Being considerate of other people and getting double vaccinated is vital with Middlesbrough's Covid rate so high, Mayor Andy Preston said today.
Mayor Preston is "completely fed up" with Covid, but insists caution and common sense remain vital.
A further 339 positive cases were recorded in Middlesbrough on Friday, pushing the town's infection rate up to 1,139 per 100,000 of population.
Covid admissions to James Cook University Hospital jumped by 30 in the space of two days this week. The hospital was treating 84 patients with Covid as of Thursday.
Mayor Preston believes simple steps such as continuing to wear face coverings and being sensible about social contact are imperative.
"I can't stand wearing a mask," Mayor Preston said.
"They make communication more difficult, they're uncomfortable, but they're also one of the best tools we've got to protect each other.
"Wearing a mask for 10 minutes in a shop or taxi or when walking into a pub is a small price to pay if it helps bring our numbers down.
"The law might change on Monday, but the virus isn't going to suddenly vanish. I know that's frustrating, I'm completely fed up with the situation too.
"The steadier we take things, the sooner we can get back to a more normal way of life which is what we all desperately want.
"Please get both your jabs and think of others by acting cautiously while our numbers are so high.
"Legal restrictions around social contact are removed from Monday (July 19), but updated government guidance states people will be expected to wear face coverings in crowded areas.
The guidance also urges people to minimise the "number, proximity and duration" of social contacts.
Visitors to Middlesbrough Council buildings including libraries, community hubs and the town hall will be expected to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing.
In light of the current Covid rate, libraries and hubs will continue to operate on reduced opening hours, but the situation will be reviewed on a weekly basis.
Opening times can be viewed on the library service website.
Anyone with any symptoms of Covid-19 is urged to book a free test online or via 119. The person with symptoms and those they live with should isolate until the results of the test are known.
The NHS is offering hundreds of walk-in vaccine slots each week at clinics in North Ormesby and Thorntree. Timings and details can be found on the Tees Valley CCG website.