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
  • Advice for businesses on updating risk assessments
  • Calling all local entrepreneurs — pop-up shop applications now open
  • Free online training for independent retail businesses
  • Exciting programme of summer parks events kicks off this month
  • Help us keep out district beautiful
  • Free tree scheme launches to increase planting in the Chichester District
  • Help with housing payments and bills
  • EU Settlement Scheme support
  • New dates announced for Chichester Wellbeing's weight management course - Weigh Better Life

National news

  • Further easing of restrictions and guidance updates
  • Travel updates
  • Self-isolation rules for fully vaccinated critical workers in exceptional circumstances
  • JCVI advice on vaccination of children and young people
  • Expanded winter 2021 flu vaccination programme
  • Help and support if your business is affected by Covid-19
  • New NHS COVID Pass Verifier App to support businesses using COVID Pass
  • The R value and growth rate
  • New research into treatment and diagnosis of long Covid
  • Hospitality sector strategy launched

Latest update

This week, the country moved to Step 4 of the Government's roadmap — a new phase of continued caution while continuing to manage the risks of Covid-19. What's important to remember is that while many legal restrictions have been lifted, Step 4 does not mark the end of the pandemic. By practising key behaviours, we can continue to protect ourselves and others and help stop the virus spreading.

The Government has a five-point plan  in place to manage the virus. The plan includes: reinforcing the country's vaccine wall of defence; enabling the public to make informed decisions; retaining proportionate test, trace and isolate plans; managing risks at the border and supporting a global response; and retaining contingency measures.

More than 35 million adults in the UK have now received both doses of a vaccine, and there is no doubt that the success of the vaccination rollout has paved the way for the safe and gradual lifting of restrictions. This is why it is important that you get vaccinated if you are over the age of 18. It's even easier to access your first or second jab because there is now a walk-in vaccination clinic at Westgate Leisure Centre in Chichester. You can find more information and timings in our 'local news' section below.

Now that we have reached Step 4, we plan to produce these newsletters monthly instead of weekly. From next month, they will be renamed 'District Roundup' to reflect the range of news they will offer, including local updates and information that will benefit our residents, businesses and communities, as well as any coronavirus news there may be. However, if the situation with the pandemic changes, we may deliver these more frequently.

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 webpage.

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

Did you know that Westgate Leisure Centre in Chichester is operating a walk-in vaccination clinic every single day with no appointment needed? The service is running between 8.30am and 7pm every day of the week, offering first and second doses for Pfizer and second doses for AstraZeneca. You can find confirmation of the sessions and timings on the  Sussex Health and Care website. If you know someone who has yet to have their vaccination, please pass this information on. 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.

If you'd like to book an appointment in advance, visit the  NHS vaccine booking website or call: 119. Through the online booking system, you can see where available appointments are available and the recommended vaccine type for you.

Advice for businesses on updating risk assessments

Our Health Protection Officers have been busy supporting district businesses with Covid compliance work since the pandemic began, and we wanted to remind local businesses that we are still here to help. As we move into Step 4 of the roadmap, it is important that businesses review their Covid risk assessments, including assessing whether you want to retain social distancing and other Covid-related signage on your premises. If you need help with your risk assessment, or if have any questions about the current Government guidance and how this affects your business, you can contact our Health Protection Team by emailing: healthprotection@chichester.gov.uk or calling: 01243 534602.

Calling all local entrepreneurs — pop-up shop applications now open

We are pleased to say that we have reopened applications for our two pop-up shops in Crane Street, Chichester. If you are interested in this opportunity, you can find more information, eligibility criteria, and apply on our business advice and support webpage. Applications are open until midnight on Wednesday 11 August, and successful applicants will have the chance to trade in one of our pop up shops in the run up to Christmas.

The council's Pop Up Shop Initiative was introduced to help support small and start-up businesses in the district. Using shops owned by the council, the scheme offers affordable temporary premises for smaller enterprises. This gives local entrepreneurs the opportunity to trial business concepts and trade in a high street location without the commitment or cost of a longer-term lease. You can find more information on our business advice and support webpage.

Free online training for independent retail businesses

Independent retail businesses in the district are invited to access a free online training package. There are ten different modules available, each presented by a specialist expert. We have put together a short video  highlighting the range of topics covered and how to access the training.

The training can be accessed directly by visting West Sussex Retail Hub . Although tailored to independent retailers, other businesses may also find some of the topics useful. For more information, see our  free online retail training article. This initiative is thanks to a joint project between all the district and borough councils in West Sussex, and is being funded from a successful bid to the West Sussex Business Rates Pool.

Exciting programme of summer parks events kicks off this month

Two evening music events will be taking place in Priory Park at the end of next week, kicking off a packed summer of events in our parks. The family-friendly events, organised by BEL entertainments — behind events such as Last Night of the Proms at Stansted House — have been welcomed in direct response to the public's call for more events in public spaces across the district. To make everything safe for these events, from 3pm on Friday 30 July and Saturday 31 July, the park will be closed to the public. The main entrance will then be open again from 4pm on both days for people to buy refreshments from Fenwicks Café and also access the public toilets, and people will be able to access all areas of the park again on the Sunday (1 August). You can find out more about these events by visting our upcoming concert in Priory Park article.

Help us keep out district beautiful

When the weather is warm and sunny, 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.

Free tree scheme launched to increase planting in the Chichester District

Applications are now open for people to apply for free trees to plant in the district, as part of our Tree Chichester District scheme. 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 as well as a range of Frequently Asked Questions, on our tree scheme webpage.

