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
  • Keeping safe when you're out and about
  • NHS coronavirus vaccination service
  • Apply for a Covid business grant by 30 June
  • Help with housing payments and bills
  • Less than 30 days to apply for the EU Settlement scheme
  • Improvements to council customer service centre
  • Help us keep out district beautiful
  • Stay up to date

National news

  • Third report on progress to address COVID-19 health inequalities
  • Hospitality at outdoor food and drink festivals
  • Expansion of tutoring
  • Weekly national flu and coronavirus surveillance reports
  • How the world should prepare for the next pandemic
  • Small businesses 'Together for Our Planet' campaign

Latest update

This week is Volunteers' Week and we have been recognising the importance of all of our volunteers and the incredible work they do to support our local communities. We'd like to say a huge thank you to all of the many amazing people across our district who have given their time to help others.

Alongside dedicated NHS staff, volunteers have had a huge role to play in the roll out of the coronavirus vaccination programme, and it's great news that over one million people in Sussex have now received their vaccination. As of the end of last week, 534,936 people in West Sussex alone had received their first dose, with 352,280 also receiving their second. A recent Public Health England report (covering up to 13 May) has shown that in England the vaccination programme has prevented 13,200 deaths in those aged 60 and older, and at least 39,700 hospitalisations were prevented in those aged 65 and older.

Since our last update, a new vaccine has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The Janssen vaccine is the fourth coronavirus vaccine to be authorised by the UK's independent regulator and is the first to be approved for protection against Covid-19 with a single dose. You can find out more about this at: Janssen vaccine announcement .

We are all being encouraged to remember 'hands, face, space and fresh air' and to test twice-weekly using free lateral flow tests — you can find out how to access these tests at: NHS - regular rapid coronavirus 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' has been running all of this week and you can find out more at: 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.

Keeping safe when you're out and about

The Government is encouraging everyone to plan journeys ahead of time and to travel safely. If you haven't already, please check out the travel guidance page on our website: Keeping safe when out and about. It provides advice on keeping safe while out and about across the Chichester District, including 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

The vaccination programme continues to go from strength to strength, with over one million vaccinations given to people across Sussex. To find out if you are currently eligible for a vaccine, please visit: Sussex Health and Care COVID-19 vaccination programme . People who are eligible can book their appointment online or by calling 119. If you have no way to get to your appointment, or know someone who can't, you can book free transport for a Covid-safe return journey. Once vaccinated, please continue to follow Government guidance and remember 'hands, face, space and fresh air'.

Apply for a Covid business grant by 30 June

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. To date, we have issued 6,264 Government Covid business grants, totalling £23.2m in support to help qualifying local businesses recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Help with housing payments and bills

We know that there are people in our district who may be struggling with the stress of changes to their financial situation, but help is available and we would really urge you to contact us before things get more serious, so that we can provide help and advice. 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. 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.

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.

Less than 30 days to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme

This week marked 30 days to go before the EU Settlement Scheme deadline of 30 June 2021. We're working with Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice to remind EU citizens living in the Chichester District that they need to apply for the scheme as soon as possible in order to protect the rights they currently have, including access to healthcare, benefits and pensions. You can register for the scheme before 30 June by visiting: EU Settlement Scheme and find out more on our website at: latest news. Please remember that children are not covered by a parent's application. Anyone who requires help and assistance with their application can call Arun Chichester Citizens Advice free on 0808 2787969 (Mon to Fri 9am - 4:30pm). Access to interpreters is also available.

Improvements to council customer service centre

We're pleased to let you know that the improvements to our customer service centre (the reception at East Pallant House) are progressing well and we will announce an opening date very soon. Our priority is to keep staff and customers safe and so we have been working hard to adapt and improve this area. For everyone's safety, 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 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.

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.

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,
  • this week's District Dispatch column, and
  • previous issues of our newsletter that you may have missed.

National news

Third report on progress to address COVID-19 health inequalities

The Government has published the third quarterly report on progress to address disparities in the risks and outcomes of Covid-19 for ethnic minority groups. The report summarises how work across Government, and with national and local partners, has led to increases in both positive vaccine sentiment and vaccine uptake across all ethnic groups. It also includes further analysis of how the impacts of Covid-19 changed for ethnic minority groups between the first and second waves of the outbreak.

Advice on hospitality at outdoor food and drink festivals

The Government has clarified the position for single-day outdoor food and drink festivals intending to operate during step three of the roadmap. As the requirement to provide hospitality through table service would render many of these events unviable, the Government has agreed a written clarification with the Cabinet Office, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy explaining ways in which these events could go ahead. This information can be found here: Advice on hospitality at outdoor food and drink festivals .

Expansion of tutoring

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced £1 billion in funding to help children and young people in England to catch up on lost learning during the pandemic. This funding will support tutoring courses for disadvantaged school children, as well as an expansion of the 16-19 tuition fund, targeting key subjects such as maths and English. A further £153 million will support professional development for early years practitioners, £253 million will expand existing teacher training and development, and schools or colleges will be able to offer students in year 13 the option to repeat the year if they have been badly affected by the pandemic. Schools and colleges will be funded by DfE help accommodate the additional student numbers.

Weekly national flu and coronavirus surveillance reports

The Government continues to publish weekly national influenza and coronavirus reports , monitoring rates of coronavirus, seasonal flu and other seasonal respiratory illnesses.

How the world should prepare for the next pandemic

The Government has published an article written by Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, about the aim of the international community to have vaccines and therapeutics available at scale within 100 days of any future pandemics being declared: How the world should prepare for the next pandemic . He confirms that the Government is bringing together experts from industry, academia, governments and organisations like the World Health Organisation to look at the practical steps that the international community can take to make it possible to meet the 100-day ambition.

Small businesses 'Together for Our Planet' campaign

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow this November, the Government has launched a new campaign to encourage UK small businesses to join the fight against climate change . The Together For Our Planet Business Climate Leaders campaign encourages small and micro businesses to commit to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, and to net zero by 2050 or sooner.

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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.