Author: Gregg Redford

Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan – Growth Options Consultation

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Rushcliife Borough Council has announced that it, along with Broxtowe and Gedling Borough and Nottingham City Councils is preparing the ‘GREATER NOTTINGHAM STRATEGIC PLAN’. They said that the Plan will:

help guide future development, including new housing, across our combined areas to 2038. The Strategic Plan will, when completed, replace the 2014 Rushcliffe Local Plan Part 1: Core Strategy.

They went on to say:

We have published the Growth Options consultation document, which is the first stage of preparing the Strategic Plan. The consultation ends on Monday 14 September 2020. The consultation asks a number of questions relating to housing development, employment development, the Green Belt, climate change and carbon neutrality, city and town centres, the natural environment, urban design, the historic environment, safe and healthy communities and infrastructure provision.

The Growth Options document does not include draft policies at this stage or identify how much or where future development will take place. These will come later when a draft Strategic Plan is published next year. This consultation does, however, identify a number of ‘broad areas’ and more specific sites which potentially could be locations for new development in the future. This may include locations within or close to your parish.

Once the consultation has closed, all comments received will be considered as part of preparing the Strategic Plan. A draft of the Strategic Plan will be published next year when there will be a further opportunity to comment.

More information on the Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan, including viewing the Growth Options document and how to comment, can be found on the Greater Nottingham Planning Partnership website: www.gnplan.org.uk

Notice of Audit

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WHATTON IN THE VALE PARISH COUNCIL

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN (EXEMPT AUTHORITY)

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2020

 

Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 25, 26 and 27

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)

The Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/404)

NOTICE
 

1. Date of announcement Monday 13 July 2020 (a)

2. Each year the smaller authority prepares an Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR).  The AGAR has been published with this notice. It will not be reviewed by the appointed auditor, since the smaller authority has certified itself as exempt from the appointed auditor’s review.

Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the AGAR, the accounting records for the financial year to which it relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2020, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:

 

(b) Mike Elliott

       19/21 Main Street, Keyworth, Nottingham. NG12 5AA

       Tel no: 0115 9376506              Email: clerk@whatton.parish.email

 

commencing on (c) Monday 20 July 2020 

 

 

and ending on (d) Friday 28 August 2020

 

3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:

 

·       The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and

·       The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.

 

The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.

 

4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is only subject to review by the appointed auditor if questions or objections raised under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 lead to the involvement of the auditor.  The appointed auditor is:

 

PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team)

15 Westferry Circus

Canary Wharf

London E14 4HD

(sba@pkf-littlejohn.com)

 

5. This announcement is made by (e) Mike Elliott, clerk to Whatton Parish Council

 

 

Categories: Finance Parish Council

Meeting people from outside your household

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The government recognises how difficult it has been for people to be cut off from their family and friends in recent months. This has been necessary to help us all stay alert, control the virus and save lives.

This guidance explains how you can protect yourself and others from coronavirus when meeting people that you do not live with. At all times, it’s important to maintain social distancing from people you do not live with to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. You should only have close contact with people outside of your household if you are in a support bubble with them.

This guidance applies to England, but if there are local coronavirus outbreaks different guidance and legislation will apply to the area which has local lockdown measures imposed. Specific guidance can be found in Coronavirus (COVID‑19) guidance and support.

It is advised that you should only meet people you do not live with in 3 types of groups:

  • you can continue to meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households
  • single adult households – in other words adults who live alone or with dependent children only – can continue to form an exclusive ‘support bubble’ with one other household
  • you can also meet in a group of 2 households (including your support bubble), in any location- public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be the same household each time

It remains the case – even inside someone’s home – that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. Those who have been able to form a support bubble (i.e. those in single adult households) can continue to have close contact as if they live with the other people in their bubble. This should be exclusive and should not change. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers.

Staying alert when meeting people you do not live with

In order to keep you and your family and friends safe, it remains very important that you stay alert when meeting family and friends.

You should:

  • gather indoors in groups of no more than two households (including your support bubble) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • gather outdoors in either a group of up to 6 people from different households or up to two households (including your support bubble)
  • not hold or attend celebrations of any size (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing
  • not stay overnight away from your home with members of more than 2 households (including your support bubble)
  • limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • try to limit the number of people you see, especially over short periods of time, to keep you and them safe, and save lives. The more people with whom you interact, the more chances we give the virus to spread

You can also minimise the risk of spreading infection by following some key principles. You should:

  • never visit another household or allow people into your household or garden if you have coronavirus symptoms however mild these are
  • always check if guests have coronavirus symptoms or if they have been asked to isolate. If they have symptoms or have been asked to isolate, insist that they delay their visit until they have either been tested or completed their period of isolation
  • continue to follow strict social distancing guidelines when you are with anyone not in your household or your support bubble
  • take hygiene precautions by washing your hands as soon as you are home for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitiser when you are out, use a tissue when sneezing and dispose of it safely, and cough into the crook of your elbow
  • form a support bubble with one other household, and if you or they are in a single adult household. You should not change or add to your support bubble once formed
  • access private gardens externally wherever possible – if you need to go through someone else’s home to do so, avoid touching surfaces and loitering
  • avoid using toilets in other people’s home (outside of your support bubble) wherever possible and wipe down surfaces as frequently as possible
  • using disinfectant, wipe down any surfaces or door handles people from outside of your household or support bubble come into contact with if walking through your home
  • avoid sharing plates and utensils with people outside of your household or your support bubble
  • avoid using paddling pools or other garden equipment with people outside of your household or bubble

Where to meet indoors

Members of two different households (including your support bubble) can meet in any indoor space, including a private home. You should, wherever possible, socially distance from people you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble and take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – when using shared facilities like bathrooms.

Where to meet outdoors

You can meet people in both public and private outdoor spaces, such as gardens, yards or roof terraces – but you should maintain social distancing at all times with people who are not in your household or support bubble. Garages, sheds or cabins are all indoor areas where the risk of transmission is as high as if you were in a small room in a house.

If you do need to use the toilet in someone’s home or are passing through to access someone’s garden, try to avoid touching surfaces and if you use the toilet wash your hands thoroughly, wipe down surfaces, use separate towels and wash or dispose of them safely after use.

Going to a pub or restaurant with members of another household

When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with, you should only meet one other household if you are seated indoors. People from more than two households at once cannot meet indoors. If you are eating or drinking outdoors, you can do so with one other household or in a group of up to 6 people from different households.

