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
  • NHS coronavirus vaccination service
  • Covid-secure measures in place for May elections
  • Help with financial support
  • Reopening of hospitality and events
  • Advice for the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries on customer check-in
  • Covid grants for businesses
  • Business enabling grants - apply before 2 May
  • Are you eligible for a green home grant?
  • Online WellBalanced workshops
  • Last chance to enter Great Sussex Way Competition
  • Stay up-to-date

National news

  • New PHE study and vaccination booster programme
  • COVID-19 testing for homecare workers
  • Providing supported living services
  • Guidance for food businesses
  • Update to international travel red list
  • Updated guidance on providing apprenticeships during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Coronavirus R number and surveillance reports
  • Have you completed your Census?
  • EU Settlement Scheme

Latest update

Regular testing continues to play a critical role in stopping the spread of coronavirus and the Government is urging everyone to test themselves twice a week using a free rapid lateral flow test. Nine in ten pharmacies across England are now distributing these tests for people to collect and use at home. This new 'Pharmacy Collect' service is available to people aged over 18 without symptoms, and you can find your nearest pharmacy offering this service .

Other ways to get a lateral flow test, include: the home ordering service; 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 .

A series of videos explaining how to self-test can also be found on the Department for Health and Social Care YouTube channel .

If you test positive from a lateral flow test you should request a PCR test and self-isolate, along with anyone you live with, until the result is confirmed. If you live in the district and are concerned about self-isolating, it is worth checking whether you are eligible for a Self-Isolation Support Payment - you can find out more at: Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme .

To help reduce infections, everyone is being asked to work from home and minimise domestic travel where possible, and to continue to follow the Hands, Face, Space advice and to let in fresh air. You must also continue to only meet people who are not in your household outside, and stick to the Rule of 6 when outdoors. Find out more at: Covid-19 restrictions - what you can and cannot do .

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 currently closed but 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.

NHS Coronavirus vaccinations in the Chichester District

Over a quarter of adults in the UK have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and great progress continues to be made with the roll out of the vaccination programme across West Sussex. To find out if you are currently eligible for a vaccine, please visit Sussex Health and Care COVID-19 vaccination programme . If you're eligible, you can book your appointment by visiting the NHS website or calling 119.

In addition, thousands of second dose appointments have been taking place. People who booked their first vaccination through the national booking service (website) or by calling 119, should have been able to book both appointments at the same time. If you need to change your second dose appointment, please contact 119 or visit the website and search for 'Manage my Booking'. If you had your first vaccination at a GP led local vaccination service, the team will be contacting you around 11 to 12 weeks from the date of your first appointment. They will contact you as soon as vaccines are available in line with deliveries and supply. Please do not contact your GP practice to ask about an appointment before week 12 and please note the vaccination service may contact you in week 12 for an appointment that same week.

Covid-secure measures in place for May elections

The West Sussex County Council and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner elections will be taking place next Thursday 6 May between 7am and 10pm, alongside by-elections for Southbourne Parish Council and Chichester City Council. We have been working hard to ensure polling stations are Covid-secure for voters and staff, and a number of safety measures will be in place, including:

  • Polling stations will be cleaned regularly throughout the day.
  • Voters can bring their own pen or pencil, however, pencils will be provided and sanitised between uses.
  • There will be a limit to the number of people in the polling station to maintain social distancing, so voters may need to queue.
  • Voters must wear a face covering (unless medically exempt).

Please check your polling station listed on your polling card carefully as this may have changed. Don't worry if you forget your polling card on the day - you can still vote at the correct polling station by giving your name and address. Some of you may have registered to vote by post and it's worth noting that Royal Mail has introduced Priority Post Boxes, which can be used to mail your postal vote. To find a Priority Box in your area, visit Royal Mail - priority postboxes .

If, on election day, you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms or you have been told to self-isolate, please don't attend a polling station. Instead, please contact our Elections team on 01243 521010.

For more information about the elections, please visit Current elections .

Help with financial support

The coronavirus outbreak has affected everyone and many people are experiencing financial difficulties as a result, but we are here to help. Residents can find more information and useful links at Help with finances affected by coronavirus, or contact our team by emailing benefits@chichester.gov.uk.

To help you find out what financial support you are entitled to, you can find a useful benefits calculator on this website: Entitled to - benefits calculator

Anyone who is concerned that they may lose their home as a result of not being able to meet their rent or mortgage payments can contact our Housing Advice Team by emailing housingadvice@chichester.gov.uk or calling 01243 534734.

Reopening of hospitality and events

As we return to normality, our teams continue to work closely with hospitality venues and event organisers across the district to offer all the support they need to ensure they're meeting public safety requirements and, where appropriate, noise level regulations for the smooth running of their events and activities. Naturally we will see more events than we've been used to since the start of the pandemic, but you can be assured that we are supporting businesses and conducting all the relevant checks.

Our council officers also coordinate the local Safety Advisory Group, which is a collection of local agencies and partners that make sure events are run safely and with minimal adverse impact on the local community. You can find more information about all of the work that we do here: Events, where you can also find our Events Strategy.

