An unlikely messenger…
Working hard and fast to try to prevent a Leicester-style full lockdown, Oldham Council has been determined to catch residents’ attention with their many pleas to follow the tightened local restrictions – and in a bid deliver this message with a familiar face, they’ve enlisted the help of comedy actor James Buckley, most recognised for his role as Jay in the hit show The Inbetweeners.
Speaking in the video, Buckley says: “Hello residents of Oldham. How’s it going? Oldham Council, for some reason, have decided to trust me in giving you this quite serious message.
“Here’s a Coronavirus guidelines reminder to Oldham residents. No visitors at home. Don’t meet anyone you don’t live with in indoor venues. No care home visits. Take extra care if you’re shielded. Maintain social distancing.
“It is tricky. It is complicated, we do keep getting told different things a lot of the time. Just stay safe. Just isolate, stay safe, wait for this thing to blow over, and maybe we can all head down the caravan club when the time is right. Sending you all lots of love, bye.”
Latest figures for the area show a spike of 255 cases in the week up to August 8, reaching a rate as high as it was back in April – at the height of the pandemic. The council has now expressed concerns that if residents don’t follow the tightened guidelines given, the borough could face a full local lockdown – similar to the one which was imposed on Leicester in July.
Cabinet member for Covid-19 recovery, councillor Arooj Shah has said: “We are still seeing that increase in Oldham, we are really concerned about that now and this is a final plea from us to say that if you don’t act now we are looking at a lockdown,
“And when I say a lockdown I mean within days, not weeks – it’s imminent. We will be faced with a situation where if the numbers don’t go down we will have to think about closing stuff that we’ve just reopened, which isn’t going to be good for our local business community either.
“People have to take responsibility to reduce this transmission that we’re seeing. It’s really, really concerning and people need to do the right thing. Act like you’ve got Covid and people around you have got Covid, be that cautious and that careful.”