In all cases, people from different households should ensure they socially distance as much as possible. Premises should also take reasonable steps to help you do so in line with COVID-19 secure principles. It remains the case that you should only have close social contact with people you do not live with if you are in a support bubble with them.

Staying overnight with members of another household

You – and members of your household or support bubble – should only stay overnight in groups of up to 2 households (including support bubbles). This can be in each other’s homes or other accommodation, such as hotels or apartments. You should, wherever possible, socially distance from people you do not normally live with, take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible.

Sharing food and drink

You should try, wherever possible, not to pass each other food or drink unless you live together or are in a support bubble together. You should ensure that plates or utensils are thoroughly cleaned before use. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and use disposable towels if possible.

Using garden equipment

You should not share garden equipment with people outside of your household or your support bubble because of the risk of transmission from shared surfaces. You could bring your own equipment or if you have to use chairs, for example, you should wipe them down carefully with household cleaner before and after use.

You should try to avoid shared equipment. For example you should use your own tennis racquet, golf club or basketball. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if it is to be used by someone else.

You should avoid using paddling pools and private swimming pools with people outside of your household or support bubble.

Playing sport

You can exercise or play sport outdoors but it is advised this should only be in groups of up to two households, or in groups of up to 6 people from different households as is the current rule. You should only do so where it is possible to socially distance from those you do not live with.

People who play team sports can train together and do things like conditioning or fitness sessions but should not do so in groups of more than 6 and you should socially distance from people you do not live with. While groups could practise ball skills like passing and kicking, equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after.

You can also play tennis with people from outside of your household (or support bubble) but you should socially distance wherever possible. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if equipment is to be used by someone else.

Gatherings in COVID-19 secure venues

When meeting friends and family – even in venues like restaurants, pubs, places of worship or community centres – you should follow the guidance on gatherings and only:

  • meet indoors in groups up to two households (including your support bubble) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • meet outdoors in a group of no more than two households (including your support bubble) or in a group of up to 6 people from different households

Clubs or groups can begin to meet again in COVID-19 secure venues but you should comply with the limits described above, where possible . You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble. You should also limit social interaction with anyone outside your group even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship. Venues should ensure they comply with COVID-19 secure guidelines.

Gatherings of more than 30 people in private dwellings (e.g. homes) or public outdoor spaces is against the law, except for a in certain circumstances set out in law..

Group prayer

Places of worship can open for services and group prayer, should operate in compliance with COVID-19 secure guidelines. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble. You should also limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are with even if you see other people you know.

Attending an activity club or support group

Premises such as activity clubs, community centres and youth clubs can reopen, and will need to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines. You should only attend these in groups of up to two households (your support bubble counts as one household). We recognise that you may know other people in these venues but you should try to limit your social interaction to your own household or one other, to help to control the virus.

Travelling to meet people

You can travel to meet people irrespective of distance. You should continue to avoid using public transport and should cycle, walk or drive wherever possible.

This guidance applies to England. This guidance applies to England, but if there are local covid-19 outbreaks different guidance and legislation will apply to the area which has local lockdown measures imposed. Specific guidance can be found here .

You must adhere to the individual country laws and guidance of the devolved administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

You should not travel with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing, for example by cycling.

Making a support bubble with another household

In England, if you live by yourself or are a single parent with dependant children – in other words, if there is only one adult in your home – you can expand your support network so that it includes one other household of any size. This is called making a ‘support bubble’ and means you are able to have close contact with them as you could if they were members of your own household.

We recognise how difficult this time has been, particularly on lonely and isolated people, and this change is designed to provide extra support to some of those most impacted by the current social restrictions. Once you are in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as in a single household.

Keeping support bubbles exclusive

You should not change who is in your bubble or have close contact with anyone else you do not live with. This is critical to keeping you, and your family and friends, as safe as possible.

Members of support bubbles developing coronavirus symptoms

If you or someone in your household or your support bubble (if applicable) are showing coronavirus symptoms, everyone in your support bubble should stay home. If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted should stay at home. If the individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble should then isolate. This is critical to staying as safe as possible and saving lives.

Physical contact with members of your support bubble

You can have close physical contact with members of your support bubble if you and they want to. Members of your support bubble should effectively be treated like members of your household.

Support bubbles are a cautious step to help people who may be lonely and therefore at greatest risk of isolation. You do not need to socially distance from people in your bubble, but good hand hygiene and other measures can help to keep you and the people you meet as safe as possible.

Some people already take extra precautions with those they live with – for example, if one of them is clinically vulnerable, or one of them has a lot of contact outside the house – and you might want to do the same if you expand your bubble.

Support bubbles and isolation

If any member of your support bubble – either someone in your own household or one that you have formed a bubble with – develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus you should follow advice on household isolation.

If you share custody of your child, and you and your child’s other parent are both in separate bubbles, all households would need to isolate if someone becomes symptomatic in the group.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding)

From 6 July, those in single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) may, if they wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance.

If you are clinically vulnerable or have a higher risk of catching coronavirus (such as a frontline healthcare worker)

If you are clinically vulnerable, you should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others. You should bear this in mind when deciding to form a support bubble. If you are at a higher risk of exposure to those with coronavirus (for example, if someone in your house is a healthcare or care worker that interacts with patients that have coronavirus), you should take particular care when deciding whether to form a support bubble .

If you share custody of your child with someone you do not live with

Children with separated parents have always been permitted to move between both households. It is also permitted for those households – if there is only a single adult in them – to form a support bubble with another household.

However, it is very important that if someone in any of these linked households shows coronavirus symptoms, or is otherwise self-isolating, you should all stay at home. This is critical to controlling the virus, by avoiding a chain of transmission.

Using a support bubble for informal childcare

If you are a lone parent you can form a support bubble with another household to provide informal (i.e. unpaid) childcare for them or for them to provide informal childcare for you. You should not form a support bubble with more than one household.

Lone adults with children over 18

If you live with children over the age of 18, you will not be able to form a support bubble.

The exception to this is if the child was under the age of 18 on 12 June 2020 and is in a single-parent household. That household can continue to participate in their current support bubble or form a support bubble if they have not already done so, once that child turns 18. This is a targeted intervention to provide extra support to some of those most impacted by the current social restrictions.

Lone adults with carers

If you are the only adult in your household, then you will be able to form a support bubble with any other household that is willing to exclusively bubble with you. This is irrespective of whether carers visit you to provide support.

