Our libraries and leisure settings had to close following the Government’s national lockdown, all the other council services are operating as normal.
We have a variety of support mechanisms in place to help our residents through this difficult time.
This will be updated as and when we get details from government.
Rollout of vaccinations against COVID-19 is underway in the borough.
Borough residents aged 80 and above, care home residents as well as NHS and care home workers are in the process of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.
Government guidance says that you should work from home unless it is impossible for you to do so. If it is not possible to do your job from home, for example if you operate machinery or work in the construction industry, you should return to work if it is safe to do so unless you work in one of the industries that must remain closed.
If you are concerned that your employer is not taking all practical steps to promote social distancing or make your workplace safe then you can report this to your local authority or the Health and Safety Executive who can take a range of action, including where appropriate requiring your employer to take additional steps.
There is a legal duty for people to self-isolate if they have been instructed by NHS Test and Trace. Penalties for those breaking the rules, including fines on a sliding scale from £1,000 up to a maximum of £10,000 for multiple breaches. There is also a legal obligation on employers that they must not knowingly enable or encourage their employers to break the law on self isolation.
Test and trace support payments are part of a new legal duty for people to self isolate, which came into force on 28 September 2020, and ensures that those on low incomes are able to self isolate without worrying about their finances.
Government has asked local authorities to administer the payments.
To be eligible for the £500 lump-sum test and trace support payment, you must meet the following criteria:
- have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they’ve tested positive or are the close contact of a positive case
- are employed or self employed
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- are currently receiving:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit and/or
- Pension Credit .
Parks and playgrounds are open. You must adhere to social distancing guidelines when you are outside you home.
If you see or know of a businesses or premises that is open that you believe shouldn’t be please report this in confidence by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you believe someone is breaking social distancing rules you can report this to the police.
It is compulsory to wear a face covering on public transport including in taxis and in public indoor settings, unless you have an exemption.
You may be fined if you do not wear a face covering where required. The police have powers to issue a £200 fine for a first offence (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days. For repeat offences, the fine will double up to a maximum of £6,400. There is no early payment discount for repeat offence fines.
Those exempt from wearing a face covering include children under the age of 11, those unable to wear a face covering due to a disability or impairment, or you are communicating who relies on lip reading. For safety reasons, children under the age of three should not wear face coverings.
A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks used as part of personal protective equipment by healthcare and other workers. These need to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace such as health and care workers.
A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single adult household) and one other household of any size.
Government guidance says that "premises where face coverings are required to take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law". Reasonable steps include in store communications or notices at the entrance.
Please be mindful that there are exceptions for people who have valid reasons wearing of a face covering may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.
The responsibility for compliance rests with the police. However, businesses are asked to take reasonable steps to encourage people to do so but should not routinely ask for written evidence of exemption. In respect of staff, the guidance says "face coverings are not required by law for employees as employers already have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment". And "employees should continue to follow guidance from their employer based on a workplace health and safety assessment".
Government guidance says "the police can take measures if members of the public do not comply with this law without a valid exemption" and "If necessary, police can issue fines to members of the public for non-compliance". In practice, the police may not be able to respond to every incident of someone refusing to wear a face covering.
If you have been defined as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus you should work from home. Please stay at home as much as possible, except for exercise outdoors.
If you cannot work from home, there may be support such as Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
If you are clinically vulnerable, you are reminded to minimise contact with others, carefully follow the rules and continue to thoroughly wash your hands, as well as frequently touched areas of your home and workspace.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must follow the government’s advice to isolate for a period of 10 full days.
You cannot end your isolation early by getting a negative test.
After completing the 10 days isolation period, so long as you feel well and you don’t have any temperature, you can return to work – if you can’t work from home or if you wish to return.
You do not need a negative test to return to work.
Support is available to those on low incomes to self-isolate, view more information about support payments