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
  • Apply for business grants
  • Support for the vulnerable
  • Keep updated on the Local Plan Review with our new email newsletter
  • Stay up-to-date

National news

  • Letters to clinically extremely vulnerable people
  • More people identified as being at high risk from COVID-19
  • Next cohort invited for vaccination
  • Coronavirus home testing kits now easier to order
  • Arrivals from high risk destinations
  • UK points-based Immigration system update
  • Webinars and videos for organisations that trade with the EU
  • Support for renters extended
  • I've had / I'll get my vaccine campaign
  • Increased support for fishing and shellfish businesses

Latest update

The vaccination roll-out programme continues to go from strength to strength, with the Prime Minister announcing that all adults will be invited for their vaccination by the end of July.

Locally, we are delighted that our Westgate Leisure Centre is now operating as a vaccination centre, with the first members of the public attending last Thursday. Some people have been asking us about parking arrangements, and we are currently providing two hours' free parking to users of the centre.

We continue to keep in regular contact with our NHS colleagues for local vaccination rollout updates and you can find more information at: Coronavirus support for residents.

This week, the Prime Minister announced his four-step plan that will take England out of lockdown and prevent the country from returning to any future lockdown. During the first step, the Government's first priority is to ensure that children return to face-to-face teaching in schools and colleges from Monday 8 March.

From this date the following will also apply:

  • Outdoor after school sports allowed
  • Care home residents allowed one regular visitor indoors and able to hold hands.
  • Two people will be allowed to sit together outdoors.

These will be the following steps:

Step 2 - no earlier than 12 April: re-opening of non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres.

Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May: the Government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances.

Step 4 - no earlier than 21 June: the Government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact. Before Step 4 begins, a review will be carried out into social distancing and other long-term measures that have been put in place to cut transmission.

The Community Testing Programme is being extended until at least the end of June. A new Community Collect model will be launching so that families, small businesses and the self-employed can take away rapid tests from some Government and council sites. At this stage we do not know if this will include our council.

People will also soon be able to have rapid lateral flow tests delivered straight to their home, allowing them to carry out tests when it is most convenient.

Mr Johnson said that the Government would be a taking a very cautious approach to further relaxing of restrictions and that it would be guided by the science. Any further easing would depend on whether conditions relating to the vaccine rollout, hospitalisations, infection rates and new variants were all being met. The easing of restrictions also depends on everyone following the rules for each step.

More restrictions are expected to be lifted approximately every five weeks, although the Prime Minister said that plans will be moved back if the data shows that it is necessary. Full details of the plans can be found at COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 .

It was also announced this week that research in England and Scotland is showing that the Covid vaccines are having a significant impact on the risk of serious illness.

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

The Westgate vaccination centre is now open. Residents who are eligible for vaccinations are being written to directly by the NHS and invited to book an appointment. You can find out the full details on the  Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust website .

We are sharing updates from the NHS as we receive them, and these can all be found on our website at Coronavirus support for residents. NHS FAQs and contact information can be found here: Sussex COVID-19 vaccination programme FAQs .

Apply for business grants

If your business has been affected by coronavirus, funding is still available. 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. 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. Please do take the time to check our website to see if you qualify for Government funding. This funding is there to help businesses, so do please reach out to us. You can find out if you are eligible and apply here: Coronavirus support for businesses.

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 .

Keep updated on the Local Plan Review with our new email newsletter

We will soon be launching a new email newsletter specifically designed to keep you informed of our progress with the Local Plan Review. These regular newsletters will explain the areas of work that we are currently focusing on and will highlight how you can have your say throughout the process. To receive these, simply fill in our quick and easy sign up form at Sign up to the Local Plan Review email newsletter.

Stay up to date

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

  • any new media releases
  • our Leader's weekly District Dispatch column, and
  • previous issues of our newsletter that you may have missed.

National news

Letters to clinically extremely vulnerable people

The Government has published reference-only versions of the letters it sent to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable , following additions announced to the Shielded Patient List. This includes letters for adults, children, young people and high-risk individuals.

