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
  • Extra help with council tax payments
  • Are you eligible for self-isolation support?
  • NHS coronavirus vaccination service
  • Help with housing payments and bills
  • Thank you for helping us support the Chichester District
  • Calling all private sector landlords and letting agents
  • Do you have questions about the Local Plan?
  • Quit for Covid - free stop smoking support available

National news

  • Update to guidance on what you can and cannot do in Step 3
  • International travel updates
  • Guidance for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations
  • Grassroots sports guidance for the public and sport providers
  • Events Research Programme report published
  • New research on long Covid
  • Weekly Covid-19 reports
  • The R value and growth rate
  • EU transition update

 

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  • Stay up to date

Latest update

This week, the newly appointed Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, provided an update on the coronavirus vaccination programme and confirmed that 19 July remains the Government's target date for ending restrictions. Across the country, 84% of adults have now received their first jab, with 61% having received two doses.

On Tuesday, Public Health England and the University of Cambridge released new analysis indicating that the Covid-19 vaccination programme has prevented an estimated 7.2 million infections and 27,000 deaths in England so far. A summary of the report can be found on the Government website . The NHS is urging all adults to book their vaccine, and to ensure they receive both doses for maximum protection.

While the vaccination programme goes from strength to strength and an end to coronavirus restrictions is in sight, it is important that we all continue to wash or sanitise our hands regularly, maintain social distancing, wear a face covering where required, and test ourselves twice weekly using lateral flow tests. Thank you for helping us to keep our district safe.

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 Customer Services Centre at East Pallant House has now reopened to the public. Our officers are greeting customers to help them access the services that they need and to assist people who want to self-serve online. If a face-to-face appointment is needed, they can also arrange this. Using our website — http://www.chichester.gov.uk — continues to be the safest, quickest and most convenient way of accessing our services.

From this week, the council's opening times will be from 9am to 5pm each day, apart from Thursdays when opening times will be from 10am to 5pm.

NHS coronavirus vaccination service

Our NHS colleagues have noticed an increase in missed second dose appointments, and are keen to remind people that getting both jabs is vital to longer lasting and maximum protection against the virus. Studies have found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be 96% effective against hospitalisation after two doses, while the Oxford-AztraZenaca is 92% effective.

People aged 40 and over are able to have their second jab from eight weeks after their first. If you have booked your appointments through the national booking system, you can book online   or call 119 to move your second dose forward. If you had your first vaccination from a GP led team, you will be contacted as quickly as possible to rearrange your second dose. Whether you are moving it forward, or have an appointment booked, everyone is urged to attend their second dose appointment.

To book a vaccination, visit: NHS - book Covid vaccination  or call 119. Please continue to follow Government guidance around 'hands, face, space and fresh air' once you've been vaccinated.

Extra help with council tax payments

We're pleased to say that further support is being made available to help financially vulnerable people in the district to pay their council tax. If your income has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and you have council tax arrears for the 2020/21 or 2021/22 billing years, or if you are struggling to make payments, we'd urge you to first apply for Council Tax Reduction at: Housing benefit & council tax reduction. If you apply for this and are still struggling to pay your bill, or if you are already receiving this support, you can apply for extra help through the Discretionary Council Tax Reduction scheme by visiting: Benefit forms.

If you are unsure of what to do or what you are eligible for, please contact our team by email: benefits@chichester.gov.uk. You can also call us on 01243 534509, although please be aware that when lines are busy you may have to wait longer than usual. We'd urge anyone who is worried about their finances to contact us so that we can explain all of the different ways that we can help. We also have a web page dedicated to highlighting the financial support on offer: Help with finances affected by coronavirus.

Are you eligible for a self-isolation support payment?

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, or if they are a parent or carer of a child who has been advised to self-isolate, due to a positive PCR 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 or your child have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or an education setting and you are unable to work as a result. You can find out more and apply at: Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme .

Thank you for helping us support the Chichester District

The past 16 months have been some of the most challenging any of us have ever faced and we want to thank you all for your support. We've put together a short video highlighting some of the ways that we have been helping our residents, communities, and businesses since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Just a few examples include: issuing £70 million in grants to businesses, community groups and residents struggling financially; supporting rough sleepers off the streets and encouraging people to donate to local charities, as well as moving forward with a project to develop more short stay accommodation for those facing homelessness; and, helping the district's fantastic high streets by encouraging everyone to 'shop local' and advising local businesses on how to make their premises Covid-secure.

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 people 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.

Calling all private sector landlords and letting agents

We are asking landlords and letting agents in our area to let us know how they, and their tenants, have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic through an easy-to-complete survey . The end of furlough, a drop in casual vacancies, and an increase in unemployment have put many tenants under financial pressure and this is having a knock effect on landlords. Alongside other local authorities across West Sussex, we are undertaking this survey to understand the issues landlords are facing so that we can take proactive steps to support them, as well as helping affected tenants to remain in their homes.