If you live with other adults including your carers, then you will still be able to form a support bubble, however this would need to be with a single adult household.

Travelling to form a support bubble

There is no limit on how far you can travel in England to meet members of your support bubble but we recommend that you form a support bubble with someone who lives locally wherever possible. This will help to prevent the virus spreading from an area where there might be a higher rate of infection If you live in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland you must follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

Returning or visiting from abroad

When you arrive in England you will need to self-isolate unless you are arriving from an exempt country. You should self-isolate in one place for a full 14 days, where you can have food and other necessities delivered, and stay away from others, including people you bubble with. See guidance on how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK.

Advice on accessing green spaces safely

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The risk of the coronavirus being passed on to others outdoors is considered to be low as long as people maintain social distancing.

You can meet in groups of:

  • up to 2 households (your support bubble counts as one household), indoors or outdoors
  • up to 6 people from different households, outdoors

This guidance applies to England. When using outdoor spaces, you should follow the rules in:

Do not travel to different parts of the UK if the rules in that country do not allow you to.

You must follow social distancing guidelines when spending time outdoors.

When accessing green spaces, try to avoid using public transport, and aim to walk, cycle, or drive instead. If using public transport, you must wear a face covering, unless you are exempt for health, disability or other reasons.

You can travel any distance to get to the countryside.

Before travelling, you should check if facilities, such as car parks and toilets, are open to visitors. Do not park on verges or block gates. This restricts access for other vehicles.

You can stay overnight away from your home with your own household or support bubble, or with members of one other household.

Campsites and caravan sites may open, but some facilities may be closed. You should seek permission from the landowner before camping on other land.

To stay safe, you should:

  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside
  • wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
  • keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or support bubble where possible, or at least one metre with precautions such as wearing a face mask
  • take hand sanitiser with you in case there are no handwashing facilities

Respect other people and protect the natural environment

Read signs and respect the measures that local authorities and site management have put in place to help ensure social distancing.

When in the countryside, follow the Countryside Code. You should:

  • take all of your litter home
  • not use barbecues as they risk causing wildfires
  • keep dogs under effective control and on a lead when you are around farm animals – read further guidance for pet owners
  • leave gates as you find them and following instructions on signs
  • use footpaths and follow signs where they suggest alternative routes

Wildlife, including nesting birds, may have moved into new areas. Land managers may have provided extra protection for wildlife. Be vigilant and comply with these protective measures so that you do not disrupt the local wildlife.

If you own or manage land

You should read:

You may need to take a different approach if you’re managing land in the countryside.

You should clean gates and stiles, if possible.

You can display signs at access points to remind the public to take hygiene precautions and wash hands regularly.

You should consider tying gates open if it is safe to do so, so that walkers do not need to touch the gate.

You do not have the legal right to block or obstruct public rights of way or open access land. However,where large numbers of people are using such routes, you may:

  • temporarily display notices to encourage the public to use alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools
  • offer an alternative route around gardens and farmyards where it’s safe to do so – you must gain permission from relevant landowners and make sure the route is safe for users and livestock, and you must maintain the original right of way
  • put up signs warning people where footpaths are narrow and it is difficult to follow social distancing guidelines

Guidance for managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms

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1. Introduction

Playgrounds are a valuable community asset that provide children with a stimulating and tactile experience to exercise and learn through play. Making them available provides important physical, social, emotional and cognitive development opportunities for children. Outdoor gyms provide users with the opportunity to exercise and improve their physical and mental health.

This guidance provides the owners and operators responsible for playgrounds and outdoor gyms with practical advice on how these can be reopened and managed effectively to enable their use while minimising the transmission risk of COVID-19.

Public health is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This guidance should be considered alongside local public health and safety requirements. Owners/operators of playgrounds and outdoor gyms in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should refer to guidance prepared by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.

What do we mean by playgrounds

Playgrounds are defined as:

outdoor structures designed for children to play in or on. They may include equipment such as slides, monkey bars, climbing frames, activity towers, swings, spring rockers, see saws and sandpits.

What do we mean by outdoor gyms

Outdoor gyms are defined as:

An outdoor space containing exercise fixtures and/or machines.

This guidance does not provide advice for the management of play areas that are indoors, nor does it provide advice for indoor gyms which currently remain closed.

Playgrounds and outdoor gyms are currently closed under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. As announced by the Prime Minister on 23 June, playgrounds and outdoor gyms will able to reopen from 4 July. This guidance does not pre-empt any forthcoming changes to this legislation. It is designed to provide the owners and operators of playgrounds and outdoor gyms with practical advice to help them prepare, so that when it is deemed safe for playgrounds and outdoor gyms to reopen by amendment to the regulations, they are able to do so in a way that is safe and minimises COVID-19 transmission risk.

Owners and operators responsible for playgrounds and outdoor gyms will have discretion over when they consider it safe to open for activity permitted by legislation, and may decide to keep these areas closed should they feel they are not able to facilitate their safe usage. It is recognised that owners and operators will require time to prepare for the safe reopening of playgrounds / outdoor gyms.

2. Purpose of this guidance

This guidance is for the owners and operators responsible for outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gyms. Owners or operators are defined as those responsible for the management of a playground or outdoor gym, including assessment of compliance with any relevant legislation or guidelines. This includes, but is not limited to, local authorities, housing associations, private landowners, retail businesses, pubs and restaurants, school governing bodies and academy trusts.

Each owner/operator will need to apply this guidance to the facility they are responsible for, depending on the circumstances, layout and design. This will include taking account of factors including size, equipment, and how it is organised, operated, and managed. They will need to consider implementing processes to protect the users of the equipment and the staff responsible for its maintenance and cleaning.

This guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities, and it is important that owners and operators continue to comply with existing obligations including those relating to individuals with protected characteristics.

It contains non-statutory guidance to be taken into account when complying with these existing obligations.

To help owners and operators decide what actions to take, and to ensure the equipment in their playground and outdoor gym is safe, they must carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment, just as they would for other health and safety related hazards. This risk assessment must be done in consultation with unions or workers.

3. Thinking about risk

Objective: That all owners and operators carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

Owners and operators responsible for playgrounds or outdoor gyms must assess and manage the risk of potential COVID-19 transmission as relevant to the users of the equipment, such as children, parents, guardians and carers, as well as any staff hired or tasked with the maintenance or cleaning of equipment. Owners and operators also have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. Owners and operators will need to think about the risks faced and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising that it is not possible to completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

Owners and operators must ensure that the risk assessment for the playground or outdoor gym addresses the risks of COVID-19, using this guidance to inform decisions and control measures. A risk assessment is not about creating excessive paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control risk.

