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
  • Keeping safe when out and about
  • Vaccination programme in the Chichester District
  • 'Support Local' as businesses prepare to reopen
  • 'Restart Grant' scheme launched for businesses
  • Chichester markets set for a safe return to the high street
  • Support for the vulnerable
  • New 'Introduction to Nordic Walking' course
  • Virtual Easter holiday activities with the Novium
  • Stay up-to-date

National news

  • UK regulator issues new advice on AstraZeneca vaccine
  • Twice weekly rapid testing to be available to everyone in England
  • Guidance on getting help with daily activities outdoors
  • Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak
  • Countries added to red list travel ban countries
  • Pilot events to host audiences
  • Recovery Loan Scheme launches
  • Apply for the Windrush Community Fund
  • EU Transition updates

Latest update

On Monday, the Government announced that its four tests for easing coronavirus restrictions have been met and so the country will be moving to step two of the roadmap out of lockdown as planned. This means that from 12 April, all non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality, gyms, hairdressers and salons, and outdoor attractions can reopen. From the same date, the number of care home visitors will also increase to two per resident; all children will be able to attend any indoor children's activity; parent and child groups of up to 15 people can restart indoors; and weddings will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees. For more information about how the rules will change on 12 April, please visit the  Government website .

Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to six people or two households, and people must not socialise indoors with anyone they do not live with or have not formed a support bubble with. People should continue to work from home and minimise domestic travel where they can. The Government has also confirmed that face coverings should continue to be worn in secondary school and college classrooms when students return after the Easter break, unless exempt.

As of 3 April, more than 5 million people in the UK had received their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine. This means that nearly one in ten of all UK adults have received both vaccines and that the UK remains on track to achieve its target of offering a first dose to all adults by the end of July.

Local News

Service status

The majority of our services are currently operating as usual, and an update on all of our services can be found at: .

With step two of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown getting the green light, our leisure centres, which are run in partnership with Everyone Active, will reopen their doors for certain activities on 12 April. For more information, visit: Everyone Active - Chichester .

Our Novium Museum and Tourist Information Centre are closed during the current restrictions, however we are pleased to confirm that they are proposing to reopen their doors on 18 May subject to step three of the Government's plan to ease coronavirus restrictions. Please visit The Novium Museum  website for updates.

Keeping safe when out and about

We understand that as the weather starts to get warmer, more people are likely to visit areas of our district — especially the coastal areas — and we have been working with our partners to put measures and safety advice in place. We've created a full list of topics and advice, explaining which agency is responsible for what and this can be found here: Keeping safe when out and about. This highlights information about public facilities, such as toilets and car parks; roads and cycle lanes; coastal locations; safety measures in our high streets and in the community; and litter. We often get lots of questions on these topics, especially when visitor numbers increase within the area, and so we hope that people will find this useful.

Vaccination programme in the Chichester District

Across Sussex, our NHS colleagues have reached the incredible milestone of 1 million vaccinations given. The NHS is currently working hard to provide first and second doses to those in the first nine priority groups and special clinics and services are being arranged to make it as easy as possible for people in these groups to have their vaccination. If you are aged 50 or over, are clinically extremely vulnerable or have an underlying health condition, are an unpaid carer or a health and social care worker, and are yet to have your vaccine, the NHS is urging you to arrange your appointment today by visiting NHS - Covid vaccination or calling 119.

We are continuing to share NHS updates on the vaccination programme in our area, and you can find these on our website here: Coronavirus support for residents.

'Support Local' as businesses prepare to reopen

Our high streets in Chichester, East Wittering, Midhurst, Petworth, and Selsey are looking forward to welcoming you back when they reopen for business next week as coronavirus restrictions are lifted. We are relaunching our Support Local campaign, in association with the Observer series and our partners, to encourage people to 'Shop Local, Spend Local, Support Local'. The district has so many incredible shops and businesses and so it is vital that we all play our part and support them in whatever way we can. The campaign will also remind people of the importance of keeping safe and following Government guidelines. We are providing free campaign posters, tailored to the district and each of our high streets, that businesses can download and display in their premises. To find out more, please visit: Shop Local, Spend Local, Support Local.

We're also pleased to confirm that we have extended our Covid Ambassador Service until 21 June. Covid Ambassadors will be on hand in areas of high footfall, such as tourist hot spots, and in the high streets to greet people as they visit shops and businesses, helping to control queues and encouraging social distancing. You can find out more about this, and the Support Local campaign, here: latest news.

'Restart Grant' scheme launched

The Government's Restart Grant scheme is now open for applications. These grants aim to support businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors to reopen safely as restrictions are lifted. The scheme offers a one-off grant of up to £6,000 for non-essential retail premises, and another of up to £18,000 for non-essential hospitality, leisure, personal care and gym premises. Please visit our website to find out if you are eligible and to apply: Business rates announcements.

An Additional Restrictions Grant is also now live, which will help businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic but aren't eligible for the Restart Grants scheme. Please visit our website to see if you are eligible and to apply: Business rates announcements.