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 on our help with finances webpage, 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

The Government has advised that while the deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme has passed for most people, applicants in or outside the UK who have been affected by restrictions during the pandemic 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  getting help applying for the EU settlement scheme  webpage. 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.

New dates announced for Chichester Wellbeing's weight management course - Weigh Better Life

Chichester Wellbeing's weight management course, Weigh Better Life, returns from the week commencing 13 September for 12 weeks. The course takes a holistic approach to weight loss, exercise and general wellbeing to ensure it has lasting changes for life. Unlike other courses, it is aimed at sustainable weight loss and exercise habits rather than a diet, and the approach is rooted in nutrition and science and delivered by a trained nutritionist. The course is free for Chichester District residents who are over the age of 18 and with a BMI of 25-40. Sessions will be run at a variety of venues, including Chichester, Midhurst, Selsey and virtually on MS Teams. Spaces are extremely limited. To find out more information about securing a place please email: wbl@chichester.gov.uk. To find out more, you can watch this quick video about the scheme .

National news

Further easing of restrictions and guidance updates

The Prime Minister has confirmed that the Government's four tests for easing Covid-19 restrictions have been met and the country has now moved to Step 4 of the roadmap.

Most legal restrictions to control Covid-19 have been lifted, including requirements for social distancing, working from home and wearing face coverings, however the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport. All remaining closed businesses and venues, including nightclubs, can reopen, and all capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events have been lifted. Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and bars are also no longer required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules. There are also no longer limits on the number of people who can meet, who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations), or who can attend communal worship.

The following guidance has been updated in line with the easing of restrictions this week:

The Government's website has more information about what you can and cannot do during Step 4 .

Travel updates

The Government has confirmed that arrivals from France to England must continue to quarantine for 10 days, at home or in other accommodation, even if they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. An updated list of the countries rated as red, amber or green, and the rules people must follow to enter England, can be found on the Government's  Red, amber and green list  web page.

As part of Step 4, the following groups will no longer need to quarantine or take a day eight polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test if arriving from amber countries:

  • people who are fully vaccinated through the UK vaccination programme
  • people who are on a formally approved Covid-19 clinical trial in the UK
  • people aged under 18 and resident in the UK

However, these groups will still need to complete a pre-departure test before arrival, alongside a PCR test on or before day two after arrival.

Self-isolation rules for fully vaccinated critical workers in exceptional circumstances

The Cabinet Office has announced that in exceptional circumstances — where there would otherwise be a major detrimental impact on essential services — a limited number of fully vaccinated critical workers may be able to leave self-isolation to attend work. This is a short-term measure before the exemption for fully vaccinated contacts is introduced on 16 August, as part of plans to prevent harm from serious disruption to vital public services.

This will only apply to workers who are fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days post-final dose) and will be solely so that they can attend work. It only applies to asymptomatic contacts and not to individuals who have tested positive or who have Covid-19 symptoms. Critical workers who attend work in these exceptional circumstances will need to take a PCR test as soon as possible followed by daily LFD tests before attending work each day of their self-isolation period. If they test positive or start to show symptoms they must immediately self-isolate and will no longer be able to attend work. Critical workplaces that take this approach will follow conditions to minimise any risk of transmission, including following other safeguards, such as ensuring that social distancing is maintained and face coverings are worn at all times.

JCVI advice on vaccination of children and young people

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that children at increased risk of serious Covid-19 can be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine , which is the only vaccine that has been authorised in the UK for children aged 12 or older.

This includes children aged 12 to 15 with severe neurodisabilities, Down's syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities. The JCVI also recommends that children and young people aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person should be offered the vaccine to indirectly protect their immunosuppressed household contacts. Under existing advice, young people aged 16 to 17 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious Covid-19 should have already been offered vaccination. The JCVI is not currently advising routine vaccination of children outside of these groups, based on the current evidence.

Expanded winter 2021 flu vaccination programme

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that a free seasonal flu vaccine will be made available to more people this year as part of an expanded winter 2021 flu vaccination programme . Working with the NHS, the Government will deliver the expanded flu programme alongside any booster programme for Covid-19 vaccines, as part of wider autumn and winter planning to protect as many lives as possible.

Help and support if your business is affected by Covid-19

Businesses can sign up for email alerts and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available if their business is affected by Covid-19 .

New NHS COVID Pass Verifier App to support businesses using Covid Pass

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that the NHS Covid Pass Verifier App  launched this weekend to support businesses using Covid Pass. This has been designed to support venues, businesses and those most at risk who would like to verify a person's Covid-19 status.

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 4% and 7% meaning that the number of new infections is growing by between 4% and 7% every day.

New research into treatment and diagnosis of long Covid

The Government has announced that 15 new studies across the UK will expand research into long Covid to support thousands of people suffering the long-term effects of the virus. The new research programmes will be backed by £19.6 million funding through the National Institute for Health Research to help better understand the condition, improve diagnosis and find new treatments.

Hospitality sector strategy launched

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published a strategy for the hospitality sector to support reopening, recovery and resilience . The strategy includes measures to support and raise the profile of careers in the sector through vocational skills, apprenticeships and other qualifications. It also aims to support innovation in the sector by bringing hospitality businesses together with universities and innovators and help to reduce emissions and waste including single use plastic consumption.

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Stay up to date

Keep up-to-date on all the latest council news by visiting our Latest News page: latest news. 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.