If the owner/operator has fewer than 5 workers, they do not have to write anything down as part of the risk assessment. The risk assessment will help owners/operators to decide whether everything required has been completed. The Health and Safety Executive has guidance for organisations on how to manage the risk posed to users and risk assessment at work along with specific advice to help control the risk of COVID-19 in workplaces.

Playgrounds and outdoor gyms come in a wide variety of formats, some are small and may be a single piece of equipment such as a slide or exercise machine, whereas some are large and incorporate a number of structures and different materials. Some outdoor playgrounds/outdoor gyms are in enclosed areas with fencing while others are not. Owners and operators need to consider the unique make up of their playground/outdoor gym when conducting a risk assessment and putting in place measures to enable the effective management of the playground/outdoor gym to minimise COVID-19 transmission risk. It should be noted that in instances where owners and operators share the responsibility for management of a playground or outdoor gym they should work together to ensure that the appropriate risk assessment is completed.

Further information from HSE on promoting a balanced approach to children’s play and leisure.

Enforcement

Where the enforcing authority, such as the HSE or your local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they are empowered to take a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. For example, this would cover employers not taking appropriate action to ensure social distancing, where possible.

Failure to complete a risk assessment which takes account of COVID-19, or completing a risk assessment but failing to put in place sufficient measures to manage the risk of COVID-19, could constitute a breach of health and safety law. The actions the enforcing authority can take include the provision of specific advice to employers to support them to achieve the required standard, through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements. Serious breaches and failure to comply with enforcement notices can constitute a criminal offence, with serious fines and even imprisonment for up to two years. There is also a wider system of enforcement, which includes specific obligations and conditions for licensed premises.

Employers are expected to respond to any advice or notices issued by enforcing authorities rapidly and are required to do so within any timescales imposed by the enforcing authorities. The vast majority of employers are responsible and will join with the UK’s fight against COVID-19 by working with the government and their sector bodies to protect their workers and the public. However, inspectors are carrying out compliance checks nationwide to ensure that employers are taking the necessary steps.

4. Key Principles for safely reopening playgrounds and outdoor gyms

Preparing a playground or outdoor gym for re-opening

Owners and operators of playgrounds or outdoor gyms are reminded that in addition to preparations to ensure they are COVID-19 Secure, there will be general maintenance requirements. Owners/operators must ensure playground and/or exercise equipment is safe to use and that risks from damaged or defective equipment are addressed before opening.

Social Distancing

Social distancing aims to reduce social interaction between people to minimise the opportunity for transmission of COVID-19.

Following a review of social distancing guidance, 2m or 1m with risk mitigations (where 2m is not viable) are acceptable. Owners/operators should consider and set out the mitigations they will introduce in their risk assessment.

All owners or operators of playgrounds and outdoor gyms should consider how to put in place measures to support social distancing such as signs to remind users of the need for and adherence to social distancing in accordance with existing government guidance. In implementing measures, owners and operators should acknowledge that adults and children with certain conditions will find social distancing difficult.

It is recognised that adherence to social distancing between individuals and households can be particularly difficult in a playground setting. This will mean that other ways of minimising transmission risk should also be considered and communicated to the parents, guardians and carers, who should remain aware of the residual risk.

Potential measures to facilitate social distancing include:

  • If an enclosed area, owners and operators should identify an advisory limit on the maximum number of users able to use a playground or outdoor gym area at any one time and use signs to communicate this
  • Where practicable, owners/operators could implement a booking system so that users can book a slot to use the equipment
  • Limiting the number of users able to use a particular piece of equipment to minimise the transmission risk of COVID-19. Potential measures include:
    • Signs to communicate maximum number of users at one time
    • Request those using the play area to only have 1 family member accompanying a child
    • Limiting the available number of seats on equipment or numbers of swings available to promote social distancing, including for parents, carers or guardians who might push children on swings for example
    • Setting a time limit and using signs to communicate this to users, parents, guardians or carers
    • Using adjacent space for queues or waiting areas for users, parents, guardians and carers using barriers, markings or signs where it is safe to do so. When implementing a queue or waiting area, consideration must be taken of its impact on the surrounding space and ensure it does not impede other users or pedestrians, particularly considering those with visual or hearing impairments, mobility problems and invisible disabilities
  • For outdoor gyms the introduction of a clearly marked one way system around the fixtures/ machines, to help prevent users from coming into close contact with each other
  • For outdoor gyms, where machines and equipment are less than 2 metres apart pieces of equipment should be moved to allow social distancing measures to be adhered to if possible. If not possible, 1 metre distance with risk mitigation is acceptable. The mitigations should be set out in the risk assessment

Cleaning and hygiene

Scientific advice suggests that the virus can survive for up to several days on some hard surfaces, particularly when indoors. These risks are reduced when outdoors, where surfaces may be subject to UV light and/or rain. This guidance applies to outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gyms but the virus could survive long enough on frequently used/touched outdoor surfaces to facilitate transmission.

Owners and operators are advised to manage any potential risk, cleaning high traffic touch points frequently. This could include cleaning regimes for:

  • playground equipment for children, usually up to age 14, such as slides monkey bars and climbing frames
  • semi enclosed playhouses or huts for small children
  • enclosed crawl through ‘tunnels’ or tube slides
  • exercise bars and machine handles on outdoor gym equipment
  • entry and exit points such as gates
  • seating areas such as benches and picnic tables
  • refuse areas/bins

Owners and operators should encourage effective sanitation by users, parents, guardians and carers.

