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
  • Safe travel guidance
  • NHS coronavirus vaccination service
  • Self-isolation support payments
  • Support for the vulnerable
  • Government business grants close on 30 June 2021
  • Business Support Project with the HSE
  • Thank you for supporting our local businesses
  • Have you signed up to our Local Plan Review email newsletter?
  • Roman Week returns next week
  • Chichester Wellbeing offers free, friendly advice
  • Stay up to date

National news

  • Vaccine booster study launched
  • COVID-19 vaccine efficacy update
  • Support webinars for carers
  • The R value and growth rate
  • NHS 'open for business' - seek care when needed

Latest update

Since our last update, the Prime Minister has announced plans for a new pathogen surveillance network - the 'Global Pandemic Radar' - to identify emerging COVID-19 variants and track new diseases around the world. It aims to spot diseases before they cause future pandemics and to enable the rapid development of vaccines, treatments and tests. The initiative is expected to be up and running before the end of 2021.

It's great to hear that over 60 million doses of coronavirus vaccine have now been administered in the UK, with over 70% of adults having received a first dose. When it's your turn, please continue following Government guidance even after you've been vaccinated, and remember to wash your hands regularly, keep a distance from others and wear a face covering where necessary.

Although restrictions have eased, it's really important that we remain cautious and that we continue to follow national guidance. The Government has provided a very comprehensive web page, outlining what has changed since 17 May and detailing all of the things you can and cannot do. You can find this at: Covid-19 restrictions - what you can and cannot do .

We are all being encouraged to test ourselves twice-weekly using free lateral flow tests, and you can find out how to access these tests at: NHS regular rapid Covid-19 tests .

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 Novium Museum and Tourist Information Centre are now open - for more information and to book your visit, see: The Novium Museum .

The museum's award-winning 'Chichester Roman Week' is back for May half term, and you can find out more about the different events planned below, or by visiting: The Novium Museum - Roman Week 2021 .

Our leisure centres, which are run in partnership with Everyone Active, are also open in line with Government guidelines. For half term, Westgate Leisure Centre has added extra family friendly swim sessions .

Safe travel guidance

The Government is encouraging everyone to plan journeys ahead of time and travel safely by following these simple steps:

  • plan the most direct journey that avoids busy routes and times.
  • wear a face covering on public transport unless you are exempt.
  • on your journey, maintain a two metre distance from others where possible and avoid facing other passengers if you can.
  • when using public transport, wash or sanitise your hands before you travel and then regularly throughout your journey.
  • open a window to increase ventilation where possible.
  • use contactless payment if you can.

With the help of our partners, we have created a travel guidance page on our website that provides advice on keeping safe while out and about across the Chichester District: Keeping safe when out and about. It includes information about public facilities; roads and cycle lanes; information on coastal locations; safety measures in our high streets and in our communities; and litter. The page also details which authority is responsible for what, and where you can go for more help on any of the issues covered.

NHS coronavirus vaccination service

So far, more than 950,000 people across Sussex have now received their first vaccination. To find out if you are currently eligible for a vaccine, please visit Sussex COVID-19 vaccination programme .

Those who are eligible can book their appointment online or by calling 119. Once vaccinated, please continue to follow Government guidance and remember 'hands, face, space and fresh air'.

Self-isolation support payments

We are reminding residents that they may be eligible for financial support if they have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace - either due to a positive Covid-19 test or having been in contact with someone who has tested positive. If you are on a low income and are receiving certain benefits, you could qualify for a support payment of £500 if you have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and are unable to work as a result. If you have to self-isolate, we'd encourage you to check whether you might be eligible for this support and apply at: Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme . Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace are now also able to apply if they meet the eligibility criteria.

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.

Government business grants close on 30 June 2021

We are urging local businesses to apply for the current Government coronavirus support grants if they haven't done so already. This is really important, because they are due to close on 30 June 2021. If you own a business in the district, you can find out if you are eligible and apply by visiting: Business rates announcements.

Business Support Project with the HSE

We are currently working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to make sure that local businesses have everything they need to offer a Covid-secure environment. Over the coming weeks, businesses may receive a call from the HSE to provide additional advice and support. Businesses of any size or in any sector may receive a call, so we are keen to let businesses know that this is a legitimate project. The number may appear withheld but the person will identify themselves as being from the Health and Safety Executive, and if you wish to, you can verify an officer that calls by contacting HSE on: 0300 790 6896. You can find out more at: latest news.

