On this page you can find the latest guidance and details about how to find out more information.

Stay safe - leave a space

We're asking you to stay safe this bank holiday weekend, by avoiding crowds and busy places; staying at least two metres apart; respecting one another; and if you have to travel, thinking about when and how you do this. If you arrive somewhere that is busy, please do not put yourself and others at risk by adding to the crowds.

Our Civil Enforcement Officers, Foreshore Officers and Community Wardens will be monitoring the situation within our communities. However, it's important that people understand that they do not have any powers to enforce social distancing and can only offer advice and assistance. Please respect our staff and make sure that you observe social distancing measures when approaching them for help. Parking restrictions are also in place for your safety, so please follow them.

If you need to report an incident involving anti-social behaviour, please call 101. We all need to follow the government's guidance on staying safe outside your home

Stay Alert - Control the Virus - Protect the NHS


The latest Government position - 10 May:
 


Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly

Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Read the Prime Minister's address for the latest information, and the Government's recovery plan here: Coronavirus - The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy

 

Most non-essential shops are closed however there are some exceptions where businesses can open. For a full list, please see the Coronavirus guidance note - further businesses and premises to close  If you would like to report a business that is continuing to operate, which according to the guidance should be closed, please report it to: healthprotection@chichester.gov.uk along with:

  • your details (name, address, telephone number)
  • details of the business alleged to be trading in contravention to the regulations (name, address, contact details), and
  • details of when and how the business is/was operating.

Government information service


The Government has launched a useful Coronavirus information service on Whatsapp , which is an automated 'chatbot' service providing the public with answers to the most common questions about coronavirus direct from government. Simply WhatsApp 'hi' to 07860 064422.


 

Council service status and meetings
Council services


Please click on the following link for an update on the status of all council services: Service status
 

 

Council meetings

We are monitoring the situation very closely and are reviewing council meetings on a case by case basis based on the latest Government guidance. 


Public speaking at Committee meetings


If you wish to speak at Planning Committee, please complete this form: Planning Committee speaker form

If you wish to submit a question to another public meeting, or for other meetings, please contact: democraticservices@chichester.gov.uk.


All registered speakers will be invited to either read their statement or question virtually, or submit a statement which will be read out on their behalf. If you choose the virtual option, you will be sent joining instructions prior to the meeting. Once a statement or question has been read, each speaker will be asked to leave the meeting.
 

What can I and can't I do during the outbreak?

The Cabinet Office has published frequently asked questions and answers on what the public can and can't do during the coronavirus outbreak.

You can find this here: Coronavirus - outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do  

The Government has also launched a useful Coronavirus information service on Whatsapp  , which is an automated 'chatbot' service providing the public with answers to the most common questions about coronavirus direct from government. Simply WhatsApp 'hi' to 07860 064422.

What to do if you have symptoms or at high risk

The Government has updated staying at home Coronavirus - advice for households with possible coronavirus infection .

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above you should self-isolate at home. This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.

How long to stay at home:

  • if you live alone and have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms

Full advice from the NHS, including information on the symptoms and how to prevent the spread of coronavirus, is available on the NHS website.  

The Government has also issued  Coronavirus - advice for people at high risk  and  guidance for households with grandparents, parents and children living together , where someone is at increased risk or has symptoms of coronavirus infection.

The NHS has launched a survey to help the organisation understand more about how and where coronavirus is affecting people now. The NHS wants to hear from you if you have symptoms, however mild, but it also helps to complete the survey to let them know if you're feeling fine.

What is self isolation and how do I do this?

It is very important that individuals with symptoms that may be due to coronavirus and their household members stay at home. Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community, and particularly the most vulnerable.

The Government has also issued guidance for people about how to self isolate. .

As well as guidance for households with grandparents, parents and children living together , where someone is at increased risk or has symptoms of coronavirus infection.