Consideration should be given to:

  • using signs and posters:
    • to promote cleaning of equipment by users, parents, guardians and carers, particularly where there are clear touch points such as swing rockers, see saws, machine handles or exercise bars
    • encouraging outdoor gym users to bring their own towel and hygiene products and wipe down equipment after use
    • encouraging parents to bring hand sanitiser gel or wipes to clean their children’s hands
    • to encourage hand hygiene with including washing/sanitising hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water or approved gel and foam sanitiser, particularly at the beginning and end of play
    • to advise users (or parents of users) not to touch their faces, and to cough or sneeze into a tissue or arm when a tissue is not available
    • to remind adults and children not to put their mouths on equipment or their hands in their mouths
    • to promote and remind users, parents, guardians and carers of the need for social distancing
  • when communicating safety messages owners / operators should ensure they are able to reach those with hearing or vision impairments. Consideration should also be given on how to assist those with disabilities with complying with the changes
  • providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection
  • where practicable, providing hand sanitiser (automated where possible) or hand washing facilities at the entry and exit points, in addition to public toilets/washrooms
  • using disposable paper towels in handwashing facilities where possible

Public toilet provision

Objective: To ensure that toilets are kept open and to promote good hygiene, social distancing, and cleanliness in toilet facilities

Public toilets, portable toilets and toilets inside premises should be kept open and carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency and to avoid touching your face, and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available
  • consider the use of social distancing marking in areas where queues normally form, and the adoption of a limited entry approach, with one in, one out (whilst avoiding the creation of additional bottlenecks)
  • to enable good hand hygiene, consider making hand sanitiser available on entry to toilets where safe and practical, and ensure suitable handwashing facilities including running water and liquid soap and suitable options for drying (either paper towels or hand driers) are available
  • setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, with increased frequency of cleaning in line with usage. Use normal cleaning products, paying attention to frequently hand touched surfaces, and consider use of disposable cloths or paper roll to clean all hard surfaces
  • keep the facilities well ventilated, for example by fixing doors open where appropriate
  • special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet blocks
  • putting up a visible cleaning schedule can keep it up to date and visible
  • providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection

Face coverings

The government has produced guidance on [Staying Safe Outside Your Home]https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-safe-outside-your-home/staying-safe-outside-your-home() that includes rules and recommendations on the use of face coverings. Face coverings must be worn at all times on public transport (except if an individual meets one of a range of disability, health, equality and age exemptions) or when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient. If possible, a face covering should also be worn in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where the public may come into contact with people they do not normally meet. This is most relevant for periods indoors in crowded areas. Face coverings are optional for all those with disabilities or health conditions for whom it is problematic, on public transport and elsewhere.

Current government guidance states that face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. Parents should be aware that wearing a face covering in a playground setting could pose an additional safety risk and should use their judgement on whether their children wear a face covering.

It is important to use face coverings properly and that signs promote their use appropriately and make it clear users should wash their hands before putting them on and taking them off.

Additional measures and communicating with parents

Additional measures that can minimise the risk COVID-19 transmission in playgrounds and outdoor gyms focus on promoting responsible behaviour by children, parents, carers and guardians.

For example, owners and operators should consider putting up signs to make clear to users, parents, guardians and carers that:

  • consumption of food or drink on play equipment or in the playground area is banned
  • parents, guardians or carers should dispose of all litter including any used protective wear such as face coverings or gloves properly in litter bins, taking it home where a bin is not provided. Disposable face coverings and gloves cannot be recycled

Owners and operators should provide clear information to parents to set clear expectations about how children should behave when using playgrounds during COVID-19. This may be through one or more of: signs adjacent to the playground, online (e.g. operator websites or community message boards), or through leafletting.

Owners and operators may wish to consider reminding parents of the owner/operator’s legal obligations towards the playground users such as signs stating that allowing children to use playground equipment is done at their own risk where appropriate.

Considering children with additional needs

Owners/operators must take into account the requirements of children with additional needs.

Issues that are likely to be specific to this group include:

  • an understanding that many need frequent reminders about rules of behaviour in playground settings
  • changes to familiar environments are likely to require longer periods of adjustment
  • children with physical and sensory disabilities may need assistance with moving from one place to the next
  • some children with additional needs such as autism find it difficult to adjust to particular clothing requirements, and therefore may be less willing to use face coverings or similar if requested
  • some additional needs are not evident, such as hearing loss, and may therefore account for non-responsiveness to verbal instruction
  • queuing for apparatus or toilets can be a source of frustration, and the cause of agitation
  • at higher risk of being involved in bullying incidents

5. Keeping staff safe

On conducting the risk assessment owners/operators must consider their staff and the risks they may be exposed to and how these can be mitigated. In the context of managing outdoor playgrounds during the COVID-19 pandemic, staff roles may include:

  • cleaning playground equipment/surrounding areas
  • managing queues of those waiting to use equipment
  • stewarding equipment to ensure users comply with rules made by the owner/operator The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has produced guidance on working safely and should be consulted alongside this document.

6. Protective equipment for staff

When managing the risk of COVID-19, additional PPE beyond what is usually worn is not beneficial.

Unless staff are in a situation where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very high, risk assessments should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited. However, if the risk assessment does show that PPE is required, the owners/operators should provide this PPE free of charge to workers who need it. Any PPE provided must fit properly.

Owners/operators should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 except in clinical or care settings (including first aid rooms) or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

Where protective equipment (PPE) is already used at facilities to protect against non-COVID-19 risks, this should continue.

Face coverings for staff

Wearing a face covering is optional except when using public transport (except if an individual meets one of a range of disability, health, equality and age exemptions) or when attending hospital as a visitor or an outpatient. If employees choose to wear a face covering, it is important they use face coverings properly and wash their hands before putting them on and before and after taking them off.

Employers should support their workers in using face coverings safely if they choose to wear one. This means telling workers:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and before and after removing it
  • when wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands
  • change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • continue to wash your hands regularly
  • change and wash your face covering daily
  • if the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your residual “black bag” waste. Do not put it in the recycling bin
  • practice social distancing wherever possible

Categories: Parish Council

Meeting people from outside your household from 4 July

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The government recognises how difficult it has been for people to be cut off from their family and friends in recent months. This has been necessary to help us all stay alert, control the virus and save lives.

This guidance explains how you can protect yourself and others from coronavirus when meeting people that you do not live with. It applies from 4 July. The existing guidance will continue to apply until that date. At all times, it’s important to maintain social distancing from people you do not live with to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. You should only have close contact with people outside of your household if you are in a support bubble with them.

In England, you can meet people you do not live with in 3 types of groups:

  • you can continue to meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households
  • single adult households – in other words adults who live alone or with dependent children only – can continue to form an exclusive ‘support bubble’ with one other household
  • from 4 July, you can also meet in a group of 2 households (including your support bubble), in any location- public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be the same household each time

It remains the case – even inside someone’s home – that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. Those who have been able to form a support bubble (i.e. those in single adult households) can continue to have close contact as if they live with the other people in their bubble. This should be exclusive and should not change. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers.

