If you do go out to eat or drink in one of the district's hospitality venues, please remember that you need to provide your name and number when you arrive, or you can check in with the NHS app. All guests now have to provide their details, rather than just one member of the group. The Government has been highlighting how important this is, as part of their Test and Trace response. By providing this information, you are helping to keep yourselves and others safe.

Supporting our local businesses is a top priority and so we are really keen for businesses to access the Government grants that are available. If you own a business and haven't checked if you are eligible for the latest grants, please make sure that you visit Business rates announcements. There are three Government grants available at the moment, all of which are available for a limited time period, and so we really would urge businesses to access this support as soon as possible. Separate to this, our Business Enabling Grant Scheme was also launched last week and you can find more about this at: Enabling Grant Scheme.

As the weather starts to improve, we are likely to see more people visiting the area and an increase in the amount of people who are out and about. Together with our partners, we have pulled together some general advice on keeping safe in our beautiful district. It highlights the safety measures and guidance in place and explains which agency is responsible for what. It covers facilities such as toilets and car parks; roads and cycle lanes; coastal locations; our high streets and the community; and litter. We usually receive lots of questions on these topics, especially when visitor numbers increase within the area, and so we hope that people find this useful. You can find it at: Keeping safe when out and about.

We're also busy adapting and improving our customer service area at East Pallant House and will keep you updated on when we expect to reopen. Our priority is to keep staff and customers safe and so wherever possible we are asking people to access our services at www.chichester.gov.uk in the first instance. We are continually improving our website, making it the safest, quickest and most convenient way to access our services. You can also contact us by email and you can find a list of helpful email addresses at: . We also recognise that not everyone has access to a computer and therefore our friendly customer service team are also available to take you calls on 01243 785166.

Finally, you may have also seen that the Government has launched a new campaign which is urging everyone without coronavirus symptoms to access free rapid lateral flow tests that should be used twice a week. The Government hopes that regular testing, combined with vaccines, will result in more restrictions being lifted. It's really easy to access the tests and you can even have them delivered to your home for free. I ordered some and received them within 24 hours. You can find out more about these on the  NHS website .

Best Wishes

Diane Shepherd

Chief Executive at Chichester District Council