Coronavirus - latest update from Chichester District Council
Tuesday 4 August 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. It is currently issued once a month.
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 changes
- COVID-19 Recovery plan approved
- District Dispatch – Economic Recovery
- Council boosts tourism sector with £150,000 investment
- Free pavement licences to help restaurants and cafes
- ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme restaurant finder and reimbursement
- Parking offers
- We’re here to help – advice on accessing our services
- Project to increase short stay homeless accommodation reaches key milestone
- Council tax hardship scheme expanded to help more financially vulnerable residents
- The Novium Museum shortlisted for national award for lockdown activities
- Help us in our fight ‘Against Litter’
- Have your say on dog control rules in the Chichester District
- Beach goers urged to follow foreshores safety guidelines this summer
- Chichester Wellbeing launch online Move it and Lose it workshops
- Face covering mandatory in additional public spaces
- Free downloadable posters for businesses
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Getting Tested
- Coronavirus FAQ on what the public can and can’t do
- Better Health Campaign
The Government’s new ‘Eat out to Help out’ scheme has started this month, to support restaurants, cafes, hotels and pubs. Please see further details below.
The Government paused shielding from 1 August, but this could change if the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly. You can find more information here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
On Saturday 1 August, the government had hoped to reopen a number of higher risk settings that had remained closed in England. The Prime Minister confirmed that these changes are being postponed for at least a fortnight.
This means that, until 15 August at the earliest:
- casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed. Indoor performances will not resume.
- pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place.
- wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, but ceremonies can continue to take place, in line with COVID-Secure guidelines.
The government will also extend the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings where the public are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.
The government now recommends face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from 8 August.
People are being urged to stay alert, follow social distancing advice, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and wash their hands regularly. More information can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
All of our services are currently running as normal, but you can visit: https://www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus for all the latest information.
COVID-19 Recovery Plan approved
Preventing homelessness, providing more community grants and helping to support the arts and tourism industry are some of the immediate key aims of a COVID recovery plan that have been set out for the Chichester District. Over the next year, the council will focus on four key recovery areas: community and housing; economic; planning, health and environmental protection; and organisational. You can find out more here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34286/Council-sets-out-its-key-priorities-in-COVID-recovery-plan-for-Chichester-District
District Dispatch – Economic Recovery
Over the next few weeks, our cabinet members are explaining each recovery area in more detail through district dispatch. You can read more about this here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/districtdispatch
Last week, Cllr Roy Briscoe focused on the community recovery, https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34311/District-Dispatch---Community-Recovery - highlighting on how we are supporting our communities and voluntary sector, including new grant funding.
This week, Cllr Martyn Bell explains our plans for the economic recovery in the district, including how have been working with business groups and associations, parish, town and city councils, West Sussex County Council and Chichester BID to identify the support needed in each of our locations. He also explains about how the council will shortly be setting up a £250,000 grant fund to help eligible businesses with their recovery plans. You can read more here: https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34322/Business-recovery-plans
Council boosts tourism sector with £150,000 investment
A major-long term investment to boost jobs and the economy in the tourism sector has been agreed by the council.
We have trebled our annual funding to £150,000 as part of a five year plan to support Visit Chichester following the coronavirus pandemic. This will enable Visit Chichester – which supports holiday accommodation, venues, museums, gardens, retail outlets, the arts, the festival theatre and the cathedral – to pioneer new approaches to attracting people to the region. Find out more here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34280/Council-boosts-tourism-sector-with-150000-investment
Free pavement licences to help eligible businesses
Chichester District Council has announced that it will issue free temporary pavement licences to eligible hospitality businesses.
Short-term pavement licences are being issued to help pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops and ice cream parlours, which have been closed for months during the coronavirus lockdown. To apply or find out more about this please visit www.chichester.gov.uk/pavementlicences
‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme restaurant finder and reimbursement
Please support our local restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels by using the ‘Eat Out to Help Out Scheme’ this month. The offer can be used Monday to Wednesday throughout August and offers every diner a 50% discount of up to £10 per head on their meal, in any participating food service establishment. HMRC has launched an online tool for the public to find restaurants that are registered for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. The restaurant finder tool shows results within a 5-mile radius of a postcode.
Restaurant finder tool: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/eat-out-to-help-out/find-a-restaurant/
HRMC has also published guidance for registered establishments on how to claim the reimbursement for discounts given to diners with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-money-back-through-the-eat-out-to-help-out-scheme
Don’t forget, that if you are paying to park in Chichester District Council car parks, you can select two hours and get a third free if you use the Mipermit app until 7 September. You can find out about the app at https://www.mipermit.com/
Using MiPermit means you won’t need to use the parking machines, providing you with a cash-free option, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Plus, you can also extend your parking using the app, if you need more time while shopping. We are also offering free parking at Avenue de Chartres car park every weekend until 7 September. You can find out more here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/parking
We’re here to help – advice on accessing our services
Although our offices are currently closed to the public due to Covid-19, 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 now do this by visiting www.chichester.gov.uk/viewcouncilmeetings
- If you want to access help from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk or call them on 0800 144 8444 between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
Thank you for your continued patience and support during this time.