Staying alert when meeting people you do not live with

In order to keep you and your family and friends safe, it remains very important that you stay alert when meeting family and friends.

From 4 July, you should:

  • only gather indoors in groups of no more than two households (including your support bubble) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • only gather outdoors in either a group of up to 6 people from different households or up to two households (including your support bubble)
  • only gather in slightly larger groups of up to 30 for major life events, such as weddings
  • not hold or attend celebrations of any size (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing
  • not stay overnight away from your home with members of more than 2 households (including your support bubble)
  • limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • try to limit the number of people you see, especially over short periods of time, to keep you and them safe, and save lives. The more people with whom you interact, the more chances we give the virus to spread

Gatherings of more than 30 people will be banned, apart from some limited circumstances to be set out in law.

You can also minimise the risk of spreading infection by following some key principles. You should:

  • never visit another household or allow people into your household or you’re your garden if you have coronavirus symptoms however mild these are.
  • always check if guests have coronavirus symptoms or if they have been asked to isolate. If they have symptoms or have been asked to isolate, insist that they delay their visit until they have either been tested or completed their period of isolation
  • continue to follow strict social distancing guidelines when you are with anyone not in your household or your support bubble
  • take hygiene precautions by washing your hands as soon as you are home for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitiser when you are out, use a tissue when sneezing and dispose of it safely, and cough into the crook of your elbow
  • only form a support bubble with one other household, and if you or they are in a single adult household. You should not change or add to your support bubble once formed
  • access private gardens externally wherever possible – if you need to go through someone else’s home to do so, avoid touching surfaces and loitering
  • avoid using toilets in other people’s home (outside of your support bubble) wherever possible and wipe down surfaces as frequently as possible
  • using disinfectant, wipe down any surfaces or door handles people from outside of your household or support bubble come into contact with if walking through your home
  • avoid sharing plates and utensils with people outside of your household or your support bubble
  • avoid using paddling pools or other garden equipment with people outside of your household or bubble

The following sections provide more detail on how to safely meet people you do not live with.

Where to meet indoors

From 4 July, members of two different households (including your support bubble) can meet in any indoor space, including a private home. You should, wherever possible, socially distance from people you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble and take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – when using shared facilities like bathrooms.

Where to meet outdoors

You can meet people in both public or private outdoor spaces, such as gardens, yards or roof terraces – as long as you maintain social distancing at all times with people who are not in your household or support bubble. Garages, sheds or cabins are all indoor areas where the risk of transmission is as high as if you were in a small room in a house.

If you do need to use the toilet in someone’s home or are passing through to access someone’s garden, try to avoid touching surfaces and if you use the toilet wash your hands thoroughly, wipe down surfaces, use separate or paper towels and wash or dispose of them safely after use.

Going to a pub or restaurant with members of another household

From 4 July, when eating or drinking out with people you do not live with, you should only meet one other household if you are seated indoors. People from more than two households at once cannot meet indoors. If you are eating or drinking outdoors, you can do so with one other household or in a group of up to 6 people from different households.

In all cases, people from different households should ensure they socially distance as much as possible. Premises should also take reasonable steps to help you do so in line with COVID-19 secure principles. It remains the case that you should only have close social contact with people you do not live with if you are in a support bubble with them.

Staying overnight with members of another household

From 4 July, you – and members of your household or support bubble – can stay overnight in groups of up to 2 households (including support bubbles). This can be in each other’s homes or other accommodation, such as hotels or apartments. You should, wherever possible, socially distance from people you do not normally live with, take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible.

Sharing food and drink

You should try, wherever possible, not to pass each other food or drink unless you live together or are in a support bubble together. You should ensure that plates or utensils are thoroughly cleaned before use. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and use disposable towels if possible.

Using garden equipment

You should not share garden equipment with people outside of your household or your support bubble because of the risk of transmission from shared surfaces. You could bring your own equipment or if you have to use chairs, for example, you should wipe them down carefully with household cleaner before and after use.

You should try to avoid shared equipment. For example you should use your own tennis racquet, golf club or basketball. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if it is to be used by someone else.

You should avoid using paddling pools and private swimming pools with people outside of your household or support bubble.

Playing sport

From 4 July, you can exercise or play sport outdoors in groups of up to two households, or in groups of up to 6 people from different households as is the current rule. You should only do so where it is possible to socially distance from those you do not live with.

People who play team sports can train together and do things like conditioning or fitness sessions but not in groups of more than 6 and you should socially distance from people you do not live with. While groups could practise ball skills like passing and kicking, equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after.

You can also play tennis with people from outside of your household (or support bubble) as long as you socially distance wherever possible. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if equipment is to be used by someone else.

Gatherings in COVID-19 secure venues

From 4 July, when meeting friends and family – even in venues like restaurants, pubs, places of worship or community centres – you should follow the limits on gatherings and only:

  • meet indoors in groups up to two households (including your support bubble) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • meet outdoors in a group of no more than two households (including your support bubble) or in a group of up to 6 people from different households

Clubs or groups can begin to meet again in COVID-19 secure venues but you should comply with the limits described above . You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble. You should also limit social interaction with anyone outside your group even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship. Venues should ensure they comply with COVID-19 secure guidelines.

Gatherings of people doing the same activity with each other must be no more than 30 people, other than for exceptions to be set out in law.

Group prayer

From 4 July, places of worship can open for services and group prayer, in compliance with COVID-19 secure guidelines. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble. You should also limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are with (which can include two households) even if you see other people you know, for example, in a community centre or place of worship.

Travelling to meet people

You can travel to meet people irrespective of distance. You should continue to avoid using public transport and should cycle, walk or drive wherever possible.

This guidance only applies to England. You must adhere to the individual country laws and guidance of the devolved administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

You should not travel with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing, for example by cycling.

Making a support bubble with another household

In England, if you live by yourself or are a single parent with dependant children – in other words, if there is only one adult in your home – you can expand your support network so that it includes one other household of any size. This is called making a ‘support bubble’ and means you are able to have close contact with them as you could if they were members of your own household.

We recognise how difficult this time has been, particularly on lonely and isolated people, and this change is designed to provide extra support to some of those most impacted by the current social restrictions. Once you are in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as in a single household.

Keeping support bubbles exclusive

You should not change who is in your bubble or have close contact with anyone else you do not live with. This is critical to keeping you, and your family and friends, as safe as possible.

