image captionThe new restrictions affect about 1.6 million people across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull
New lockdown measures have come into force in the West Midlands after the number of coronavirus cases rose.
People in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull are banned from meeting others who are not part of their household or support bubble, in homes or gardens.
The council is asking the government for an exemption to rules around child care after parents raised the issue.
Dr Justin Varney, from Birmingham City Council’s public health department, said: “This… prevents family members providing childcare, and that is having significant impact on lots and lots of families.”
image captionStudents at Birmingham City University arrived for the start of term on Monday
West Midlands mayor Andy Street warned people they must comply with new restrictions or face even tougher measures.
“Everybody now has to comply with these to give us the best chance.”
People can still go out to shops, restaurants and other venues, in a maximum group of six from more than one household, but the council told people to be “vigilant”.
West Midlands Chief Constable Dave Thompson said he understood it had been a “tough time”, but urged people to act responsibly.
He said officers would aim to “educate and encourage compliance” with the restrictions and would focus efforts on “disrupting flagrant breaches, such as large gatherings”.
Figures show the rate of cases per 100,000 in Birmingham to the week to 11 September was 82; for Solihull the figure was 71.2; and Sandwell stood at 64.2.
“I think you almost have a perfect storm… events have come together to almost essentially crash the testing system,” he said.