If you are a district business and have questions about current Government regulations or you need help with you risk assessment, please contact the council's Health Protection Team by emailing: healthprotection@chichester.gov.uk or calling: 01243 534602.

Thank you for supporting our local businesses

Thank you to everyone who has backed our Support Local campaign. It's vital that we continue to support local wherever we possibly can and it's great to see so many people rediscovering our High Streets and supporting our local businesses. Our Covid Ambassadors are out and about, encouraging people to follow the Government's safety guidance and offering reassurance. Please continue to play your part when you're visiting local businesses by sanitising or washing hands regularly; wear a face covering where required; and keep a distance from others. You can find out more about our Support Local campaign at: Shop Local, Spend Local, Support Local.

Have you signed up to our Local Plan Review email newsletter?

We have launched a regular email newsletter to keep you updated on all of the work we are doing around the Local Plan Review. Find out more and sign up quickly and easily at: Sign up to the Local Plan Review email newsletter.

Because the Local Plan covers such a wide variety of topics, we are using themes to help people better understand the work that the plan covers. Our latest newsletter explores these themes and explains why each of them is important - if you missed it, you can read this at Sign up to the Local Plan Review email newsletter, where you can also sign up to receive future updates direct to your inbox.

Roman Week returns next week

The Novium Museum's award winning 'Chichester Roman Week' is back for May half term. Starting on Monday 31 May and running until Saturday 5 June, the week brings a range of exciting events across the city and surrounding area. It launches with an immersive theatre experience, enabling guests to participate in an interactive journey around the museum. Other events include talks, guided tours, family activities, trails and workshops, delivered by the museum and a range of cultural organisations across the district. You can find out more by visiting: The Novium Museum - Roman Week 2021 . Please remember that some of these events may book up in advance. If you wish to visit the museum, advance booking is recommended. You can book your free admission online: The Novium Museum - plan your visit .

Chichester Wellbeing offers free, friendly advice

Chichester District residents (and those who work in the district) can access a range of free online and telephone support from Chichester Wellbeing to help improve their health and wellbeing including emotional wellbeing, healthy eating, exercise, stopping smoking and alcohol reduction. Find out more by visiting: Chichester Wellbeing or emailing: info@chichesterwellbeing.org.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:

  • the latest media releases, including an announcement about a new exhibition at The Novium Museum celebrating the heritage of Graylingwell Hospital,
  • this week's District Dispatch column from our Council Leader, and
  • previous issues of our newsletter that you may have missed.

National news

Vaccine booster study launched

The Health Secretary has announced that volunteers will receive a booster COVID-19 vaccine in a new clinical trial. The Cov-Boost study, led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and backed by £19.3 million of Government funding, will trial seven vaccines and will provide vital data on the impact of a third dose on patients' immune responses. A total of 2,886 patients and participants are to begin being vaccinated from early June.

COVID-19 vaccine efficacy update

Public Health England has published new analysis showing that the COVID-19 vaccination programme prevented 13,000 deaths in those aged 60 and older in England up to 9 May. Analysis also suggests that at least 39,100 hospitalisations were prevented in those aged 65 and older in England in the same time period. The work compared the observed number of deaths with the number of deaths that would have been expected if the vaccine hadn't been given during this time period. More information on the analysis can be found here: Covid-19 vaccinne surveillance report .

This week, Public Health England also published new analysis showing that two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against the B.1.617.2 variant first identified in India. Analysis also suggests that vaccine effectiveness after two doses against symptomatic disease from the B.1.617.2 variant is similar to the B.1.1.7 (Kent) variant. PHE expects to see even higher levels of effectiveness against hospitalisation and death.

Support webinars for carers

Unpaid carers continue to face challenges because of the pandemic, with many taking on more caring responsibilities. Carers Week, coming up in June, is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, to highlight the challenges unpaid carers face, and to recognise the contributions they make to families and our local community. To tie in with this, the charity Carers Support have put together a programme of carer-focused workshops. Taking place during Carers Week, these workshops offer carers the opportunity to:

  • learn something new or improve knowledge,
  • virtually meet others in a similar situation and have a chance to socialise, and
  • have a break from caring roles.

Carers can book their place on a webinar at: Carers Support - Carers Week . For more information, call: 0300 028 8888 or email: info@carerssupport.org.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 0.9 and 1.1 meaning that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 9 and 11 other people.

NHS 'open for business' - seek care when needed

The NHS has launched a new public information campaign to remind everyone that the NHS is 'open for business'. Please contact your GP, attend hospital appointments and use the NHS 111 service if you have urgent care needs (or dial 999 in emergencies).

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.