Government steps in as Covid cases reach 'unprecedented' levels in Oxford

Watch: Youngsters in Oxford urge others to get tested

Oxford is to be given rapid additional support by central government including increased testing and help to maximise vaccine uptake, as COVID-19 cases remain at unprecedented levels in the city.

People aged 18-29 in Oxford City will now continue to be able to access mobile COVID-19 testing facilities until at least the 18 July, as part of becoming an enhanced response area, joining parts of the north-west and the midlands.

Oxford City's cases remain firmly in the top ten in the entire country having risen particularly rapidly during late June and early July.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council's Director for Public Health, said: "Cases in the city have reached their highest levels during the pandemic and we are glad to receive this package of extra support from central government as part of becoming an enhanced response area".

Ansaf Azhar continued: "So we need to keep up our good habits and continue to follow that basic advice on washing hands, wearing face masks indoors in crowded spaces, maintaining good social distancing, ventilating rooms and meeting outdoors as much as possible.

People aged 18-29 are being encouraged to get the vaccine and use the mobile testing units, which are opened between 10am and 8pm.

They are located at:

  • South Park (St Clement's end)

  • The Blavatnik School of Government

  • Walton Street (on the right hand side of the front of the building)

  • Manzil Way Gardens, Cowley Road.

Governmental Mobile Testing Unit. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Meanwhile, the NHS is continuing existing arrangements for walk-in vaccination clinics in Oxfordshire at:

  • East Oxford Health Centre, Manzil Way, Cowley OX4 1GE on Saturday 10 July, 9am - 5pm.

  • University Club on Mansfield Road, Saturday 10 July - Sunday 11 July, 9.30am - 7.30pm.

  • Ewart House, Ewert Pl, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7SG. This new location will be open on Monday 12 July (10am) - Friday 16 July.

In response to Oxford City becoming an 'Enhanced Response Area', Layla Moran MP said: "The situation in Oxford is very serious, and this extra support from the Government is welcome".

"It's down to each and every one of us to follow restrictions, and guidance, and not let our guard down in the next few weeks".