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
  • Vote safely - elections take place tomorrow
  • NHS coronavirus vaccination service
  • Help us keep out district beautiful
  • Money advice service
  • Support for the vulnerable
  • Remember to check-in for test and trace
  • Has your business applied for a Covid grant?
  • Business scam
  • Online WellBalanced workshops
  • Stay up-to-date

National news

  • COVID-status certification
  • Visits to care homes and out-of-home visits
  • Limit on people at funerals to be removed
  • COVID-19 testing for hospices
  • Help and support for businesses affected by Covid 19
  • Weekly updates on COVID-19 variants in UK
  • The R value and growth rate

Latest update

The NHS has launched a new national campaign called 'Every vaccination gives us hope', which encourages under-50s to take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine when invited to do so. This week, it was announced that over 50 million vaccines have now been given in the UK, with over a quarter of adults having received both doses.

Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus won't display any symptoms and so regular testing is vital to help identify and stop the spread of the virus. Everyone is encouraged to test themselves twice a week. To find out how you can request free lateral flow test kits, please visit: NHS - regular rapid coronavirus tests .

Next Monday (10 May), we will find out if the Government is ready to move towards Step 3 of its roadmap. If they give the green light, from 17 May most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted - although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal. Indoors, the Rule of 6 or two households will apply. As part of Step 3, most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to open.

Indoor hospitality will also reopen, but customers will still have to order, eat and drink while seated. Other indoor locations that will be able to open include: museums, indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and children's play areas; the rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs; and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes. Subject to Step 3 being given the go ahead, our Novium Museum and Tourist Information Centre will reopen their doors on 18 May.

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 .

Next week we will find out whether the Government will give the go ahead to move to step three of the roadmap and ease further coronavirus restrictions. If this is given the green light, our Novium Museum and Tourist Information Centre will reopen their doors on 18 May. Please visit The Novium Museum for updates.

Vote safely - elections take place tomorrow

Don't forget that local elections are taking place tomorrow (6 May) between 7am and 10pm. West Sussex County Council and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner elections are being held, alongside by-elections for Southbourne Parish Council and Chichester City Council. Neighbourhood Plan Referendums will also be taking place in Boxgrove, Stedham with Iping and Selsey.

If you're planning on voting in person tomorrow, here are a few things to remember:

  • Check your polling card carefully because your polling station may have changed - don't worry if you forget to take your card with you on the day as you will still be able to vote at the correct station by giving your name and address.
  • Please wear a face covering when voting, unless medically exempt, and keep a safe distance from others.
  • If you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms - including a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - or you have been told to self-isolate, please don't attend a polling station. Instead, please contact our Elections team on 01243 521010.

We've been working hard to make our polling stations safe for both voters and staff. You can find details of all the safety measures that will be in place, including regular cleaning and limiting the numbers of people in each station to help with social distancing in our latest news.

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

On Friday, the votes for the West Sussex County Council election, the by-elections and Neighbourhood Plan Referendums will be counted. We'll be publishing all of the results from our area at: Current elections . Full West Sussex County Council elections results will be published on its website at: West Sussex County Council - Elections 6 May 2021 .

NHS coronavirus vaccination service

To date, more than 1.3 million vaccinations have been given across Sussex as the roll out continues, with thousands of first and second dose appointments taking place last week. 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 online , or by calling 119. If a vaccination service is not displaying on the national booking service, it just means that there aren't any appointments available on that day. More appointments are released daily in line with vaccine supply so please check back.

Help us keep out district beautiful

As the weather gets warmer and sunnier, we tend to see an increase in litter. Our friendly street cleaning team work seven days a week across the 303 square miles of the district, and we've recently taken on extra staff to help with this work. Unfortunately, they can't be everywhere at once and so we are asking everyone to play their part and either take their litter home and recycle it, or place it in one of our many bins.

We're also putting out extra signage in litter hotspots to remind people of this. Our litter enforcement officers are also patrolling the district, concentrating on high footfall areas and other areas as directed, because dropping litter is a crime. You can find out more about our Against litter campaign and find out more about all of the things we are doing and how you can get involved.

