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 housing payments and bills
  • EU Settlement Scheme support
  • Support for the vulnerable
  • Residents get ready to recycle more with new collection schemes trial
  • Thousands of free trees available for planting in the Chichester District
  • The Summer Street Party is back
  • Wellbalanced workshops in Chichester and Selsey
  • Census Quality Survey and scams

National news

  • Covid-19 restrictions: what you can and cannot do
  • International travel from amber countries
  • Guidance on protecting clinically extremely vulnerable people
  • Working safely guidance from Step 4
  • Covid-19 infection rates three times lower for double vaccinated people
  • Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness in clinical risk groups
  • Rapid lateral flow testing study results
  • Weekly Covid-19 reports
  • The R value and growth rate
  • EU Transition update

Latest update

As we're sure you will have heard, the Prime Minister announced this week that we will move to Step 4 of the Government's roadmap on Monday 19 July. This will see an end to most legal Covid-19 restrictions, removing social distancing and social contact restrictions and enabling remaining businesses to reopen. It is important to remember that Covid-19 has not gone away, so please remember the actions you can continue to take to keep yourselves and others safe. The Government has issued guidance on this, including recommending that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded areas, such as busy public transport. We have included more on this in our 'national news' section below, and you can find out what will change and what you should do to protect yourselves and others by visiting the Government's  Coronavirus Guidance  webpage.

Regular testing can identify Covid-19 where symptoms are not present and can help you protect yourself and others. You can visit West Sussex County Council's  Asymptomatic testing  website or the Government's website for  ordering rapid lateral flow tests to order packs of free rapid lateral flow test kits. Anyone with symptoms should continue to self-isolate immediately and book a free PCR test by visiting the  NHS Coronavirus  website or calling 119. 

On 16 August, the rules on self-isolating as a contact will change for people who are fully vaccinated and for under 18s. It's great to hear that more than 80 million vaccines have now been given in the UK. Every adult in England has been offered at least one dose and the programme is accelerating further, with all adults able to reduce their vaccine dose interval from twelve to eight weeks. You can find links to book or change your vaccination below.
 

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 on our  page.

Our Customer Services Centre at East Pallant House has now reopened to the public. If you are visiting the Customer Services Centre, we'd ask you to continue wearing a face covering, unless exempt, please. Using our website continues to be the safest, quickest and most convenient way of accessing our services.

NHS coronavirus vaccination service

Anyone over the age of 18 can book their jab and everyone is now able to have their second vaccine eight weeks after their first. The vaccine is free, quick and easy, and you can arrange it today by visiting the  NHS vaccine booking  website or calling: 119. Through the online booking system, you can see where available appointments are available and the recommended vaccine type for you.

You can also visit a walk-in session with no appointment needed. A number of walk-in sessions are taking place at the Westgate Leisure Centre, Chichester, with the next one tomorrow (16 July) between 08.30 and 19.00. You can find a list of walk-in sessions across the county on Sussex Health and Partnership's  covid-19 vaccination programme  page, this page is being regularly updated so if you miss a session, keep looking to see if new sessions in your area are added. Please continue to follow Government guidance once you've been vaccinated.

Help with housing payments and bills

The coronavirus outbreak has affected everyone and many people are experiencing financial difficulties as a result, but help is available and we are urging residents to contact us before things get more serious, so that we can provide support and advice. People can find more information and useful links at on our help with finances page, 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.

EU Settlement Scheme support

As we mentioned last week, the Government has updated the guidance for EU Settlement Scheme applicants  in or outside the UK who have been affected by restrictions during the pandemic. 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's  EU settlement scheme  page. 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.

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 on West Sussex County Council's  Covid-19 community hub  page

Residents get ready to recycle more with new collection schemes trial

We're pleased to say that this month we will be starting two free kerbside collection services as part of a trial to help residents recycle even more. One scheme will collect unwanted textiles and broken or unneeded small electrical items, and another will collect used coffee pods in partnership with Podback. The twelve month trial will cover approximately 75% of households in the Chichester District. Once the trial is complete, we will be looking to see if these schemes can be rolled out and made permanent across the whole of the district. To find out if your area is included within the textiles and small electricals trial, and if so, what your collection date will be, visit our textile and electical recycling page, where you will also find more information about how the service works. To find out whether you are in the trial area for the used coffee pod collection service, visit Podback's  website, where you can also sign up if you are eligible, and to find out more about this service you can vist the Council's Podback webpage.

Thousands of free trees available for planting in the Chichester District

From Monday 19 July, people will be able to apply for free trees as part of our Tree Chichester District scheme, which aims to increase tree planting across the district. The scheme, which is funded by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is open to everyone in the district, including schools, community groups, landowners, businesses and residents to help with their tree planting projects. Trees will be supplied in bundles of 10 or 20, but not as individual trees, and applicants will receive different bundles to suit the location and soil type of the area in which they plan to plant them. People can find more information about the scheme, along with guidance notes for anyone interested in applying for free trees on our  tree scheme page.