What is social distancing and how do I do this?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. They include:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)

This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is especially important for:

  • people with long-term health conditions (check the government guidance on social distancing for a full list)
  • people who are 70 or over
  • people who are pregnant
  • people who have a weakened immune system

The Government has issued updated advice on social distancing: Coronavirus - staying safe and alert (social distancing)  as well as advice on staying safe outside your home: Coronavirus - staying safe outside your home   

There is also specific advice to help protect older people and vulnerable adults, which can be found here: Coronavirus - Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19  

Information on pregnancy and coronavirus can be found at: Coronavirus and pregnancy  

People should self-isolate if they or anyone in their household has symptoms.

What to do to help prevent the virus speading

The Prime Minister announced on 10 May that everyone must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly

Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Read the Prime Minister's address for the latest information.


Advice from Public Health England

We are reminding everyone to follow this advice from Public Health England:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Full advice from the NHS, including information on symptoms and how to prevent the spreading of coronavirus, is available on the NHS website.


Testing and eligibility

From 18 May, everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who is showing coronavirus symptoms is eligible to book a swab test to find out if they have the virus. The tests are not suitable for children under 5 years old. Full guidance on coronavirus testing and eligibility can be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested

The Government has also issued advice for care homes, vulnerable and older people, which can be found  on the adult social care guidance page of the Government's website. .
 



The Food Standards Agency has published advice for consumers in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance includes advice on food hygiene, food storage, food packaging and takeaway food. This can be found at Guidance for consumers on coronavirus (COVID-19) and food  

What to do if you are vulnerable and need support
Community Hub

We are working very closely with West Sussex County Council, which has developed a Community Hub to support the most vulnerable residents in our communities. You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help, or if you want to volunteer your services in these difficult times. This will be available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. The team will be contacting the most vulnerable to tell them how to get help.

The best way to contact the hub is online. If you have access, go to: COVID-19 Community Hub - West Sussex County Council A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 033 022 27980.

We are trying to keep the resources available through the hub for those who are most vulnerable, so if you do have support in place already, such as from family or friends, then please continue to use their support. This means that we can focus our efforts on those most in need.

The South Downs National Park Authority have published a map which identifies food suppliers and community groups in their area. The aim of this is to connect communities to local suppliers and support during the coronavirus outbreak. You can view the map here: Connecting communities with local suppliers - South Downs National Park Authority

For updates on our community services and for Frequently Asked Questions about this service, along with volunteering advice, please visit: Communities - Coronavirus FAQs
 


Domestic abuse support

The Government has issued advice for people facing domestic abuse, with details on how to access help: Domestic Abuse: how to get help - Gov.uk  

The Government has said that the coronavirus household isolation instruction does not apply to anyone who needs to leave their home to escape domestic abuse. 

The Rail Delivery Group has also announced that those fleeing domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown can apply for free train travel to refuge accommodation. Tickets can be accessed through Women's Aid Federation of England, Welsh Women's Aid, Scottish Women's Aid and Imkaan.

For more advice and support, please visit our community safety and crime web page.

Community guide, looking out for your neighbour, and volunteering

We have created a new Community Guide, which includes key information, contacts, and guidance all in one place. The aim of the guide is to inform and assist people, and to ensure their safety as well as the safety of any people they may be supporting. You can find this guide at: Help Your Neighbour

It is now more important than ever that we reach out to the people around us, and to support our Community Guide, we are launching a new mini-campaign to encourage residents in the Chichester District to look out for their neighbours. This could include offering to pick up shopping or medication, checking in with a friendly phone call, or making sure they can access the help that they need. Details of this are included within the guide and on the website referenced above, along with important advice about how to stay safe while volunteering. On our campaign web page (Help Your Neighbour), you will find a downloadable flyer which you can print off and post through the doors of neighbours to offer support and to give advice on safe ways to accept help.

Volunteering

Our district is renowned for its generosity and its incredible volunteer groups. The role of volunteers at this time is invaluable and we are incredibly grateful. At this moment in time, we don't need any more volunteers, but if you are still keen to help, please look out for your neighbours. Advice on this can be found at the above link.
 

Community groups and charities can find information on the range of advice and support available to them in our Communities - Coronavirus FAQs.