Advice for the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries on customer check-in

Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries, close contact services, and local authority run services need to ensure that all of their customers check in with the NHS COVID-19 app or provide their name and contact details on arrival. Businesses can find the full guidance on this on the  Government website . A range of posters and guidance documents are also available to download at Coronavirus support for businesses.

Covid grants for businesses

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.

Business enabling grants - apply before 2 May

The first round of funding for our Business Enabling Grant Scheme will close at midnight on 2 May 2021. Managed by our Economic Development Team, the scheme offers small businesses in the district the opportunity to access funding that will help them to grow and develop. There are three types of grant - one is for capital projects; another is for website and social media projects; and the third is for start-up businesses. You can find more about this and apply at Enabling Grant Scheme.

Are you eligible for a green home grant?

If you have a household income of less than £30,000 and your home has low energy efficiency, you could be eligible for a grant to help you make energy efficient home improvements as part of the Government's Green Home Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme. Eligible homeowners, including park home owners, can receive fully-funded support of up to £10,000 for energy efficiency improvements in their homes. Find out more and apply for a grant at Warmer Homes or call 0800 038 5737.

Online WellBalanced workshops

Chichester Wellbeing's Wellbalanced for Wellbeing workshops are currently being delivered online and over the phone, 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. These courses are delivered by our partner Active House Solutions and more information is available on the  Wellbalanced programme website . Alternatively you can call 01444 657099 or email info@wellbalancedprogramme.co.uk.

Last chance to enter Great Sussex Way Competition

If you haven't already, make sure you enter The Great Sussex Way (formerly Visit Chichester) 'Winning Weekend' competition before it closes on 30 April. There are some fantastic prizes on offer— all you need to do to enter is share your perfect weekend getaway in the Chichester District. Find out more on the  The Great Sussex Way website .

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 on the Covid-safe measures that will be in place at local election polling stations next week,
  • This week's District Dispatch column from our Chief Executive, and
  • Previous issues of our newsletter that you may have missed.

National news

New PHE study and vaccination booster programme

This week, the Health Secretary provided an update on a new study by Public Health England , which has shown that people who have had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine were between 38% and 49% less likely to pass the virus on to their household contacts than those who were unvaccinated. He also confirmed that the Government's Vaccines Taskforce has secured a further 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, as part of the booster programme for later this year.

COVID-19 testing for homecare workers

The Government has updated guidance setting out how homecare agencies in England can order regular tests for their homecare (domiciliary care) staff. The guidance now reflects that personal assistants can access regular testing. For more information, homecare agencies can sign up to Department of Health and Social Care’s webinars which are hosted every Tuesday and Thursday.

Providing supported living services

The Government has updated the guidance for providers of supported living settings during the coronavirus outbreak. The update includes information to reflect the availability of self-testing for visitors.

Guidance for food businesses

The Government has updated the guidance for food businesses to reflect changes to national lockdown rules that came into effect on 12 April. The update includes guidance on ventilation and asymptomatic testing programmes and is intended for all workplaces involved in the manufacturing, processing, warehousing, picking, packaging, retailing and service of food.

Update to international travel red list

The Department for Transport has added India to England's red list of countries. Visitors who have departed from, or transited through, red list countries in the previous ten days will be refused entry into England. British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights (including long-term visa holders), arriving from these countries will be allowed to enter and will be required to quarantine in a government-approved facility for ten days. View the full red list of travel ban countries .

Updated guidance on providing apprenticeships during the COVID-19 outbreak

The Government has updated the guidance for providing apprenticeships during the COVID-19 outbreak and has confirmed that all apprentices in higher education can return to in-person teaching and learning no earlier than 17 May. The guidance describes the temporary flexibilities which have been applied during the COVID-19 outbreak and how and when apprentices can safely train and take assessments in the workplace, educational and assessment settings.

Coronavirus R number and surveillance reports

The Government has published the latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of COVID-19 for England. The R value in England is currently between 0.8 and 1 meaning that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 10 other people.

The Government publishes weekly national influenza and coronavirus reports , which monitor rates of coronavirus, seasonal flu and other seasonal respiratory illnesses.

Have you completed your Census?

Every household is required by law to complete the census and even though Census Day has been and gone, it is not too late to complete your questionnaire. Even empty houses need to be counted - for example holiday homes and caravans. Anyone without internet access or digital skills can get support from one of the census support centres. You can find your nearest one here at:  Find a census support centre . People can also call the contact centre on 0800 141 2021 for help or to order a paper questionnaire.

To ensure that everyone has the help they need, Census field officers are following up with people who haven't yet completed their questionnaire and will be able to point them towards support if they need it. This will be done without anyone ever needing to enter anyone's home. You can find more information on our website at under 'follow up visits and scam advice', where you can also find advice on how to identify and avoid census scams.

EU Settlement Scheme

Over 5.3 million applications have now been made to the EU Settlement Scheme, with two months to go before the 30 June deadline. All EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, are being urged to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible so that they can continue to work, study, access free healthcare and benefits in the UK after 30 June 2021. Residents can apply at: Applying for settled status .

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.