Councils across the country continue to lead the local fight against the pandemic. However, the Government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund is set to end in March 2022, which poses a threat to councils' ability to ramp-up efforts in response to the Omicron variant.
The latest ONS figures on alcohol-specific deaths in the UK show there was an 18.6 per cent increase in deaths from alcohol-specific causes in 2020 compared with the previous year and was the highest year-on-year increase since records began.
"As these figures show, more needs to be done to meet increasing demand and a huge amount of unmet need, with more than half a million adults estimated to have alcohol dependency, while a high proportion of those receiving treatment are living in the most deprived areas."
“It is essential that councils have the capacity, workforce and funding to stand up locally-driven testing and contact tracing as soon as possible, to be able to respond swiftly to any future outbreaks or public health emergency.”