 

Mental health and wellbeing

Guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing is available here: COVID-19: guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing is available here: COVID-19: Guidance for parents and carers supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing

Further information can be found here: Coronavirus - Advice to support mental health

 

Advice and support for businesses

 

Please read the Coronavirus - social distancing for businesses  from the Government which details which businesses have been asked to close to help reduce the spread of the virus.

The Government has also issued advice on social distancing in the workplace.

Health advice

The Government has issued guidance to assist employers and businesses  in providing advice to staff about coronavirus.

Government support

The Government has announced new measures to support businesses during this challenging time. Please find more information on our Council Tax and Benefits Frequently Asked Questions page: Council tax and benefits - Coronavirus FAQs or visit: Coronavirus: Business Support - Gov.uk

New support finder tool - the Government has set up a new coronavirus business support finder tool. This tool helps businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily find out what financial advice is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic. You access the tool at Coronavirus - find financial support for your business   Business owners will be asked to fill out a quick and simple online questionnaire. They will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.

Further information and advice can also be found at  the Government's website.  and you can view our frequently asked questions at: Business Support - Coronavirus FAQs 

Health and safety

Food guidance is available for food businesses looking to re-open, as well as information about the risk of legionella.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have put together some guidance to help employers and those that are self-employed and work with or near other people. The guidance covers latest information and advice on coronavirus and managing risks and risk assessments at work. Further information is available on the health and safety web page.

Help for those in the sport and arts sector

Sport England have announced that funding is now available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the coronavirus crisis. This includes the opportunity for local clubs and community organisations can bid for grants of between £300 and £10,000 through the Community Emergency Fund, as well as a range of other support measures. For more information, please visit: Sport England - £195 million package to help sport and physical activity through coronavirus

Arts Council England are offering financial support to individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector during the coronavirus crisis. Funding is available for National Portfolio Holders, as well as organisations that are not in receipt of regular Arts Council funding, and freelancers. For more information on this, and other support being offered to the cultural sector, please visit: Arts Council England - Covid-19

 

Our role and latest updates

We are working closely with our partners, including Public Health England, which is leading the national response to the coronavirus outbreak.


Different services and government agencies are responsible for leading different parts of our response:

  • Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC): the Chief Medical Officer for England confirms each incident

  • Public Health England (PHE): co-ordinate the response, information and advice on the Coronavirus (Covid-19)

  • NHS: local and national NHS services are working on the front line to test individuals, and provide advice through calls to NHS 111

  • West Sussex County Council: provides local public health leadership by working in partnership to safeguard the county.  They are working with system partners via the LHRP (Local Health Resilience Partnership) and LRF (Local Resilience Forum) to ensure appropriate application of the Sussex pandemic Plan.
     

Supporting our Communities flyer


We have also created a new flyer, which includes vital contact numbers, email addresses and web addresses to help you access a variety of support easily and quickly. You can view this here and print it out for yourself or for anyone you think would benefit from it.

Latest update from Chichester District Council
Wednesday 6 May 2020

 

Issued by the Communications Team - publicrelations@chichester.gov.uk

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest information, advice and guidance for residents and businesses in Chichester District.

Chichester District Council on Twitter

Chichester District Council on Facebook

 

This briefing is to keep you updated on the evolving situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) and the actions being taken in the district.

 

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

  • Service changes

  • Sign up to our email newsletter

  • VE Day - 8 May 2020

  • Behind the Headlines

  • Top council in the country at paying business rate grants

  • Local business guides

  • Household Waste and Recycling Centres to reopen

  • Refuse, recycling and parks

  • Bounce Back Loans launched

  • Tax Credit payments

  • Tool to help self-employed determine eligibility for grant claims

  • Community hub

  • Important advice

  • New website for reporting medicines side-effects and equipment incidents

  • Working in people's homes

  • Stay in touch

 

Latest update

The Prime Minister is expected to deliver an address to the nation on Sunday outlining the government's 'roadmap' for exiting the coronavirus lockdown. He is expected to explain a 'menu of options' the government will choose from when it eventually begins lifting the current restrictions. A new contact-tracing app for managing the coronavirus outbreak will also be piloted on the Isle of Wight this week.

