Somer Valley care home visits temporarily stopped after 'worrying' rise in coronavirus cases

Residents are being reminded to keep adhering to social distancing guidelines and wash their hands.

Care homes in the Somer Valley have been asked by the local council to stop letting in visitors after telling communities to "up their game" following a rise in coronavirus cases.

Dr Bruce Laurence, Director of Public Health for Bath and North East Somerset, said he "will not let the care homes go through what they went through earlier this year."

He described the measure as "cautious" and said he hopes it will only be for a "short while until we see cases falling."

Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) has also extended the dates of a temporary mobile testing unit at Paulton Rovers Football Club in response to the spike in Midsomer Norton, Radstock and surrounding areas.

Dr Laurence warned the community could be at risk of entering "dangerous territory" if the numbers do not improve, where they could face the possibility of "restrictions and privations of the lockdown period".

It is hoped visitors will only be banned for a short time. Credit: ITV West Country

Dr Bruce Laurence added: “This means paying close attention to all the rules of social distancing, hygiene, wearing face coverings as appropriate, and self-isolating and getting a test as soon as any symptoms start.

"It also means isolating for a full 14 days if you are identified as a contact of a case or have returned from a high-risk area abroad."

The first measure introduced by the council following the increased cases was extra support for licensed premises, like pubs and restaurants, to help make sure people socially distance and businesses have the right preventive measures in place.

The mobile testing unit at Paulton Rovers Football Club will continue to operate daily for residents who book a test in advance until 3 September.