THE council has called on residents to keep "playing their part" after new guidance was issued to people in Oldham and across Greater Manchester to help stop the spread of coronavirus today

Along with Greater Manchester and Lancashire, extra testing, tracing, isolation and vaccine support measures are being used in the borough.

Testing and vaccinations will, in combination with measures such as washing hands, wearing a face covering, maintaining social distance, and meeting people from other households outdoors where possible, help control the spread of the Delta variant, also known as the variant first identified in India.

Everyone in Oldham is being encouraged to get tested, whether you have symptoms or not.

Different testing options are available, and more information is available on the Oldham Council website.

Those who test positive must self-isolate immediately, and a range of support is available for those who need to do so.

Cllr Arooj Shah, leader of Oldham Council, said: “Here in Oldham we have been working hard to keep coronavirus rates low.

"Our case numbers are among the lowest in Greater Manchester, but they’re rising.

"By ramping up activity now we can stay on the front foot.

“To do that we need everyone to continue playing their part.

"This means getting tested regularly, following the guidance and doing all we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

“Ultimately the vaccine is our route out of this pandemic, so we’ll be pushing the government to get more vaccines to Oldham as soon as possible.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said today in the House of Commons: “Working with local authorities, we are providing a strengthened package of support based on what is working in Bolton to help Greater Manchester and Lancashire tackle the rise in the Delta variant that we are seeing there.

"This includes rapid response teams putting in extra testing, military support and supervised in-school testing.

“I want to encourage everyone in Greater Manchester and Lancashire to get the tests on offer.

"We know that this approach can work – we have seen it work in South London and in Bolton in stopping a rise in the number of cases.

“This is the next stage of tackling the pandemic in Greater Manchester and in Lancashire, and of course, it is vital that people in these areas as everywhere, come forward and get the jab as soon as they are eligible because that is our way out of the pandemic together.”

Early research shows that vaccines provide strong protection against the new variants, with effectiveness against symptomatic disease from the Delta variant is similar after two doses compared to the Alpha variant.

Even higher levels of effectiveness are expected against hospitalisations and death.