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
  • NHS coronavirus vaccination service
  • Help with finances
  • EU Settlement Scheme update
  • Free online training for independent retail businesses
  • New, easier way to apply for visitor permits
  • Grants for energy efficient home improvements
  • New 'Introduction to Nordic-style Walking' course in Midhurst

National news

  • Alternating doses of vaccines generate robust immune response against Covid-19
  • Outdoor civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies allowed
  • Weekly Covid-19 reports
  • Covid-19 vaccine efficacy
  • The R value and growth rate
  • Guide for businesses on protecting children from online sexual exploitation and abuse

Latest update

This week, the Prime Minister announced that a final decision will be made next Monday (12 July) on whether we will move to step four of the Government's roadmap, which would see an end to most legal Covid-19 restrictions. Should this be given a green light, this will mean that from 19 July: 

  • there will be no more one metre plus rule on social distancing;
  • there would be no limit on the number of people you can meet;
  • it will no longer be necessary for the Government to instruct people to work from home;
  • face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting;
  • legal requirements on how businesses operate will be removed and all businesses will be able to reopen;
  • the cap on named care home visitor numbers will be lifted; and,
  • there will no longer be limits on the number of people who can attend communal worship, weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events.

While we wait for the final decision next week, you can find more about what Step 4 will look like on the Government's  summer roadmap . Covid-19 hasn't gone away so please continue to follow the hands, face, space, fresh air guidance to help keep yourself and others safe.

We were really pleased to hear that over 45 million people across the UK have now received their first coronavirus vaccine, and 33 million have had both doses. The Government has announced that vulnerable people may be offered a booster vaccination from September to prolong protection. This will start with those most at risk from serious disease, including: care home residents, people aged over 70, frontline health and social care workers, clinically extremely vulnerable adults, and those who are immunosuppressed. You can find out more about vaccine boosters for the most vunerable  on the Government website.

Also this week, the Health Secretary has said that from 16 August, anyone who is a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case will no longer have to self-isolate if they've been fully vaccinated, but will be advised to take a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test as soon as possible. He also confirmed that, from the same date, anyone under the age of 18 who is a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate — instead, they will be given advice about whether they should get tested, dependent on their age, and will need to self-isolate only if they test positive. The full statement can be found in this statement  on the Government website.

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: .

NHS coronavirus vaccination service

The NHS are encouraging all adults to book their coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine is free, quick and easy, and you can arrange it today by visiting: NHS - book Covid vaccination  or calling 119. Please continue to follow Government guidance once you've been vaccinated. If you are due your second dose, some people are able to bring this forward to eight weeks — you can check whether this is the case for at: NHS - book Covid vaccination . Getting your second dose is really important to make sure you have the highest level of protection.

If you have no way to get to your vaccination appointment, you may be able to get a free return journey. Book your vaccine appointment and then contact the NHS travel coordinators Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm, by calling: 01444 275 008. You can find out more about  free transport and vaccinations  on the Sussex Health and Care website

Help with finances

The coronavirus outbreak has affected everyone and many people are experiencing financial difficulties as a result, but we are here to help. From help to pay a Council Tax bill to support for people struggling to meet their rent payments, there are a number of ways in which we can help people who are struggling to pay their bills during this difficult time. Residents can find more information and useful links at: Help with finances affected by coronavirus , which is a dedicated web page highlighting the financial support on offer, including: help with paying rent, help accessing support if you are eligible for the self-isolation support scheme, and for a referral for help with food, energy bills and essentials. Or you can 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.

EU Settlement Scheme update

The Government has announced that more than six million applications were made to the EU Settlement Scheme before the 30 June deadline, with 5.1 million grants of status. Those who applied before the deadline will have their rights protected until their application is decided. People who have submitted an application by the deadline receive a Certificate of Application, which they can use if they need to prove their immigration status for any reason.

The Government has also updated the guidance for EU Settlement Scheme applicants in or outside the UK who have been affected by restrictions during the pandemic:  EU Settlement Scheme . The update confirms that the deadline to apply was 30 June 2021 for most people, however members of the public can still apply if: 

  • they have a later deadline — for example, they are joining a family member in the UK who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020, or
  • they have 'reasonable grounds' for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 — for example they are suffering from an illness or the victim of domestic abuse

If this applies to you, or someone you know, you can find more help and information on the Government website. You can also access support from Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice by calling free on: 0808 2787969 (Mon to Fri 9am - 4:30pm). Access to interpreters is also available.

