Monday 2 November 2020
Issued by the Communications Team – firstname.lastname@example.org
This briefing is to keep you updated on the evolving situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) and the actions being taken in the district.
Who does it affect?
- Residents and businesses within the district
- Chichester District Council staff and councillors
- Parish councils
- Community groups and charitable organisations
In this briefing
- Latest update
- Service Status
- Staying safe outside of the home – Hands, Face, Space
- Businesses and Venues
- Furlough Scheme Extension and Business Support Grants
- Protecting the vulnerable
- Hardship Fund
- Self-isolation payments
- Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals
- Going to work
- Childcare and children’s activities
- Visiting relatives in care homes
- Weekly local data
- Winter edition of initiatives magazine
- Share this with a friend
The Prime Minister announced that from Thursday 5 November new national restrictions will apply in England in order to try and control the spread of the coronavirus. You can find the full guidance here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November, the Government is taking the following action:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#stay-at-home
- Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#meeting-with-family-and-friends
- Closing certain businesses and venues. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#businesses-and-venues
These new measures have been carefully judged to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, whilst ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and ensure that as many people as possible continue to work.
Complying with the new measures will help limit the spread of coronavirus, reduce the impact on the NHS and save lives. They will be underpinned by law which will make clear about what you must and must not do from 5 November. The relevant authorities, including the police, will have powers to enforce the law – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
Further guidance is expected to be released over the next few days and we will share this with you as soon as we can.
Chichester District Council services are operating as usual, except for The Novium Museum, which will close on Thursday and reopen when the national restrictions have been lifted. Our leisure centres, which are run in partnership with Everyone Active, will also be closed during the lockdown. An update on our services can be found at www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus
Staying safe outside of the home – Hands, Face, Space
You should minimise time spent outside your home and when around other people ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.
Remember – ‘Hands. Face. Space’:
- hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
- face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
- space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)
Businesses and venues
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include:
- all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
- indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.
- entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens.
- personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.
Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.
Playgrounds can remain open.
You can find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#businesses-and-venues
Furlough Scheme Extension and Business Support Grants
The Prime Minister announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – also known as the furlough scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#financial-support
The flexibility of the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can.
Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit, are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November – making this more generous than support currently on offer.
The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends. Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help through the:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-what-to-do-if-youre-employed-and-cannot-work
- Job Support Scheme (from 1st November) – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-claim-the-job-support-scheme
- New Style Employment and Support Allowance – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance
In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant and £1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly. Mortgage holidays will also no longer end on 31 October.
As soon as we receive the details about the Local Restrictions Support Grant, we will update you on this.
Protecting the vulnerable
The Government’s shielding programme will not be active during the forthcoming national lockdown. Instead, those who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus will be contacted by the Government with detailed advice to follow while the new restrictions are in place. You can find out more details here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#protecting-people-more-at-risk-from-coronavirus
We are working with partners to put in place a range of support for vulnerable people during this challenging period. This includes working with West Sussex County Council (WSCC) to deliver emergency food and other supplies during lockdown to people who had no other means of accessing assistance and supporting rough sleepers off the streets.
The most vulnerable people in our district are being supported through West Sussex County Council’s Community Hubhttps://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-information/community-hub-covid-19/ . We would encourage anyone who needs support to contact the Community Hub. The best way to do this is online but there is also a dedicated telephone helpline available for residents who need it: 033 022 27980. We are trying to keep the resources available through the hub for those who are most vulnerable, so if you do have support in place already, such as from family or friends, then please continue to use their support.
Many of our local voluntary groups are also preparing to respond to assist those most in need, including picking up prescriptions and carrying out shopping.
If you are living alone and feeling isolated, please also remember that our Chichester Wellbeing and Social Prescribing services are also available to help. They can be reached at https://chichester.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk/ or by calling 01243 521041.
We have been administering a hardship fund to give £150 to people in receipt of Council Tax benefit to help towards their Council Tax bills. This can be increased as part of a discretionary scheme and we are also able to help with rent payments through our Discretionary Housing Payments scheme. We are also supporting local community groups who have seen an increase in demand through our grants process, which has been enhanced by £250k to help local voluntary groups. Details of all these schemes, which we hope will assist families who are experiencing financial pressures during this time, can be accessed through our website www.chichester.gov.uk
If you are on a low income and have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace since 28 September, you may be eligible for a self-isolation payment of £500. To help stop the spread of coronavirus, people across England are now required by law to self-isolate if they test positive for the virus, or if they are instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. The self-isolation support payments are there to help people on low incomes and to encourage people to self-isolate if instructed. We are processing applications and issuing these payments on behalf of the Government. To find out if you are eligible please see https://www.chichester.gov.uk/testandtracepayments
Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals
You can find the latest advice here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#weddings-civil-partnerships-religious-services-and-funerals
Going to work
To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting vital sectors and employers. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work. The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.
Childcare and children’s activities
Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care. Find further details here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#childcare-and-childrens-activities
Visiting relatives in care homes
You can find the guidance here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#visiting-relatives-in-care-homes
You can find the latest guidance here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#travel
Weekly local data
If you are interested in finding out the latest number of cases in the county, you can access it here https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-information/covid-19-alert-level-weekly-data-and-outbreak-control-plan/
Winter edition of initiatives magazine
The winter edition of our residents’ magazine initiatives will be delivered to your door at the beginning of November. This was produced before the national lockdown was announced and so some of the campaigns we have highlighted within the magazine are now being adapted to reflect the current situation. One of these campaigns urges you to support local businesses. This is something we very much still want you to do – and so we hope to highlight which businesses are offering online shopping, deliveries and click and collect services over the coming weeks. Please keep an eye on this on our website www.chichester.gov.uk/countdowntochristmas and our social media channels for further details on this.