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
  • Improvements to council customer care area
  • Visiting hospitality venues
  • Keeping safe when out and about
  • Business grants
  • Support for rough sleepers
  • Stay up-to-date

National news

  • New Covid vaccine advice for pregnant women
  • The R value and growth rate
  • Guidance on working safely during coronavirus
  • Remaining university students to return to campus from step three of the roadmap
  • Easing Lockdown vigilance campaign
  • Public urged to get tested twice a week
  • National survey to gather children's views
  • Share this newsletter with a friend

Latest update

This week, the Government announced that 10 million people in the UK have received their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Almost one in five adults (19%) in the UK have now received both doses and people are urged to take up their second doses to maximise protection against the virus.

Public Health England have also said that they are closely monitoring coronavirus variants, and that a new variant, first detected in India, has now been designated a Variant Under Investigation (VUI).

Surge testing and genomic sequencing is being deployed in Sandwell and Birmingham following the identification of a confirmed case of the variant first identified in South Africa. Testing and sequencing is being used to monitor and suppress the spread of coronavirus as well as to better understand the new variants.

To help reduce infections, you should continue to work from home and minimise domestic travel where you can. So we can help take the next steps safely, you are also being urged to continue the Hands, Face, Space advice and to let in fresh air whenever possible to blow away any virus particles. You must also continue to only meet people who are not in your household outside, and stick to the Rule of 6 when outdoors. Everyone is being urged to test themselves twice a week using a lateral flow test kit. Find out more at: Covid-19 restrictions - what you can and cannot do and order a test kit from the  Government website .

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: .

Our leisure centres, which are run in partnership with Everyone Active, are now open again for certain activities. For more information, visit: Everyone Active - Chichester .

Our Novium Museum and Tourist Information Centre are still closed during the current restrictions, however, 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 for updates.

Improvements to council customer care area

We're currently busy adapting and improving our customer service area at East Pallant House and we 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 here: .

We recognise that not everyone has access to a computer and so our friendly Customer Service Team is also available to take your calls on 01243 785166.

Visiting hospitality venues

If you go out to eat or drink in one of the district's hospitality venues, please remember that all guests now need to provide their name and a contact number when upon arrival, or check in using the NHS app. 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. Find out more about the contact tracing app at: NHS COVID-19 app .

Keeping safe when out and about

With the weather improving, 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.

Business grants

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 are urging businesses to access this support as soon as possible. Separate to this, our Business Enabling Grant Scheme is also up and running - you can find more about this at: Enabling Grant Scheme.

Support for rough sleepers

If you are worried about someone aged over 18 that you think may be sleeping rough, please report the details to the organisation Streetlink. Once a report is received, they will get in touch with our Rough Sleeper Outreach Team who will make contact with the individual to offer them support. Go to: Streetlink .

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',
  • This week's District Dispatch column from our Chief Executive, and
  • Previous issues of our newsletter that you may have missed.

National news

New Covid vaccine advice for pregnant women

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has confirmed that there have been no specific safety concerns identified with any COVID-19 vaccine in relation to pregnancy. The JCVI is advising that pregnant women should be offered the vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.

They have also advised that it's preferable for pregnant women in the UK to be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines where available. There is no evidence to suggest that other vaccines are unsafe for pregnant women, but more research is needed.

Pregnant women are still advised to discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with their GP, including the latest evidence on safety and which vaccines they should receive.

Find out more at: New advice on Covid-19 vaccination for pregnant women .

The R value and growth rate

The Government has published the latest Covid reproduction number (R) and growth rate . The R value in England is currently between 0.7 and 1 meaning that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 7 and 10 other people.

Guidance on working safely during coronavirus

The working safely guidance has been updated for people who work in the performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants, and for people who work or volunteer at heritage locations. The updates reflect changes to the national lockdown rules which came into effect on 12 April. Find out more at: Working safely during coronavirus .

Remaining university students to return to campus from step three of the roadmap

All university students who have not yet returned to campus and in-person teaching will be able to do so from 17 May.

This is part of step three of the Government's roadmap, where restrictions on social contact and indoor mixing will be further eased.

When they return, all students and staff are encouraged to take three supervised tests (three to five days apart) at an asymptomatic testing site on campus, where this is available. Students will also have access to home testing kits throughout the summer term through both the Government's offer of free rapid lateral flow tests twice a week and through the 'University Collect' service. Find out more on the  Government website .

Easing Lockdown vigilance campaign

As lockdown eases and people are able to shop, socialise and spend more time in public spaces, UK Counter Terrorism Policing is urging the public to stay safe so they can enjoy themselves. They are asking everyone to be vigilant and ACT if they anything suspicious by reporting it to the police or a member of staff.

The threat level remains at substantial, meaning an attack is likely.  As part of the campaign, businesses are being urged to ensure their safety plans are up-to-date and o properly risk-assess existing sites or any new areas such as outdoor spaces opened to meet Covid safety rules. Find out more at: UK Counter Terrorism Policing .

Public urged to get tested twice a week

The Government is now providing everyone in England with twice-weekly rapid Covid tests as part of a new effort to combat Covid-19.

These lateral flow tests are designed to be used by anyone without symptoms, and can be completed in as little as 30 minutes. These tests have been a regular part of school life for secondary school pupils since they re-opened in March, and the scheme has now been expanded to everyone.

Ministers hope regular testing combined with vaccines will result in more restrictions being lifted.

There are several ways to get a lateral flow test, including:

  • a home ordering service
  • collection at participating pharmacies
  • collection at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows, and
  • assisted lateral flow test sites.

For a full list of options, including how to order the tests, please visit the  NHS website .

If you test positive from a lateral flow test you should request a PCR test by visiting Get a coronavirus test and self-isolate along with anyone you live with until the result is confirmed.

National survey to gather children's views

The Children's Commissioner for England has launched 'The Big Ask' - a survey to gather the views of children in England on what the Government should prioritise in planning the recovery from the pandemic.

Parents, care leavers and those working with children are also invited to complete the adults' survey to share their views about the future for children and young people today, and what they think is holding young people back.

You can complete the surveys at The Big Ask - survey for children  and The Big Ask - survey for adults .

If you have any questions about the survey, email: big.ask@childrenscommissioner.gov.uk

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.