Birmingham delivered the coronavirus vaccine at a historic moment today – calling on the West Midlands government to lift three-tier sanctions and resume business.
University Hospital Birmingham has received the first batch of the Pfizer-Bioentech Covid-19 vaccine – it is expected to be given to selected patients as early as Saturday.
Meanwhile, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and leaders of the region’s council will hold a virtual meeting today with Health Secretary Matt Hancock, where they will ask him to bring the region down to two levels.
Most of the West Midlands, including Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull, currently have three levels where limitations are most difficult. This means that hospitality businesses such as pubs and restaurants have been ordered to close without takeaway services.
In a meeting at the end of the afternoon, Mr Street would argue that the rate of coronavirus infection in Birmingham had dropped and that it was time to ease restrictions. The government will conduct a phased review of each region of the country on December 1 – making it possible to bring the West Midlands down to a lower level next week.
The mayor said: “Infection rates in both Birmingham and the wider city of the West Midlands have dropped dramatically since the region was relocated to Tier Three, and thanks to so much hard work and responsibility it has only been possible.” “
Meanwhile, a key regional briefing was held today where the future of the region will become clearer by Christmas.
This will follow a live blog and updates.