Further information can be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Local news

  • Service status
  • Vaccination programme in the Chichester District
  • Self-isolation payment scheme reminder
  • Support for the vulnerable
  • Business grants update
  • Help us support our local businesses
  • Register to vote
  • Online WellBalanced workshops
  • Christmas tree recycling scheme success
  • Stay up to date

National news

  • Prime Minister's statement on schools re-opening
  • The R number and growth rate
  • Update on travel restrictions to England
  • Latest findings from coronavirus study
  • Census 2021

Latest update

Yesterday, the Prime Minister gave a statement on the pandemic and on the rollout of vaccinations , announcing that over ten million people have now received their first vaccine.

We are meeting regularly with our NHS colleagues for updates on the rollout of the coronavirus vaccination programme in our district, and all updates can be found here: Coronavirus support for residents.

Thank you for following the rules of the national lockdown. Please continue to stay home; protect the NHS; and save lives. In line with the current restrictions, we must stay indoors other than for limited exceptions - such as essential medical needs, food shopping, exercise and work that cannot be done at home. For the very latest advice on restrictions, please visit the Government website .

Local News

Service status

The majority of our services are currently operating as usual, although our leisure centres, which are run in partnership with Everyone Active, and our Novium Museum and Tourist Information Centre, are currently closed in line with the national lockdown. An update on our services can be found at
.

Vaccination programme in the Chichester District

We are continuing to share updates from our NHS colleagues, and we are pleased to say that they are currently on course to meet the targets set by Government. We have drafted an update with information taken from a meeting we had with them at the end of last week, and you can view this here: word icon NHS Vaccination Programme update_29 January 2021 [16kb].

Please note that the figures referred to in the document will have changed considerably since this document was created last Friday. This update relates to our district and is in addition to the regular updates issued by the NHS, which we are also making available on our website at Coronavirus support for residents.

Our Leader, Cllr Eileen Lintill, has also provided an update in her weekly District Dispatch.

Conversations are ongoing about introducing a new site in the centre of Chichester. Our NHS colleagues are exploring a number of sites, and the final decision will be agreed with NHS England. They are hopeful that a decision will be made very soon, and if given the go-ahead, they believe that a central site can be opened rapidly. We will let you know the outcome of this as soon as we can.

NHS FAQs and contact information can be found on the Sussex Health and Care website .

Self-isolation payment scheme reminder

We are reminding residents that if they are in receipt of certain benefits and have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace due to COVID-19, they may be able to claim a financial support payment if they cannot work and face a loss of income. People can find out if they are eligible and apply at: Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme .

Support for the vulnerable

We are continuing to work in partnership with West Sussex County Council to support those who are most at risk. You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help in these difficult times. If you have support in place, please continue to use it. You can contact the Community Hub on 033 022 27980 or online .

Business grants update

As of last Friday, we had received 3,467 applications for Covid related business grants. So far, we have processed 79% of these applications and our team is working hard to ensure the remaining grants are paid to businesses as quickly as possible. If your business has been affected by coronavirus and you've not yet applied for a grant, funding is still available.

You can find details of all the available grants and how to apply at Coronavirus support for businesses.

One-off top up grants are available for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that are required to close during the current lockdown - these grants are worth £4,000, £6,000 or £9,000 per property depending on rateable value. There is also a grant scheme available for businesses that are not required to close but are still affected by the current national lockdown. If you own a business, please visit our website to see if you are eligible for grant support and apply at Coronavirus support for businesses.

A range of other business support schemes are still open for businesses that have been affected by the national lockdown in November 2020 and last year's tier restrictions. Find out if you are eligible and apply for all of the currently available grants here: Coronavirus support for businesses.

Help us support our local businesses

Many of our district's shops and businesses are offering online services, Covid-secure click and collect options, and local deliveries during the current national lockdown. Our local businesses have everything you need, so please continue to support local wherever you can.

To help you, The Chichester Business Improvement District (BID) has put together a directory of Chichester businesses that are currently operating as normal to deliver essential goods and services, as well as businesses that are operating slightly differently during the current restrictions.

The South Downs National Park also has a directory of businesses and community support groups covering the wider district.

Register to vote

Elections are taking place on 6 May 2021 to elect West Sussex County Councillors and the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner. If you are not registered to vote, you can do so by visiting Register to vote by 19 April 2021.