You can find out the latest advice and guidance at  www.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

Until the government issues further guidance, everyone should:

  • stay at home

  • only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)

  • stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people

  • wash your hands as soon as you get home

 

Anyone can spread the virus. The advice is to stay home and save lives.

 

Service changes

Please visit www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus for the latest information.

 

Sign up to our email newsletter

Please encourage people to sign up to our email newsletter service at www.chichester.gov.uk/newsalerts Anyone who signs up, will receive a copy of this newsletter on a weekly basis, sent directly to their chosen email account.

 

VE Day - Friday 8 May

The government has revised plans to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8 May in a manner consistent with the current measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. The new programme will allow members of the public to remember and give thanks to the Second World War generation from the safety of their own homes.

Details of the programme: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/her-majesty-the-queen-to-send-a-message-to-the-nation-to-mark-75th-anniversary-of-ve-day

To find out more about how you can take part, you can visit: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/get-involved/

Our Novium Museum has also produced dedicated web pages on Victory in Europe Day, including how residents of the district celebrated this key date https://www.thenovium.org/article/33904/Victory-in-Europe-Day   You can also sit back and listen to our VE Day Voices, bringing history to life and spoken by the people who were there! https://www.thenovium.org/article/33968/VE-Day-Voices
 

Behind the Headlines

The council's response to the coronavirus crisis will appear in the Observer's 'Behind the Headlines' pages this week, explaining how we have been supporting our communities.

 

Top council in the country at paying business rate grants

We're very proud that in a national table showing the business rate grants that have been issued, we're right at the top of the table. 99.56% of our business rate grants were paid by the end of April, with the remaining businesses choosing not to take their grant. Business rate grants, totalling around £36 million, have now been issued to approximately 3,000 businesses in the Chichester District. You can find out more at https://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/33975/Hundreds-of-local-businesses-receive-COVID-19-grant-funding

 

Local business guides

Although many businesses have had to close their doors due to the coronavirus outbreak, lots of companies are still offering their services in a different way.

From delicious food takeaways and home deliveries to virtual lessons and workshops, many businesses are continuing to offer lots of services across the district. Chichester BID has created an online guide to those operating across the District https://chichesterbid.co.uk/chichester-business-directory/ and the South Downs National Park Authority have also produced one for the north of the district too https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/community-rallies-round-to-create-helpful-online-map/

 

Household Waste and Recycling Centres to reopen

West Sussex County Council has confirmed that it plans to reopen Household Waste Recycling Sites next week. For the full details, please see https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/news/county-council-confirms-how-and-when-household-waste-recycling-sites-will-reopen/

 

Refuse, recycling and parks

We are continuing to empty your bins as usual, including household waste, recycling, green recycling and trade waste. The teams have been working really hard to make sure that all services are running. Our parks and gardens remain well maintained and open, so that you are able to enjoy them for your one piece of exercise a day.
 

Bounce Back Loans launched

Small business owners can now apply to accredited lenders by filling out a simple online form. Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, with the cash arriving within days. An affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans.

The government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee and cover the cost of any fees and interest for the borrower for the first 12 months. To enable firms to get back on their feet, no repayments will be due during this period.

Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-bounce-back-loans-to-launch-today

To apply: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan
 

Tax credit payments

The government has confirmed that those working reduced hours due to coronavirus or those being furloughed by their employer will not have their tax credits payments affected if they are still employed or self-employed.

There is no need to contact HMRC about this change. HMRC will treat those applicable as working their normal hours until the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme close, even if they are not using either scheme.

The announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-credits-customers-will-continue-to-receive-payments-even-if-working-fewer-hours-due-to-covid-19


Tool to help self-employed determine eligibility for grant claims

HMRC have launched an online tool the public can use to find out if they're eligible to make a claim through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The following are required to access the tool:

· Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number

· National Insurance number

Tool: https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/self-employment-support/enter-unique-taxpayer-reference

Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme


Community hub

As we have mentioned previously, we are working in partnership with West Sussex County Council, which has developed a Community Hub to support the most vulnerable residents in our communities. We have been supporting the hub by collecting and delivering food, supporting volunteers, calling people to check that they are okay.