Money Advice Service

We're committed to supporting residents and businesses who are experiencing money worries. While we're doing all we can to help, we recognise that in some cases, people will need additional help and advice. If you are worried about debts or have missed payments, there is free and independent debt advice available. The Government sponsored Money Advice Service can help you find support. You can also find support and advice on our Help with finances affected by coronavirus web page:

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 online or on 033 022 27980.

Remember to check-in for test and trace

When visiting hospitality venues such as hairdressers, pubs, cafes and gyms, every guest over 16 will need to check- in either by using the NHS app or by providing their details to the venue. This is an important part of the Government's Test and Trace strategy and is a legal requirement. Doing this protects each other and helps stop the spread of coronavirus.

Has your business applied for a Covid grant?

If you own a business and haven't checked whether you are eligible for the latest Government coronavirus support 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 scam

We have been made aware that a scam letter has been circulating amongst businesses that appears to come from the Business, Energy and Industrial strategy (BEIS) department. The letter tells businesses they need to purchase air purifiers to comply with Covid-19 regulations, however the BEIS have confirmed that this letter is a scam. More information about coronavirus related scams and how to avoid them can be found on the  Action Fraud  website.

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.

Stay up to date

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

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

National news

COVID-status certification

The Government has published a Written Ministerial Statement in Parliament on COVID-status certification . The Government has previously committed to exploring whether COVID-status certification might be used to reopen the economy, reduce restrictions on social contact and improve safety.

In the statement, it was confirmed that the Government:

  • can trial COVID-status certification in certain settings, including large events, as part of the Events Research Programme, alongside trials of a range of other safety measures;
  • has set out that there are some settings, including essential public services, public transport and essential shops, where COVID-status certification should never be required;
  • is clear that COVID-status certification will not be required in any settings at step two and three of the roadmap; and,
  • is committed to continuing to explore the equity and ethical concerns about any form of COVID-status certification and will set out the conclusions of the review ahead of step four.

Visiting arrangements in care homes and out-of-home visits

The Department of Health and Social Care has updated the guidance on visiting arrangements in care homes . This change is to clarify that named visitors should be tested using rapid Lateral Flow Tests on the day of every visit. Earlier this month, the information on essential care givers was also updated and a new section added about visits involving children and young people aged under 18: Gov.uk - arrangements for visiting out of the care home .

From 4 May, all care home residents will be able to participate in more out-of-home visits without having to isolate on their return. Residents will be able to leave their care homes to visit a friend or family member's garden, or go on walks in public places, such as parks, public gardens and beaches, and will not have to self-isolate when they return. Residents must be accompanied by either a care worker or nominated visitor and follow the Government guidelines of washing hands regularly, keeping socially distanced and remaining outside in line with step two of the roadmap.

Limit on mourners at funerals to be removed

The Government has announced that the current legal limit of 30 mourners at funerals would be removed in England at step three of the roadmap, to take place from 17 May at the earliest. Instead, the number of people who can attend a funeral will be determined by how many people the venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. This includes both indoor and outdoor venues. Limits for other life or commemorative events at step three, such as weddings and wakes, are expected to remain as set out in the roadmap. More information can be found on the Government website .

COVID-19 testing for hospices

The Government has published guidance on how hospices can access COVID-19 testing for staff and patients on-site, for staff visiting patients in their own homes and for visitors to hospices.

NHS Test and Trace is making weekly COVID-19 testing available to all hospices in England and all registered hospices have been contacted with details of how to apply for test kits for their staff and patients. Hospices will be responsible for ordering test kits for both 'inpatient' and 'community-based' settings.

Help and support for businesses affected by COVID-19

HM Revenue and Customs has produced webinars and videos highlighting the support available to businesses to help them deal with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. HMRC cover the following government schemes:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme

Businesses can find out more on the  Government website and can keep up to date with the latest information by registering for HMRC’s email updates .

Weekly updates on COVID-19 variants in UK

Public Health England published a weekly update on the number of confirmed new cases of coronavirus variants of concern and variants under investigation. Two variants have been designated Variants Under Investigation (VUI) by PHE, both of which share the same parent lineage as the variant first identified in India. The dominant variant continues to be VOC-20DEC-01 (B.1.1.7), a variant first identified in England and PHE will continue to monitor all variants closely. You can find out more at: Gov.uk - confirmed cases of Covid-19 variants identified in the UK .

The R value and growth rate

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 1.1 meaning that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 11 other people.

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.