If you are unable to go to the polling station on election day, or would prefer not to vote at your polling station, you can apply to vote by post. Simply download a postal vote application form or call our helpline on 01243 521010. Application forms for postal votes and changes to existing postal votes must be received by 5pm on 20 April 2021.

More information about the May elections can be found here: Current elections .

Online WellBalanced workshops

Our Wellbalanced for Wellbeing workshops are currently being delivered online, offering advice and support for people aged 65 and over who have recently experienced a fall, feel unsteady on their feet or are worried that they, or their loved ones, may fall in the future. Developed with qualified instructors, the sessions give important advice about what people should do if they experience a fall, and offer access to a range of gentle exercise programmes led by instructors qualified in falls prevention, helping people to get back on their feet and feeling confident again. To find out more, call Chichester Wellbeing on 01243 521041 or email info@chichesterwellbeing.org.uk

Christmas tree recycling scheme success

We would like to thank everyone who recently supported the St Wilfrid's Christmas Tree Recycling scheme. We're really pleased to have partnered with the charity to help our residents recycle as many Christmas trees as possible while also supporting a fantastic local cause that's very close to our hearts. Together, we raised over £17,500 for the charity and prevented over 1,450 trees going to general waste, helping to increase recycling and keeping our district greener for the future.

Stay up to date

Keep up to date on all the latest council news by visiting our Latest News page. Here, you can read about:

  • Work starting on a project to provide new short-stay homeless accommodation in the district
  • Textiles and small electrical items to be recycled as part of a new kerbside collection trial, and
  • Our Leader's weekly District Dispatch column

National news

Prime Minister's statement on schools re-opening

At the end of last week, the Prime Minister announced that it will not be possible to resume face-to-face learning immediately after the February half-term but hopes it will be safe to reopen schools and colleges from Monday 8 March.

  • Councils, education settings, students, parents and carers will be given at least two weeks' notice to prepare for a return to face-to-face education
  • Schools and colleges will remain open to vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers after February half-term, as they are now
  • Early years provision should continue to remain open throughout and should continue to allow all children to attend full time or their usual timetabled hours. This includes early years registered nurseries and childminders, maintained nursery schools, as well as nursery classes in schools and other pre-reception provision on school sites.

The Government has committed to providing a catch-up programme including a further £300m funding for early years, schools and colleges for tutoring, the development of specific initiatives for summer schools and a coronavirus premium to support catch-up.

The Government will also continue to provide support for pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals through the national voucher scheme or lunch parcels to those learning at home during term time next half-term. Support will also be available during the half-term holiday for vulnerable families through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme. You can find out more on this here: Free school meals .

The R number and growth rate in the UK

The Government has published the latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of coronavirus in the UK . The R number is currently between 0.7 and 1.1, meaning that, on average, every ten people infected will infect between seven and eleven other people.

Update on travel restrictions to England

The Government has added Burundi, Rwanda and United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the travel ban list. People who have been in, or transited through, the countries on the list in the last ten days will not be granted access to the UK. This does not include British and Irish Nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, who will be able to enter the UK but will be required to self-isolate for ten days on arrival along with their household. The announcement can be viewed on the Government website .

Latest findings from coronavirus study

On 28 January, Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI published results from the latest significant study into coronavirus infections in England.

Final findings from the study show infections remained very high between 6 and 22 January with one in 64 people infected. The report shows infections in England have flattened but are at the highest level recorded by REACT, one of the country's largest studies into COVID-19 infections in England, with the indication of a decline at the end of the reporting period. The report can be viewed on the Government website .

Census 2021

The next census in England and Wales is taking place on 21 March 2021. Run by the Office for National Statistics, the census is a once-in-a-decade survey that helps provide a unique snapshot of the society we live in. The information you give helps all kinds of organisations, from local authorities to charities, to help plan and provide the services we all need, including transport, education and healthcare. By taking part, you will be helping make sure you and your community get the services needed now and in the future.

In March, you will receive a letter in the post inviting you to take part and giving you all the details on how to do this. In the meantime, you can find out more about the census at Gov.uk - census  where you will find lots of information, including how data is kept safe and how you will be invited to submit your census form.

Share this with a friend

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 this newsletter so that we can all be prepared and play our part in the fight against the virus.