Members of support bubbles developing coronavirus symptoms

If you or someone in your household or your support bubble (if applicable) are showing coronavirus symptoms, everyone in your support bubble should stay home. If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted should stay at home. If the individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble should then isolate. This is critical to staying as safe as possible and saving lives.

Physical contact with members of your support bubble

You can have close physical contact with members of your support bubble if you and they want to. Support bubbles are a cautious step to help people who may be lonely and therefore at greatest risk of isolation. You do not need to socially distance from people in your bubble, but good hand hygiene and other measures can help to keep you and the people you meet as safe as possible.

Some people already take extra precautions with those they live with – for example, if one of them is clinically vulnerable, or one of them has a lot of contact outside the house – and you might want to do the same if you expand your bubble.

Meeting other households along with your bubble

In relation to the wider limits on gatherings, members of your support bubble should effectively be treated like members of your household.

Support bubbles and isolation

If any member of your support bubble – either someone in your own household or one that you have formed a bubble with – develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus you should follow advice on household isolation.

If you share custody of your child, and you and your child’s other parent are both in separate bubbles, all households would need to isolate if someone becomes symptomatic in the group.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding)

From 6 July, those in single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) may, if they wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance.

If you are clinically vulnerable or have a higher risk of catching coronavirus (such as a frontline healthcare worker)

If you are clinically vulnerable, you should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others. You should bear this in mind when deciding to form a support bubble. If you are at a higher risk of exposure to those with coronavirus (for example, if someone in your house is a healthcare or care worker that interacts with patients that have coronavirus), you should take particular care when deciding whether to form a support bubble .

If you share custody of your child with someone you do not live with

Children with separated parents are already permitted to move between both households and there is no change to that. It is also permitted for those households – if there is only a single adult in them – to form a support bubble with another household.

However, it is very important that if someone in any of these linked households shows coronavirus symptoms, or is otherwise self-isolating, you should all stay at home. This is critical to controlling the virus, by avoiding a chain of transmission.

Using a support bubble for informal childcare

If you are a lone parent you can form a support bubble with another household to provide informal (i.e. unpaid) childcare for them or for them to provide informal childcare for you. You should not form a support bubble with more than one household.

Lone adults with children over 18

If you live with children over the age of 18, you will not be able to form a support bubble.

The exception to this is if the child was under the age of 18 on 12 June 2020 and is in a single-parent household. That household can continue to participate in their current support bubble or form a support bubble if they have not already done so, once that child turns 18. This is a targeted intervention to provide extra support to some of those most impacted by the current social restrictions.

Lone adults with carers

If you are the only adult in your household, then you will be able to form a support bubble with any other household that is willing to exclusively bubble with you. This is irrespective of whether carers visit you to provide support.

If you live with other adults including your carers, then you will still be able to form a support bubble, however this would need to be with a single adult household.

Travelling to form a support bubble

There is no limit on how far you can travel in England to meet members of your support bubble but we recommend that you form a support bubble with someone who lives locally wherever possible. This will help to prevent the virus spreading from an area where there might be a higher rate of infection If you live in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland you must follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

Returning from abroad

You should self-isolate in one place for the full 14 days, where you can have food and other necessities delivered, and stay away from others, including people you bubble with. See guidance on how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK.

Published 23 June 2020

Prime Minister’s statement to the House on COVID-19: 23 June 2020

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Mr Speaker, before I begin, I am sure the whole House will join me in sending our deepest condolences to the families and friends of

James Furlong, Joe Ritchie-Bennett and David Wails,

who were brutally killed in Reading on Saturday.

To assault defenceless people in a park is not simply an act of wickedness but abject cowardice,

and we will never yield to those who would seek to destroy our way of life.

Mr Speaker, with permission I will update the House on the next steps in our plan to rebuild our economy and reopen our society,

while waging our struggle against Covid-19.

From the outset, we have trusted in the common sense and perseverance of the British people

and their response has more than justified our faith.

Since I set out our plan on the 11th May,

we have been clear that our cautious relaxation of the guidance is entirely conditional on our continued defeat of the virus.

In the first half of May, nearly 69,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 across the UK;

by the first half of June, that total had fallen by nearly 70 percent to just under 22,000.

The number of new infections is now declining by between 2 and 4 percent every day.

Four weeks ago, an average of 1 in 400 people in the community in England had COVID-19;

in the first half of June, this figure was 1 in 1,700.

We created a human shield around the NHS and in turn our doctors and nurses have protected us,

and together we have saved our hospitals from being overwhelmed.

On the 11th May, 1,073 people were admitted to hospital in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with Covid-19,

by 20th June, this had fallen by 74 per cent to 283.

This pandemic has inflicted permanent scars and we mourn everyone we have lost.

Measured by a seven-day rolling average, the number of daily deaths peaked at 943 on the 14th April,

on 11th May it was 476,

and yesterday, the rolling average stood at 130.

We have ordered over 2.2 billion items of protective equipment from UK based manufacturers, many of whose production lines have been called into being to serve this new demand –

and yesterday, we conducted or posted 139,659 tests, bringing the total to over 8 million.

And while we remain vigilant, we do not believe there is currently a risk of a second peak of infections that might overwhelm the NHS.

Taking everything together, we continue to meet our five tests

and the Chief Medical Officers of all four home nations have downgraded the UK’s Covid Alert Level from four to three,

meaning that we no longer face a virus spreading exponentially,

though it remains in general circulation.

The administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland hold responsibility for their own lockdown restrictions

and they will respond to the united view of the Chief Medical Officers at their own pace, based on their own judgment,

but all parts of the UK are now travelling in the same direction and we will continue to work together to ensure that everyone in our country gets the support they need.

Thanks to our progress, we can now go further and safely ease the lockdown in England.

At every stage, caution will remain our watchword, and each step will be conditional and reversible.

Mr Speaker, given the significant fall in the prevalence of the virus, we can change the two-metre social distancing rule, from 4th July.

I know this rule effectively makes life impossible for large parts of our economy, even without other restrictions.

For example, it prevents all but a fraction of our hospitality industry from operating.

So that is why almost two weeks ago, I asked our experts to conduct a review and I will place a summary of their conclusions in the libraries of both Houses this week.

Where it is possible to keep 2 metres apart people should.

But where it is not, we will advise people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’,

meaning they should remain one metre apart, while taking mitigations to reduce the risk of transmission.

We are today publishing guidance on how businesses can reduce the risk by taking certain steps to protect workers and customers.