Chichester markets set for a safe return to the high street

Chichester's Wednesday market and Farmers' Market are set for a safe return to the high street this month. In line with the Government's plan to carefully ease restrictions, the markets can now resume in their normal locations. The Wednesday markets will move back to the city centre from 14 April and the Farmers' Markets will return to East Street every first and third Friday of the month from 16 April. The Saturday market will remain in its permanent location of the Cattle Market car park. Both the Wednesday and Saturday markets are run by Bray Associates, and people can find more information at: Bray Associates . For more information about the Farmers' Markets, please visit: Farmers' Market.

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 .

New 'Introduction to Nordic Walking' course

Our Wellbeing team are running another of their popular 'Walking with Poles - an introduction to Nordic walking' courses. This free course will run for eight weeks from Tuesday 4 May and will take place in Oaklands Park, Chichester, from 10am to 10.45am. Led by a qualified Nordic walking instructor, the groups will be limited to six participants. The course is designed for adults who exercise less than 150 minutes a week and who are looking to increase their activity and confidence through walking. Due to the popularity of the courses and the hard work that makes them possible, we ask that people only sign up if they are able to commit to all of the sessions. For more information or to book a place please call 01243 521041 or email info@chichesterwellbeing.org.uk.

Virtual Easter holiday activities with the Novium

The Novium Museum will be releasing two virtual Easter craft activities over the school holidays, which you can take part in and enjoy from home. These will be available on The Novium Museum Youtube channel and The Novium Museum on Facebook , and on its Virtual Museum web page: The Novium Museum - virtual museum .

Stay up to date

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

  • More information about our campaign to help support local businesses and encourage people to 'Shop Local, Spend Local, Support Local',
  • Further details about the safe return of Chichester's Wednesday market and Farmers' Market to the city centre,
  • This week's District Dispatch column from our Chief Executive, and
  • Previous issues of our newsletter that you may have missed.

National news

UK regulator issues new advice on AstraZeneca vaccine

Following a rigorous scientific review, The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has advised that the possible risk of extremely rare specific types of blood clots following vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, is slightly higher than previous reports calculated. However the likelihood of these blood clots occurring is still extremely rare, and The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advise that the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh the risk of adverse events for individuals 30 years of age and over and those who have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19. You can find out more on the  Government website .

Twice weekly rapid testing to be available to everyone in England

The Government has announced that everyone in England, including those without symptoms, will be able to take a free coronavirus lateral flow test twice a week from 9 April. The expanded regular testing for people without symptoms will be delivered through: a home ordering service; workplace testing programmes (on-site or at home); community testing; collection at a local test site during specific test collection time windows; testing on-site at schools and colleges; and a new 'Pharmacy Collect' service. Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should continue to book a test online or by calling 119.

Guidance on getting help with daily activities outdoors

People can get support from others outside their home if they're vulnerable, need care or assistance or if they need support to avoid risk of harm. The Department for Health and Social Care has updated its guidance to help people minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus while accepting this help. The update includes information on: getting around in unfamiliar settings; communicating with others; going shopping; and exercising.

Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak

The Government has updated the guidance on working safely during the coronavirus outbreak. The updates include additional information for different sectors on ventilation, tests, and how coronavirus restrictions will be eased. Specific updates have also been made to test and trace requirements for hospitality, tourism, leisure, and close contact services, as well as operating fitting rooms safely for shops and branches.

Countries added to red list travel ban countries

On 2 April, the Department for Transport  announced that the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh will all be added to England’s red list of countries  from 4am on 9 April. International visitors who have departed from or transited through red list countries in the previous ten days will be refused entry into England. British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights in the UK, are allowed to enter but must arrive into a designated port and stay in a Government-approved quarantine facility for ten days.

Pilot events to host audiences

On 5 April, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced that a number of pilot events will host audiences as part of the Government's plan to return fans and audiences to live events. The pilot events, which include the FA Cup Semi-Final and Final, along with other sporting and some non-sporting events, will be part of the Government's Events Research Programme and will be used to provide scientific data and research into how small and large-scale events could be permitted to safely reopen in line with the roadmap out of lockdown. At present, there are no local pilots planned.

Recovery Loan Scheme launches

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the launch of the Recovery Loan Scheme . This will provide businesses with loans from £25,000 up to a maximum of £10 million. The Government will provide an 80% guarantee for all loans and interest rates will be capped. The scheme, which runs until 31 December 2021, will be administered by the British Business Bank, with loans available through accredited commercial lenders.

Apply for the Windrush Community Fund

On 1 April, the Home Office updated the Windrush Community Fund guidance to reflect that Phase 2 has now opened for applications. The Windrush Community Fund offers up to £500,000 of financial support to charity, community or grassroots organisations across the UK to fund projects which raise awareness of the Windrush Scheme, the Windrush Compensation Scheme or both.

EU Transition updates

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced further extensions to the Movement Assistance Scheme: Movement Assistance Scheme .

Also this week, the Marine Management Organisation has opened applications for a new grant scheme to support the fishing and seafood sector in England.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has also set up helplines to assist UK businesses with enquiries related to the end of the Transition Period. The Business Support Helpline (0800 998 1098) can help businesses in England identify the actions they need to take. A range of webinars and on-demand videos about trading with the EU are available and businesses can also use the Brexit Checker tool , which provides a personalised list of the most up to date actions that businesses need to take.

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.