The latest Government guidance on shielding can be found on the  Government website .

More people identified as being at high risk from COVID-19

The Department for Health and Social Care have identified up to 1.7 million further people who may be at high risk from COVID-19 .

Those within this group who are over 70 will have already been invited for vaccination and 820,000 adults between 19 and 69 years will now be prioritised for a vaccination.

Those identified will soon be sent a letter from NHS England explaining that their risk factors may help identify them as high clinical risk and that they are included within the support and advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable. They will be invited to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible and will be given advice on precautionary measures, including shielding.

Next cohort invited for vaccination

The NHS is inviting the next cohort of people to be vaccinated . This includes those aged over 65 and other clinically vulnerable people aged between16 and 64 with underlying health conditions, who have not yet been vaccinated. Adult carers are also being invited to receive their vaccines.

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

Coronavirus home testing kits now easier to order

It's now easier to get tested following several improvements to the home testing programme. These include:

  • People who do not have access to the internet can now order home testing kits over the phone by calling 119, without needing an email address or any other digital requirement
  • A new NHS Test and Trace partnership with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to improve the home testing service for people with visual impairments
  • A new video-call support service with specially trained NHS Test and Trace staff that will assist people with vision impairments to test at home

Find out more on the  Government website .

Arrivals from high risk destinations

If you have been in a high risk destination on the UK's red list, you will have to enter England through a designated port and have booked a pre-booked quarantine package to stay at one of the Government's managed quarantine facilities.

If you are arriving but not visited a red list country must still quarantine for ten days at home and complete two mandatory COVID-19 tests on the second and eighth day after arriving.

Find out more on the  Government website .

UK points-based Immigration system update

The Government has updated the Employer Partner Pack on the points-based system for employers.

The pack provides essential guidance about the new points-based system for employers and your stakeholders and there are a range of social media materials with information to help employers prepare.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact the team at: PBISEmployerComms@homeoffice.gov.uk

Webinars and videos for organisations that trade with the EU

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are hosting a webinar at 1.45pm on 26 February on what actions businesses need to take to keep their goods moving, to export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will provide a run through of the main export processes. Sign up at: HMRC webinar .

Support for renters extended

Renters will continue to be supported during the ongoing national lockdown restrictions, with an extension to the ban on bailiff evictions .

The ban has been extended for another six weeks until 31 March 2021. Exemptions remain in place for the most serious circumstances such as illegal occupation, anti-social behaviour and arrears of six months' rent or more.

I've had / I'll get my vaccine campaign

Social media platforms and celebrities have teamed up with the Government and NHS to launch new graphics to show support for the roll-out. You can update your Facebook and Instagram profiles with a range of frames and GIPHY stickers which say 'I've had my vaccine' or 'I'll get my vaccine'.

The designs include artwork featuring the NHS, the Premier League, British favourite the Beano and beloved author, artist and illustrator Charlie Mackesy.

Increased support for fishing and shellfish businesses

The Government is expanding the eligibility criteria for the Seafood Response Fund to target catching and shellfish aquaculture businesses which have been affected by a reduction in demand from the hospitality sector in the UK and abroad, as well as disruption of exports to the EU.

The scheme will open in early March and provide a grant payment to cover up to three months of average business fixed costs incurred between January and March 2021. It will help catching and shellfish aquaculture businesses with costs such as insurance, equipment hire and port fees. Find out more on the  Government website .

Increased support for fishing and shellfish businesses

The Government is expanding the eligibility criteria for the Seafood Response Fund to target catching and shellfish aquaculture businesses which have been affected by a reduction in demand from the hospitality sector in the UK and abroad, as well as disruption of exports to the EU.

The scheme will open in early March and provide a grant payment to cover up to three months of average business fixed costs incurred between January and March 2021. It will help catching and shellfish aquaculture businesses with costs such as insurance, equipment hire and port fees. Find out more on the Government website .

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.