If you are a landlord or letting agent in the district, please help us by taking part in our survey . This feedback will help us prioritise support where it is needed. If you have tenants who are currently experiencing financial difficulty and are struggling to meet their rent payments, or you as a landlord are facing financial hardship, please contact us at housing@chichester.gov.uk as soon as possible so that we can support both you and your tenants.

Do you have questions about the Local Plan?

Planning can sometimes be incredibly complex and confusing, and so we asked the council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr Susan Taylor, to answer some of your key questions about the Chichester Local Plan. You can watch Cllr. Taylor answering these questions here: Chichester Local Plan video

In our recent email newsletter, we also covered more of the common questions people are asking about the plan process and addressed some of the myths and misinformation surrounding this. If you missed it, you can find the Q&As here: Chichester Local Plan Review update: 22 June 2021. Don't forget to Sign up to the Local Plan Review email newsletter and look out for more videos coming on our social media channels over the coming weeks.

Quit for Covid - free stop smoking support available

Public Health England have recently reported that those who smoke generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infection and of experiencing more severe symptoms. Covid symptoms may, therefore, be more severe for those that smoke. Quitting smoking is the single biggest change you can make for your health and can help relieve pressure on the NHS. Our Chichester Wellbeing team provide 12 weeks of free behaviour-change support and Nicotine Replacement Therapy supplies to help people quit smoking for good. Anyone over the age of 18 who lives or works in Chichester District, can access this support by calling: 01243 521041 or emailing: info@chichesterwellbeing.org.uk.

National news

Update to guidance on what you can and cannot do in Step 3

The guidance outlining what you can and cannot do while Step 3 restrictions are in place has been updated: Covid-19 restrictions - what you can and cannot do . The update includes information to clarify that a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test should be taken even if symptoms are mild.

International travel update

The Transport Secretary has announced a number of measures to continue reopening international travel in a safe and sustainable way. Malta, Madeira, the Balearic Islands, several UK overseas territories and Caribbean islands (including Barbados), have been added to England's green list, having met the necessary criteria to be reclassified.

All additions to the green list, apart from Malta, will also join the 'green watchlist', as will Israel and Jerusalem, signalling that these countries are at risk of moving from green to amber. It was also announced that full details on removing the self-isolation period for amber-list countries for those who are fully vaccinated will be set out next month. Eritrea, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mongolia, Tunisia and Uganda, have been added to England's red list of countries.

Updated guidance for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations

This week, the Government updated the guidance for couples planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England; managers of venues that host ceremonies and receptions; and, individuals hosting these events in other venues. The update includes information on risk assessments, social distancing measures, singing and dancing, serving food and drink, and enforcement.

Grassroots sports guidance for the public and sport providers

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has updated the guidance for the public and sport providers on how to participate in grassroots sport and physical activity during Covid-19 restrictions. The update reflects the changes to Step 3 regulations announced by the Prime Minister on 14 June.

Events Research Programme report published

The Government has published a report on the first phase of its Events Research Programme, which was commissioned as part of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown and was designed to explore how events can be conducted safely while limiting the transmission of Covid-19 as much as possible. The report can be found here: Events Research Programme report .

While additional Events Research Programme events continue to gather further evidence, no decisions have been taken on the full reopening of mass events. The Government will set out its position on this ahead of step four in the roadmap.

New research on long Covid

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that over over two million people in England are thought to have had one or more Covid-19 symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks . The study is based on self-reported data from 508,707 adults aged 18 and above who took part in the study between September 2020 and February 2021.

Findings from the study suggest that prevalence of persistent symptoms, or long Covid, increases with age, with a 3.5% increase in likelihood in each decade of life. It shows long Covid is higher among women, people who are overweight or obese, who smoke, live in deprived areas, or had been admitted to hospital.

Weekly COVID-19 reports

The Government continues to publish weekly national influenza and coronavirus reports , as well as updates on the number of cases of variants of concern . The latest variant cases data shows that cases of the Delta variant have risen by 35,204 to 111,157 since last week, representing a 46% increase. The Delta variant now accounts for approximately 95% of cases across the UK.

The R value and growth rate

The R value in England is currently between 1.2 and 1.4. This means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 14 other people. The growth rate in England is currently between 3% and 5% meaning that the number of new infections is growing by between 3% and 5% every day.

Business rates revaluation consultation launched

The Government has launched a consultation on making business rates revaluations more frequent. Under the plans, revaluations of non-domestic properties would take place every three years instead of the current system of every five years. The consultation will close on 24 August 2021.

EU transition update

This week, the Government announced that the European Union has formally recognised the UK’s data protection standards , which means that personal data can continue to flow between Europe and the UK: . This means that UK businesses and organisations can continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without having to put additional arrangements in place with European counterparts.

Businesses can access webinars and videos about trading with the EU. To find out more, visit the Government website .

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.

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 update on the council's Pop Up Shop initiative; the result of the by-election to elect a new councillor for the Chichester East Ward on Chichester District Council; and, news of the launch of a new inward investment campaign to encourage businesses looking to make a change for the better to relocate to the Chichester District.
  • this week's District Dispatch column.
  • previous issues of our newsletter that you may have missed.