OXFORD will no longer receive extra support from the Government to tackle increases in Covid cases as infection rates have now dropped.

The city had an Enhanced Response Area (ERA) status for the past five weeks due to Covid cases rising which saw five walk-in PCR test sites open in the area for extra testing.

ALSO READ: The Oxford areas where Covid cases are rising and falling

However, from today Oxford will no longer be an ERA, but residents are urged to continue to take precautions.

At the start of July infection rates were 620 per 100,000, but the latest figures show these have dropped to 279 per 100,000.

Residents in Oxford listened to the call for action to bring case rates down and more than 8,000 extra PCR tests were carried out in the city, helping people without symptoms know if they were infected and needed to isolate.

Oxford exits the enhanced response amid mixed news on the pandemic in the UK, with 75 per cent of adults in the country now being double-vaccinated.

But in Oxfordshire, 69 per cent of 30 - 39 year olds, and 62 per cent of those aged between 18 and 29, have had their first jab.

Across the UK, deaths from the virus are starting to rise according to ONS data.

ALSO READ: Half of under-30s in Oxford still not vaccinated against Covid-19

People are therefore still being urged to take precautions to keep infections down.

Councillor Louise Upton, cabinet member for safer, healthier Oxford said: “Thanks to everyone who helped bring infection rates in Oxford down by getting tested and being careful. This has been a city-wide effort, I know it is difficult so I want to say well done to everyone who has made those small sacrifices and changed their behaviour.

“While we still have a lot of people who are not fully vaccinated we need to keep infections down.

ALSO READ: Oxford had the highest mortality rate in the county during Covid waves

"We’re no longer in an enhanced response area but we still want people to be careful and, most importantly, to get vaccinated. If you haven’t yet had your first vaccine please do book it as soon as possible, and do ask your GP or pharmacist if you have questions about the UK vaccines.”

From today, those who are double vaccinated who have been in contact with a positive case will be advised to take a PCR test, but will not need to self-isolate unless they test positive.

Children and young people will also follow this guidance.

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