Coronavirus - latest news from Chichester District Council
Monday 28 September 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
- Hands, face, space
- Service changes
- Meeting others — the ‘Rule of Six’
- NHS Test and Trace app
- If you have coronavirus symptoms
- New package to support self-isolation
- The Government’s Winter Economy Plan
- ‘Let’s Talk: Climate Change’ consultation launched
- Have your say on local cycling and walking routes
- Refer a friend to this newsletter
- Solar Together
- We’re here to help
- Upcoming council meetings
- Whitehouse Farm medical centre statement
- Face coverings — latest information
- Number of coronavirus infections in West Sussex
- Community Hub
- Pop-up shop applications now open for the Christmas period
- We’re now on ‘Nextdoor’
- Preparing for the end of the EU exit transition
- Stay in touch
On Tuesday (15 September), the Prime Minister announced a series of new restrictions across England to help curb the rise in coronavirus infections. The Government has said it will go further if these measures are not successful in controlling that rise.
You are now being asked to work from home where you can and the list of places where face coverings must be worn has been expanded. A 10pm curfew has been placed on hospitality, leisure, entertainment, and tourism businesses. More Covid-19 secure guidance has been put into law, and the range of settings where this applies has been expanded.
Higher fines have been introduced for those who break Covid-19 rules. If you fail to wear a mask or break the rule of six you could now face a £200 fine for a first offence, while businesses that break the rules could face a fine of up to £10,000.
The list of exemptions to the rule of six has been reduced, and the planned return of business events and socially distanced crowds at sporting events has been postponed. The number of guests permitted at weddings has also been halved.
Hands, face, space
There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other:
- Wash hands: keep washing your hands regularly
- Cover face: wear a face covering in enclosed spaces, and
- Make space: stay at least two metres apart — or one metre with a face covering or other precautions.
Please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus for all the latest information about how our services are operating.
Meeting others — the ‘Rule of Six’
Earlier this month, the Government announced changes to the rules around social contact. You can still visit people indoors, but there is now a legal limit. When meeting with people you don’t live with, you can socialise in groups of up to six. This applies to all ages and you should continue to practise social distancing with anyone you do not live with.
The same rule of six applies when meeting people outside, and again, social distancing must be practised. For more information on meeting with others safely, and details of exemptions (including larger households and support bubbles) please visit: www.gov.uk/government/news/rule-of-six-comes-into-effect-to-tackle-coronavirus
NHS Test and Trace app
The Government has launched its new NHS Test and Trace app across England and Wales. Certain venues are now legally required to display NHS QR posters at their entry points so that customers who have downloaded the app can use their smartphones to easily check-in. This will help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus, allowing NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak. The app does this, while protecting a user’s anonymity. Nobody, including the Government, will know who or where a particular user is. Instead, someone’s postcode district (the first part of a postcode) helps the app work out where the virus is spreading.
It is now mandatory for the following venues and businesses to collect customer details as part of the test and trace scheme:
- hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
- tourism and leisure, including gyms, swimming pools, hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
- close contact services, including hairdressers, facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres (for events), libraries and children’s centres.
We have been communicating with the relevant businesses and venues about the change and explaining how to create the posters. This is really easy to do, by visiting: www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster We would also urge you to visit: www.covid19.nhs.uk/information-and-resources.html where you can access an explainer pack, posters and tips. A useful FAQ document on this can be found here: https://faq.covid19.nhs.uk/article/KA-01183/en-us
The Government is also urging places of worship to display a personalised QR code poster, even though there is not a legal requirement for them to do so. Venues will also be required to offer an alternative system for recording details for customers who don’t have a smartphone. For more information about the app, see: https://covid19.nhs.uk/ and for details about Test and Trace, see: www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
If you have coronavirus symptoms
If you have recently started experiencing a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell then you need to stay at home and self-isolate. You then need to arrange for a test within five days of experiencing the symptoms. You will need to isolate for ten days, which includes staying separate from those in your household. You must only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested by a public health official. Find out more at: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
New package to support self-isolation
The Government has announced a new package to support and enforce self-isolation. From 28 September, people will be required by law to self-isolate when instructed to by NHS Test and Trace. Those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result may be supported by a payment of £500. The announcement can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/news/new-package-to-support-and-enforce-self-isolation
New fines for those breaching self-isolation rules will start at £1,000 — bringing this in line with the penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel — but could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and for the most serious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.
As a council, we will be processing and issuing these payments to eligible people in our district, however we are currently waiting on detailed guidance from Government. We will be updating people with further details as we get them, but we anticipate that the scheme will be up and running by the 12 October.