 

You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help, or if you want to volunteer your services in these difficult times. This will be available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. The team will be contacting the most vulnerable to tell them how to get help. The best way to contact the hub is online; if you have access go to www.westsussex.gov.uk/covid19communityhub.

 

A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 033 022 27980. We are trying to keep the resources available through the hub for those who are most vulnerable, so if you do have support in place already, such as from family or friends, then please continue to use their support.

 

Important advice

The Cabinet Office has updated the document that answers some of the most frequently asked question on what the public can and can't do during the coronavirus outbreak. You can access it here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Please also remember that we also have lots of FAQs and updates on our services and these can be found at www.chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus
 

New website for reporting medicines side-effects and equipment incidents

A new online reporting site, dedicated to reporting any suspected side effects from medicines, future vaccines and incidents involving medical equipment relating to coronavirus treatment, has been launched

The Yellow Card COVID-19 reporting site has been developed as part of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency' (MHRA)  work to protect the public through enhanced coronavirus vigilance and in preparation for large-scale use of potential new or repurposed medicines, medical devices, diagnostic tests and future vaccines.

Announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-new-website-for-reporting-medicines-side-effects-and-equipment-incidents

Website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/


Working in people's homes

The guidance for working in people's homes as a tradesperson, cleaner or nanny, which is part of the social distancing in the workplace guidance, has been updated.

Updated guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance#working-in-peoples-homes-as-a-tradesperson-cleaner-or-nanny

 

Stay in touch

Make sure you stay in touch with our daily updates on:

www.chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus

www.facebook.com/ChichesterDistrictCouncil

www.twitter.com/ChichesterDC

www.instagram.com/ChichesterDC

https://www.linkedin.com/company/chichesterdc

You can also now sign up for our email newsletters at www.chichester.gov.uk/newsalerts


EU Settlement Scheme Applications: Important Message About COVID-19 from the Home Office

While EU Settled Status applications continue to be processed, during this challenging time they will take longer than usual. In addition, in line with the latest Public Health England advice some of our support services and application routes have temporarily changed. Please find an outline of these changes below:

  • The Settlement Resolution Centre will no longer be answering telephone calls.  It will, however, continue to respond to email enquiries and provide a call back function when required. Email enquiries can be made via the online contact form: https://eu-settled-status-enquiries.service.gov.uk/start. Emails from support organisations will be prioritised where possible.  

  • ID document scanner locations are following all the latest Public Health England advice to protect staff and the decision has been made to suspend them at this time.  

  • The postal route for submitting Identity evidence is currently suspended. Documents cannot be accepted by post at this time, but all documents already sent will be returned as quickly as possible. Applications can still be madeonline using the EU Exit ID Document check app.

  • 57 grant funded voluntary and community sector organisations — some services have been suspended but organisations are seeking to provide support in other ways, in line with social distancing guidance, for example via telephone and online. Please check individual organisations for further details: www.gov.uk/help-eu-settlement-scheme

For the latest information on the scheme please visit www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

Coronavirus risk assessment


The Government has recommended that employers publish their Coronavirus risk assessments on their websites. You can find ours here.
 

Coronavirus risk assessment

 

Waste and recycling collections

For updates on our waste and recycling service and for Frequently Asked Questions about this service, please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/wasteandrecyclingfaqs

Housing services and homelessness support

For updates and Frequently Asked Questions about our Housing services and homelessness support, please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/housingfaqs

Council tax and benefits

For updates and Frequently Asked Questions about our Council Tax and Benefits services, please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/taxandbenefitsfaq

Where can I find out more information?

On the Government's website - www.gov.uk/coronavirus - you can find the latest information on the following areas:

  • Protect yourself and others from coronavirus
  • Testing for coronavirus
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Work, financial support and money
  • Business and and self-employed people
  • School closures, education and childcare
  • Housing and accommodation
  • Driving and transport in the UK
  • International travel and immigration
  • Volunteering and offering help
  • Healthcare workers, carers and care setting
  • Support if someone dies
  • Cases in the UK

Here are some useful links to updates and information from other organisations: