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
  • Rapid testing and self-isolation payments
  • Face-to-face public meetings
  • Business Rates Retail Relief is changing from 1 July
  • Three weeks left to apply - Covid business grants
  • Support for the vulnerable
  • A safe and easy way to park across the district
  • Safe travel advice

National news

  • Traffic light list for international travel
  • Admission and care of people in care homes
  • The R value and growth rate
  • Global Vaccine Confidence Summit
  • Emergency Alerts
  • Census scams
  • EU transition updates

Latest update

We were really pleased to hear that over 40 million people in the UK have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 27 million have had both doses. This week, eligibility has opened up to include people who are aged 25 or over, or who will turn 25 before 1 July. 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. Once vaccinated, please continue to follow Government guidance and remember 'hands, face, space and fresh air'.

Also on the subject of vaccines, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds. This follows a rigorous review of the safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccine in this age group by the MHRA and the Government's independent advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines. No new side effects were identified and the safety data in children was comparable with that seen in young adults. More information can be found on the
Government website .

Next week, the Government is expected to announce whether the various tests that would enable us to move into step 4 of the roadmap have been met. We will include an update on this in our next newsletter, and you can also keep up to date by following us on our social media channels, which you can find links to at the bottom of this update.

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 - plan your visit . Our leisure centres, which are run in partnership with Everyone Active, are also open in line with Government guidelines.

Rapid testing and self-isolation payments

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. This is particularly important as the weather warms up and with many of us out and about following the lifting of further restrictions in May. For details on how to order free tests, please visit: NHS - regular rapid coronavirus tests .

A series of videos explaining how to self-test can also be found here: Department of Health and Social Care - Step by step guide to COVID-19 self-testing .

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. You 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. You can find out more here: Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme .

West Sussex County Council would like to hear your views on symptom-free Covid-19 testing in West Sussex. To give your feedback, you can complete an anonymous survey at: West Sussex County Council - asymptomatic testing survey .

Face-to-face public meetings

From this month, we are required by law to hold some of our public council meetings in person. The safety of our staff, councillors and visitors is our top priority and so we have introduced a range of additional measures to make our committee meeting spaces Covid-secure. Places at these meetings are limited to ensure they are Covid-safe and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. To enable residents to follow meetings safely from home, we have reintroduced live audio-streams so that people can follow these meetings as they happen at: Council meetings. The recordings will then be uploaded and remain online for anyone to access at any time. You can find out about our upcoming council meetings at: Council meetings.

Business Rates Retail Relief is changing from 1 July

Next month, the Government's Expanded Retail Relief and Nursery Relief schemes will be changing:

  • from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, businesses in receipt of the Expanded Retail Relief will receive a 66% reduction in the amount of Business Rates to pay. There will be a cash cap of £2million for businesses that were required to close as at 5 January 2021 and up to £105,000 for businesses permitted to open at that date.
  • from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, businesses in receipt of the Nursery discount will receive a 66% reduction in the amount to pay. There will be a cash cap of £105,000.

By accepting the Expanded Retail Relief, businesses are confirming that the above cash cap limits will not be exceeded. Letters have been sent out to all qualifying businesses in our district with further information and revised Business Rates bills will be sent out in Mid-June. Businesses may choose to opt out of the relief schemes by emailing taxation@chichester.gov.uk and quoting '66% Expanded Retail Discount refused' in the email subject field.

Three weeks left to apply - Covid business grants

Has your business applied for a Government Covid support grant? The current grants will close on 30 June 2021, so if you own a business in the district, please check to see if you are eligible and apply by visiting: Business rates announcements.

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 .

A safe and easy way to park across the district

Don't forget that if you're out and about across the district or visiting one of our fantastic high streets in Chichester, East Wittering, Midhurst, Petworth or Selsey, you can pay for your stay using the MiPermit app on your mobile in district council-owned car parks. MiPermit is a Covid-safe and easy way to pay, enabling you to purchase your stay up to 7 days in advance or to extend your parking time without returning to your car. To find out more and download the app, just visit Mipermit Cashless Parking .

Safe travel advice

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

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

Traffic light list for international travel

On Tuesday, the Department for Transport updated the Government’s traffic light list for international travel . Portugal has now been added to the amber list, and Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Trinidad and Tobago have been added to the red list.

International visitors who have departed from, or transited through, red list countries in the previous ten days will be refused entry into England. British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights in the UK are allowed to enter but must arrive into a designated port and stay in a Government-approved quarantine facility for ten days.

Admission and care of people in care homes

The Government has updated the guidance for care homes and registered providers of accommodation for people who need personal or nursing care. The update reflects the change in procedure of reporting COVID-19 cases and outbreak management in care homes.

The R value and growth rate

The Government has published the latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of COVID-19 in England . The R value in England is currently between 1.0 and 1.2 meaning that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 10 and 12 other people. The growth rate in England is currently between 0% and 3% meaning that the number of new infections could be broadly flat or growing by up to 3% every day.

Global Vaccine Confidence Summit

This month, the UK Government held the Global Vaccine Confidence Summit , bringing together global experts to discuss how to build and maintain confidence in vaccines. At the Summit, the Health Secretary confirmed that the UK Government will launch a global vaccine confidence campaign led by the G7 Global Vaccine Confidence Working Group to promote confidence and trust in vaccines globally.

Emergency alerts

The Government is launching a new Emergency Alerts system this summer, which will warn people on their mobile phone or tablet if there's a danger to life nearby, such as severe flooding, fires, public health emergencies or a terror attack and will include advice about how to stay safe. You can find out more about this at: Gov.uk - Emergency Alerts .

Census scams

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) are reminding people to be on the look of for continued Census scams. There are scam texts going around that threaten the recipient with a £1000 fine for not completing the census, or for filling it in incorrectly. ONS will never contact someone by text in relation to the Census and they will never issue a fine by text, phone call, email or social media. Scam text messages can be forwarded to: 7726 and scam emails to: report@phishing.gov.uk. Further information can be found on the Census website .

EU transition updates

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published an updated version of the digital guide covering the key actions food and drink businesses may need to take now the UK has left the EU. All of the information is already available but it has been compiled into one place to provide a single reference point for food and drink businesses. Not all the actions covered will be relevant to every business and businesses should continue to check the link for updates. The guide is available at: Guidance for food and drink businesses working in the EU

DEFRA has also updated the guidance on how to import fish for human consumption to the UK . The update includes new guidance on the documents required to import fish that were caught before 1 January 2021.

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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.