Project to increase short stay homeless accommodation reaches key milestone
The next stage of a project to increase the amount of much-needed short stay accommodation for people facing homelessness in the Chichester District has reached another important milestone. Councillors have reviewed the project proposals to redevelop one of its properties, which will provide an additional 17 flats for people who are homeless, and have given the go ahead to proceed to the next stage. It is anticipated that work will start on site this year. You can find out more here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34288/Project-to-increase-short-stay-homeless-accommodation-reaches-key-milestone
Council tax hardship scheme expanded to help more financially vulnerable residents
Leading councillors have agreed to expand a scheme to those who are struggling to pay their council tax in the Chichester District. The scheme has now been expanded to cover pension-age recipients of Council Tax Reduction and all council tax payers that are financially vulnerable as a result of the pandemic. You can find out more here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34224/Council-tax-hardship-scheme-expanded-to-help-more-economically-vulnerable-residents-in-Chichester-District
The Novium Museum shortlisted for national award for lockdown activities
Chichester’s award winning Novium Museum has been recognised by Kids in Museum for its Virtual Roman Week festival, receiving praise for providing engaging interactive online activities for families to enjoy during lockdown. You can find out more here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34287/The-Novium-Museum-shortlisted-for-national-award-for-virtual-lockdown-activities The museum and Chichester Tourist Information Centre is now open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11am until 4pm. You can find out more and book by visiting https://www.thenovium.org/reopening .
Help us in our fight ‘Against Litter’
Members of the public are being urged to dispose of their litter and instant barbecues properly this summer as people head out to enjoy the sunshine. Litter Enforcement Officers have been working with Chichester District Council’s Environmental Protection Team to tackle littering and dog fouling offences across the district. Find out more here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34263/Residents-and-visitors-in-Chichester-District-urged-to-dispose-of-litter-properly-over-the-summer You can also find out more about how you can get involved in our ‘Against Litter’ campaign here www.chichester.gov.uk/againstlitter
Have your say on dog control rules in the Chichester District
Chichester District Council is reviewing the rules for dogs in public spaces and is asking people to give their views in a new public consultation. You can respond until midnight on 14 August 2020. Find out more here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34265/Residents-encouraged-to-have-their-say-on-dog-control-rules-in-the-Chichester-District
Beach goers urged to follow foreshores safety guidelines this summer
The council is reminding people to follow its Foreshores Code of Conduct and maintain social distancing to ensure that everyone can enjoy the district’s beaches safely this summer. Find out more here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34252/Beach-goers-urged-to-follow-foreshores-safety-guidelines-this-summer
Chichester Wellbeing launch online Move it and Lose it workshops
Chichester District residents looking to lose weight, get fit and lead a healthier lifestyle can join Chichester Wellbeing’s online Move it and Lose it workshops. In order to comply with the current Government social distancing guidelines, all workshops will be held online. You can find out more here https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/34199/Chichester-Wellbeing-launch-online-Move-it-and-Lose-it-workshops
Virus isolation period extended from seven days to 10 days
People who test positive for coronavirus or show symptoms in the UK must now self-isolate for at least 10 days, rather than seven. The change, announced by the UK’s chief medical officers, is in order to try and avoid a resurgence of the virus. You can find out more advice on this at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Face coverings mandatory in additional public spaces
It is now compulsory to wear a face covering in shops; supermarkets; when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops; in banks; building societies; and, post offices. If a member of the public is in a premises where they are able to sit down and consume food or drink that they have bought, then they can remove their face covering in order to eat and drink on-site. Face coverings are also required on public transport; within indoor transport hubs; and, within indoor shopping centres.
From 8 August, face coverings will also be required in further indoor settings including museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.
Wearing a face covering will not be made mandatory in other venues that have measures in place to protect staff and the public from coronavirus. These include:
- eat-in restaurants and pubs
- hairdressers and other treatment salons
- gyms and leisure centres
The latest guidance can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
Free downloadable posters for businesses
In response to requests from local businesses, we have produced some free downloadable posters that remind people to wear a mask before entering their shop or business. These are now available to download from www.chichester.gov.uk/supportlocal
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Employers should be aware that changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme have been made.
What employers need to do from 1 August:
- From 1 August 2020 the scheme will no longer fund employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions. Employers will have to make these payments from their own resources for all employees, whether furloughed or not.
HMRC also published guidance on 28 July outlining what employers who have claimed too much, or not enough, from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme need to do.
Information has also been published on the penalties for not telling HMRC about Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant overpayments.
The guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested, has been updated to reflect that there is now a single GOV.UK testing service for people who have symptoms and want to get tested.
To get tested: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Coronavirus FAQ on what the public can and can’t do
The Cabinet Office FAQ outlining what the public can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak was updated at the weekend to reflect the latest government guidance. A section has also been added on looking after grandchildren.
Better Health campaign
Public Health England has launched the Better Health campaign to support people to live healthier lives and reduce their risk of serious illness, including COVID-19.
The campaign – unveiled as part of the government’s new Obesity Strategy – encourages adults to introduce changes that will help them work towards a healthier weight, with a suite of free tools and apps supporting people to eat better, drink less alcohol and get active. This includes a new app for the free 12-week NHS Weight Loss Plan, helping people make healthier food choices and learn skills to prevent weight gain.