Free online training for independent retail businesses

Independent retail businesses across the Chichester District are being invited to take up free online training which will be available from Monday 12 July. The training has been made available thanks to a joint project between all the district and borough councils in West Sussex, and is being led by Horsham District Council. The training has been developed by the company Digital Islands under the West Sussex Retail Hub banner, and has been paid for thanks to a joint bid to the West Sussex Business Rates Pool. Independent retailers will be able to access a ten different modules, each presented by a specialist expert and cover a range of topics from measuring sales, tracking profitability, to creating marketing plans and developing new business models. Although tailored to independent retailers, other businesses may also find some of the topics useful.

The training can be accessed at by visiting the  West Sussex Retailers website . An  online launch event  using Zoom will also be taking place on Monday 12 July at 6pm which businesses are welcome to attend by using: and using the following details: Meeting ID: 849 3904 7888 and Passcode: 138701. For more information you can read the article on our news page.

New, easier way to apply for visitor permits

Did you know that you can now apply for Resident Visitor Permits online? This is the simplest and most convenient way for our customers to buy parking permits for their visitors. You can find more information and apply for a permit at: Resident Visitor Permit.

Grants for energy efficient home improvements

Don't forget that if you are a Chichester District resident, you could be entitled to a free grant of up to £10,000 to make your home warmer and more efficient for winter. As part of the Government's Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme, people in homes with low energy efficiency and a household income of less than £30,000 a year after housing costs, could be eligible for this grant. Also as part of this scheme, private and social landlords may be able to access up to £5,000 with a one-third contribution. Find out more and apply for a grant on Warmer Home's website or call: 0800 038 5737.

New 'Introduction to Nordic-style Walking' course in Midhurst

Our Wellbeing team are running another of their popular 'Walking with Poles — an introduction to Nordic-style walking' courses, this time in Midhurst. This free course will run for eight consecutive Wednesdays between 4 August and 22 September, from 10am to 10.45am, with the option to stay for a social cuppa afterwards. Led by a qualified Nordic walking instructor, the groups will be limited to eight participants. The course is designed for adults currently doing less than 150 minutes of exercise per week who are looking to increase their activity and confidence through walking. Due to the popularity of the courses and the hard work that makes them possible, we ask that people only sign up if they are able to commit to all of the sessions and are mobile and able to exercise. Priority will be given to those living in Midhurst and the surrounding area (GU and RH postcodes). For more information or to book a place please call: 01243 521041 or email: wellbeing@chichester.gov.uk

National news

Alternating doses of vaccines generate robust immune response against Covid-19

A report from researchers has indicated that alternating doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines can generate robust immune responses against Covid-19. The report suggests that both 'mixed' schedules (Pfizer-BioNTech followed by Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Oxford-AstraZeneca followed by Pfizer-BioNTech) induced high concentrations of antibodies against Covid-19 when doses were administered four weeks apart. More information can be found on the  ComCov website and you can read the Study from ComCov .

Outdoor civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies allowed

The Government has published guidance on Outdoor civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies to reflect that a new law now allow a legal civil wedding or civil partnership ceremonies to be held outdoors .It means that ceremonies can be held entirely outside at an approved premises instead of inside a building or other permanent structure.

On 28 June, the Government also updated the guidance for couples planning to get married or form a civil partnership  in England, as well as 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 to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Weekly Covid-19 reports

The Government continues to publish weekly  national influenza and coronavirus reports , the latest of which can be found here, as well as updates on the number of cases of variants of concern .

Covid-19 vaccine efficacy

Public Health England has published estimates for Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness  against symptomatic disease in adults under the age of 40. Early estimates suggest a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine is 61% effective against symptomatic disease and a single dose of the Moderna vaccine is 72% effective against symptomatic disease. The report also shows that two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is estimated to provide 94% protection against death from Covid-19 in people aged 65 and over and highlights that the vaccination programme has so far prevented an estimated 7.2 million infections and 27,000 deaths in England.

The R value and growth rate

The R value in England is currently between 1.1 and 1.3. This means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people. The growth rate in England is currently between 2% and 5% meaning that the number of new infections is growing by between 2% and 5% every day.

Guide for businesses on protecting children from online sexual exploitation and abuse

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has published a a one-stop shop guide for businesses with online platforms on how to help protect children. The guidance includes information on protecting children from online sexual exploitation and abuse, data protection and privacy, age-appropriate content and how to support positive online interactions.

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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.

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 the news that grant funding has been secured for virtual field trips at The Novium Museum; more information about new help for people who have been financially impacted by Covid to pay their council tax; and further details about free online training for independent retail businesses.
  • this week's  District Dispatch column.
  • previous issues of our newsletter that you may have missed.