has to offer.  

The basics

  • Wear a face covering inside wherever possible.   
  • Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.  
  • Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions like wearing a face covering.  
  • Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Keep public indoor areas well ventilated. 

Testing

Meeting other people

  • Take care and meet outdoors rather than indoors where possible.  
  • Hugging friends and family is allowed, but please consider the vulnerability of people you hug and the people they are in contact with.  
  • If you do meet indoors:  
    • Keep the windows open and wipe surfaces clean regularly.  
    • Up to 6 people or two households can mix indoors.   
    • Up to 6 people or two households can stay overnight in somebody's home.  

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four young women having lunch in a restaurant being served by a man

Aged 18-29? Get a symptom-free PCR test

If you're out socialising or working in bars, cafes, restaurants or shops, head to one of the mobile PCR test sites in the city centre to make sure you're not spreding Covid-19.