The Summer Street Party is back

Save the date! Our popular Summer Street Party is returning to Chichester this August with a wealth of family and children's entertainment, performance and music, and delicious local food vendors, as well as in-store activities and special offers from many of Chichester's high-street businesses. Taking place on 26 August, from 3pm to 7pm, the event is a great way to experience everything Chichester has to offer. You can find out more and keep updated by following our social media channels, which you can find links to at the end of this newsletter. Don't forget to check out our online What's On calendar, which includes details about a range of other events taking place across our district this summer: What's on

Wellbalanced workshops in Chichester and Selsey


Chichester Wellbeing's 'Wellbalanced for Wellbeing' workshops have now returned to group classes (although virtual options are still available) at Chichester's Swanfield Centre on Tuesday afternoons, and The Selsey Centre on Tuesday mornings. These workshops offer advice, support and exercises for people aged 65 and over who have recently experienced a fall, feel unsteady on their feet, or are worried that they, or their loved ones, may fall in the future. Developed with qualified instructors, the sessions give important advice about what people should do if they experience a fall, and offer access to a range of gentle exercise programmes led by instructors qualified in falls prevention, helping people to get back on their feet and feeling confident again. These courses are delivered by our partner Active House Solutions and more information is available at the Wellbalanced programme  website. Alternatively, you can call: 01444 657099 or email: info@wellbalancedprogramme.co.uk.

Census Quality Survey and scams

The Census Quality Survey is happening now. This is a voluntary telephone survey that helps the Office for National Statistics to work out the accuracy of the information collected during the Census. As part of this, a certain number of households will receive a letter asking them to take part and explaining what to do next. You can find out more about this on the census quality survey  website

Please be aware that Census scams are still in operation, and that the Office for National Statistics will:

  • never contact someone by text in relation to the census unless you've texted them — their responses will come from: 86677
  • never issue a fine by text, phone call, email or social media
  • never ask you for your national insurance number, passwords, bank account details, or your credit or debit card numbers

Scam text messages can be forwarded to: 7726 and scam emails to: report@phishing.gov.uk. More information can be found on the Census' how we will contact you  webpage


National news

 

Covid-19 restrictions: what you can and cannot do

This week, the Cabinet Office updated the guidance on Covid-19 restrictions to reflect the move to step four of the roadmap on 19 July. The guidance sets out the key protections the Government is keeping in place, including:

  • encouraging people to test when they have symptoms,
  • carrying out targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk,
  • encouraging people to isolate when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace, and
  • keeping border quarantine in place for all arriving from red list countries and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries.

International travel from amber countries

The Secretary of State for Transport has announced that guidance on international travel between amber list countries and England will change on 19 July. From 4am on this date, arrivals who have been fully vaccinated with an NHS administered vaccine in the UK, and are returning to England from amber list counties, will no longer need to quarantine. Passengers will need to provide proof of their vaccination status to carriers in advance of travel and will still be required to complete a pre-departure test before arrival, alongside a PCR test on or before day two after arrival.

The recommendation for people not to travel to amber list countries will also be removed from 19 July and children under the age of 18 will be exempt from quarantine on returning to England from amber countries.

Guidance on protecting clinically extremely vulnerable people

The Government has published new guidance on protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19. The guidance will come into effect on 19 July and is for everyone in England who has been identified by the NHS or through the Covid-19 population risk assessment as being clinically extremely vulnerable.

The guidance advises clinically extremely vulnerable people, as a minimum, to follow the same guidance as everyone else. However, it also notes that they may wish to think particularly carefully about additional precautions they might wish to continue to take. It sets out a number of suggested measures, including on socialising, vaccination, work and travel.


Working safely guidance from Step 4

The Government has published guidance on working safely during Covid-19 as part of step four of the roadmap. This guidance reflects the measures different types of workplaces should follow from 19 July, and has been published to inform planning and business operations. It includes a number of guides which cover a range of different types of work including construction, shops, restaurants and offices. Organisations may need to use more than one of these guides as they think through what they need to do to keep people safe.

Guidance for events and attractions has also been published as part of this update on the Government's guidance on working safely from Step 4


Covid-19 infection rates three times lower for double vaccinated people

The interim findings of a study released earlier this month show that Covid-19 infection rates for double-vaccinated under-65s are three times lower than in unvaccinated under-65s. The prevalence of infection in under-65s who had received two doses of vaccine was 0.35% compared with 1.15% among those who had not received any, demonstrating the importance of vaccination. More information about this study can be found on the Government's press release  page

Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness in clinical risk groups

Public Health England has published the results of a study which has found that Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective in clinical risk groups . The study found that the vaccines used in the UK were as effective at preventing symptomatic disease in the majority of people with underlying health conditions as the rest of the population.

Rapid lateral flow testing study results

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that findings from three studies have confirmed the effectiveness of Covid-19 rapid, lateral flow tests . The three research papers analysed the use of rapid tests in a variety of scenarios, including against variants of concern. The studies found the accuracy of tests remains high whether the tests are performed by an experienced or inexperienced user.

Weekly Covid-19 reports

The Government continues to publish weekly national influenza and coronavirus reports , the latest of which can be found here. Updates on the number of cases of variants of concern are also published weekly and can be found on the Government's Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants  webpage

The R value and growth rate

The R value in England is currently between 1.2 and 1.5. This means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 other people. The growth rate in England is currently between 3% and 7% meaning that the number of new infections is growing by between 3% and 7% every day. More information can be found here:

EU Transition update

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced that the Movement Assistance Scheme  has been extended until the end of December 2023 and expanded to offer greater support for traders. The Movement Assistance Scheme helps traders by covering certain certification costs incurred when moving agri-food products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

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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. Sign up at: news alerts

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 a further £50,000 has been approved by the council for a new district-wide celebration of culture in 2022, more details about the council's new recycling collection trials, and further details about the exciting plans for this year's Summer Street Party.
  • this week's District Dispatch column, and
  • previous issues of our newsletter that you may have missed.