These include, for instance, avoiding face-to-face seating by changing office layouts,

reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces,

improving ventilation,

using protective screens and face coverings,

closing non-essential social spaces,

providing hand sanitiser

and changing shift patterns so that staff work in set teams.

And of course, we already mandate face coverings on public transport.

Whilst the experts cannot give a precise assessment of how much the risk is reduced,

they judge these mitigations would make “1 metre plus” broadly equivalent to the risk at 2 metres if those mitigations are fully implemented.

Either will be acceptable and our guidance will change accordingly.

This vital change enables the next stage of our plan to ease the lockdown.

Mr Speaker, I am acutely conscious people will ask legitimate questions about why certain activities are allowed and others are not.

I must ask the House to understand that the virus has no interest in these debates.

Its only interest, its only ambition is to exploit any opportunities is to recapture ground that we might carelessly vacate.

There is one certainty: the fewer social contacts you have, the safer you will be.

My duty, our duty as the Government, is to guide the British people, balancing our overriding aim of controlling the virus against our natural desire to bring back normal life.

We cannot lift all the restrictions at once, so we have to make difficult judgments,

and every step is scrupulously weighed against the evidence.

Our principle is to trust the British public to use their common sense in the full knowledge of the risks,

remembering that the more we open up, the more vigilant we will need to be.

From now on we will ask people to follow guidance on social contact instead of legislation.

In that spirit we advise that from 4 July, two households of any size should be able to meet in any setting inside or out.

That does not mean they must always be the same two households.

It will be possible for instance to meet one set of grandparents one weekend, and the others the following weekend.

We are not recommending meetings of multiple households indoors because of the risk of creating greater chains of transmission.

Outside, the guidance remains that people from several households can meet in groups of up to six.

and it follows that two households can also meet, regardless of size.

Mr Speaker, I can tell the House that we will also re-open restaurants and pubs.

All hospitality indoors will be limited to table-service, and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact.

We will ask businesses to help NHS Test and Trace respond to any local outbreaks

by collecting contact details from customers, as happens in other countries,

and we will work with the sector to make this manageable.

Almost as eagerly awaited as a pint will be a haircut, particularly by me,

and so we will re-open hairdressers, with appropriate precautions, including the use of visors.

We also intend to allow some other close contact services, such as nail bars, to re-open as soon as we can, when we are confident they can operate in a Covid-secure way.

From 4th July, provided that no more than two households stay together,

people will be free to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation,

including hotels and bed & breakfasts,

as well as campsites as long as shared facilities are kept clean.

Most leisure facilities and tourist attractions will reopen if they can do so safely,

including outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades

as well as libraries, social clubs and community centres.

“Close proximity” venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas will need to remain closed for now, as will bowling alleys and water parks.

But my RHFs the Business and Culture Secretaries will establish taskforces with public health experts and these sectors to help them become Covid-secure and re-open as soon as possible.

We will also work with the arts industry on specific guidance to enable choirs, orchestras and theatres to resume live performances as soon as possible.

Recreation and sport will be allowed, but indoor facilities, including changing rooms and courts, will remain closed

and people should only play close contact team sports with members of their household.

Mr Speaker, I know that many have mourned the closure of places of worship,

and this year, Easter, Passover and Eid all occurred during the lockdown.

So I am delighted that places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services –

including weddings with a maximum of 30 people,

all subject to social distancing.

Meanwhile, our courts, probation services, police stations and other public services will increasingly resume face-to-face proceedings.

Wrap-around care for school age children and formal childcare will restart over the summer.

Primary and secondary education will recommence in September with full attendance

and those children who can already go to school should do so – because it is safe.

Mr Speaker, we will publish Covid-secure guidelines for every sector that is re-opening,

and slowly but surely, these measures will restore a sense of normality.

After the toughest restrictions in peacetime history,

we are now able to make life easier for people to see more of their friends and families

and to help businesses get back on their feet and get people back into work.

But the virus has not gone away.

We will continue to monitor the data with the Joint Biosecurity Centre and our ever more effective Test and Trace system.

And I must be clear to the House, that as we have seen in other countries,

there will be flare-ups for which local measures will be needed

and we will not hesitate to apply the brakes and re-introduce restrictions even at national level – if required.

So I urge everyone to stay alert, control the virus and save lives.

Let’s keep washing our hands,

staying 2 metres apart wherever feasible, and mitigating the risks at 1 metre where not,

avoiding public transport when possible, and wearing a mask when not,

getting tested immediately if we have symptoms,

and self-isolating if instructed by NHS Test and Trace.

Today, we can say that our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end

and life is returning to our shops, streets and homes

and a new, but cautious, optimism is palpable.

But it would be all too easy for that frost to return

and that is why we will continue to trust in the common sense and the community spirit of the British people to follow this guidance,

to carry us through and see us to victory over this virus.

I commend Mr Speaker this Statement to the House.

Published 23 June 2020

PM announces easing of lockdown restrictions: 23 June 2020

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today (Tuesday 23 June) set out further changes to lockdown measures in England to enable people to see more of their friends and family, help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs.

From Saturday 4th July, the Prime Minister has announced that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines.

From the same date, he has set out that two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures, and that people can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites.

In order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.

Following a review, the Prime Minister has also set out that where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission.

As we begin to reopen the economy, it’s important that we do not increase the risk of transmission which is why “close proximity” venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas will need to remain closed for now. The Government is continuing to work with these sectors to establish taskforces to help them to become COVID Secure and reopen as soon as possible.

While the infection rate continues to fall, the Prime Minister has been clear that the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to keep coronavirus under control. The Government will keep all measures under constant review and will not hesitate to apply the handbrake, or reverse measures, should the virus begin to run out of control.

These changes apply in England only.

Prepare for the hottest day

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If COVID-19 wasn’t enough the Met Office has issued a warning about the dangers of the Hottest Day.

In our neck of the woods the temperature is forecast to reach 27 to 30 degrees over the next four days, with the relative humidity being high it is going to feel very hot and sticky and for some distinctly uncomfortable.

Categories: Weather

Queens’ Wood – Management

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Someone, we don’t know who has mowed or strimmed a large part of the Queen’s Wood.  As we have informed residents (see Facilities | Queens Wood menu option) there is a management plan for the wood in place using specialist contractor and volunteers, both of whom work to the Management Plan to manage the space properly and to develop the bio-diversity. The Coronavirus has impacted on the timetable but it of paramount importance that any grass cutting is left to our specialist contractor.