The Government’s Winter Economy Plan — protecting jobs and supporting businesses
The Chancellor has announced a package of measures aimed at protecting jobs and helping businesses through the uncertain months ahead. The package includes a new Jobs Support Scheme to protect millions of returning workers, extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors, and help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans. You can read the announcement here: www.gov.uk/government/speeches/chancellor-of-the-exchequer-rishi-sunak-on-the-winter-economy-plan
‘Let’s Talk: Climate Change’ consultation launched
In January this year, Chichester District Council took a key step forward in the fight against climate change by officially adopting an initial Climate Emergency Action Plan, which set out a carbon reduction target of 10% year-on-year until 2025 for the Chichester District. The plan has now been developed to set out proposals on how this can be achieved, and we’re keen to hear people’s views. To have your say in our new consultation, visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/letstalkclimatechange
Have your say on local cycling and walking routes
We are developing a plan to identify long term cycling and walking improvements in Chichester City centre and the surrounding area, and we'd like to hear your thoughts in a new public consultation. The ‘Chichester City Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan’ sets out ways in which travel routes in and around the city can be made safer and easier for people who cycle and walk, including for those using wheelchairs, pushchairs and mobility scooters. To view the plan and share your views, simply visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/letstalkcyclingandwalking before midnight on 19 October. Please note that this is not related to West Sussex County Council’s pop up cycle lane scheme. WSCC are carrying out their own consultation on this, which can be found here: https://haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/highways-and-transport/eatfchichester/
Refer a friend to this newsletter
The situation around coronavirus is changing again, and so it’s important that people across our district have the most up-to-date information possible. Please encourage your friends and family to sign up to this newsletter so that we can all be prepared and play our part in the fight against the virus. Sign up at: www.chichester.gov.uk/newsalerts
Solar together scheme
We’ve teamed up with group-buying experts iChoosr and councils from across Sussex to take part in a new scheme that will help make solar panels cheaper and easier to install for businesses and homeowners. Homeowners who are interested have until 5 October to sign up for free by visiting: www.solartogether.co.uk/chichester/home. A supplier ‘auction’ will then be held on 6 October, when approved solar suppliers will bid to supply solar panels to everyone who has registered their interest. The most competitive bid will win. The group-buying scheme provides an economy of scale, so the more people that register, the better the deal should be for each household. The scheme is a great way to lower your energy bill while also reducing your carbon emissions. For more information, please visit: https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34417/Green-scheme-is-helping-to-make-solar-panels-cheaper-for-homeowners
We’re here to help — www.chichester.gov.uk
Although our offices are currently closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are still here to help.
- Our services can be accessed anytime, anywhere at: www.chichester.gov.uk
- If you can’t find what you are looking for, you can email us at: email@example.com
- You can also reach us on the phone between 9am and 5pm weekdays on: 01243 785166
- If you need to contact us out of working hours (after 5pm weekdays and throughout the weekend) and it’s an emergency, please call us on: 01243 785339.
- If you need an emergency face to face appointment, please call us on: 01243 785166 and we will arrange for you to be seen by a member of our staff.
- If you need to buy a visitor’s car parking permit, please call us on: 01243 534500 so that we can take payment and send this to you through the post.
- If you want to watch one of our public meetings, you can do this by visiting: www.chichester.gov.uk/viewcouncilmeetings
Thank you for your continued patience and support during this time.
Upcoming council meetings
The next virtual council meetings taking place are Planning Committee on 7 October and Cabinet on 10 October. You can access live recordings of meetings and all the associated documents at: www.chichester.gov.uk/Committees
Whitehouse Farm medical centre statement
The West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group recently published a statement regarding their current position on future GP surgery provision in Chichester and how this affects the Whitehouse Farm strategic development location. You can find their statement at: www.westsussexccg.nhs.uk/an-update-on-gp-practice-developments-in-chichester/
Face coverings – latest advice
If you work as bar staff, in a shop or if you are waiting staff or a taxi driver, you must now wear a face covering. This is to help control the spread of coronavirus. Face coverings are already compulsory for customers in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres (unless you are exempt) and also if you travel on public transport. They also have to be worn in banks, building societies and post offices; places of worship; museums, galleries and entertainment venues; plus libraries and public reading rooms. For the latest information on face coverings see: www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
Number of coronavirus infections in West Sussex
You can now access a weekly update report by West Sussex County Council which gives the number of coronavirus infections in West Sussex. You can view the report at: www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-information/west-sussex-covid-19-local-outbreak-control-plan/
We are continuing to work in partnership with West Sussex County Council and its Community Hub which is there to support the most vulnerable residents in our communities. We have been supporting the hub by collecting and delivering food, supporting volunteers, and calling people to check that they are okay.
You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help, or if you want to volunteer your services in these difficult times. This will be available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. The team will be contacting the most vulnerable to tell them how to get help. The best way to contact the hub is online; if you have access go to: www.westsussex.gov.uk/covid19communityhub
A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 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.
Pop-up shop applications now open for the Christmas period in Chichester city centre
Entrepreneurs looking to test the market and get experience of being on the high street can now apply for a pop-up shop space. Chichester District Council has opened up applications for the scheme for its two pop-up shops in Crane Street, Chichester.
The scheme was launched in January to help support small and start-up businesses in the Chichester District. Using shops owned by the council, the initiative offers affordable temporary premises for smaller enterprises. This gives local entrepreneurs the opportunity to trial business concepts and trade in a high street location without the commitment or cost of a longer-term lease.
Applications are now open for the Christmas trading period. Potential occupants have until 19 October to apply, with a view to potentially being set up and trading from the spaces by 1 November. Each unit is available for a maximum of 12 weeks and costs £50 per week, plus VAT, and includes utility bills. Businesses that have already tested the water this year include an ice cream business, a children’s clothes shop and next month, a Chichester-based artist will also start to trade at one of the units for a four-week stint. People can find out more information and apply for the scheme by visiting: www.chichester.gov.uk/businesssupportandadvice
We’re now on ‘Nextdoor’
We’re now on Nextdoor, a media platform that is a private environment designed for you and your neighbours. We can’t see posts from your local area, but we can issue messages and respond to your questions and comments. 21% of households in the district have already joined — which is incredible. We’ve had a huge response since joining, so thank you to those who have been in touch. If you want to find out more about Next Door please visit: www.nextdoor.co.uk
Preparing for the end of the EU exit transition
As we move towards the end of the transition period for the UK leaving the EU, Chichester District Council is now reviewing its position to ensure that we are appropriately prepared. Whilst the leaving arrangements are being finalised by Government, we are re-visiting the work we did in advance of Brexit last year and are ensuring that we are prepared to continue to function effectively as an organisation as well as supporting our businesses and communities appropriately over the coming months. Government guidance and details of the actions that businesses and individuals need to take in order to prepare, can be found here: www.gov.uk/transition
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