You can find the full guidance on the Government website: National restrictions from 5 November .

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with people, we reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the Government is requiring people to stay home, except for specific purposes; preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes; and, closing certain 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.

What's vital is that we all play our part to limit the spread of coronavirus, reduce the impact on the NHS, save lives and help us to return to a position where these restrictions can be lifted.

Even though many of our shops are currently unable to open, many sell their products online or offer click and collect or delivery services - so please continue to support local businesses wherever you can. I mentioned last week that we were about to launch our shop local, visit local, support local campaign. We now plan to adapt this to reflect the changes that have been made under the national restrictions. Even though many shops have to close their doors for the next four weeks, the message is still relevant - please continue to support our local businesses in whatever way you can. You will also receive a copy of our initiatives magazine shortly where this campaign is highlighted. Please be aware that this was produced before the national restrictions were announced.

As a council, we are working with all of our partners to support you through this challenging time and to make sure that you access the support you need. For us, it is very much business as usual. Our staff are busy reviewing all of the latest government guidance and support. The Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - also known as the furlough scheme - will remain open until December. You can find out more on the  Government website . In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 a month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant and further support is also expected to be made available. As soon as we have the details on this, we will make sure that you are aware of how to access this support.

Protecting the vulnerable is also a key priority. The Government's shielding programme will not be active during this national lockdown. Instead, those who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable will be contacted by the Government with detailed advice to follow while the new restrictions are in place. 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 Hub . 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. I would like to personally thank all of those who are playing their part to support their local communities.

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 online at Chichester Wellbeing or by calling 01243 521041.

As the situation around coronavirus changes, 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 our email newsletter so that we can all be prepared and play our part in the fight against the virus.

Finally, I just want to thank you for playing your part in helping to defeat this virus. By working together and following the Government's guidance we will get through this.

Best Wishes

 

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council