Category: Coronavirus

HM Government – Statement on Nottinghamshire Very High Alert Status

No Comments

Following close discussions with local leaders, the whole of Nottinghamshire, comprising the 8 districts of Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Gedling, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood, Nottingham and Rushcliffe, will move from local COVID alert level high to very high from 00.01 on 30 October. This means that new measures will come into place including:

  • people must not socialise with anybody they do not live or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
  • people must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or outdoor sports courts/facilities
  • all pubs and bars must close, unless they are serving substantial meals
  • people should try to avoid travelling outside the very high alert level or entering a very high alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey
  • residents should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and others should avoid staying overnight in the very high alert area

In addition, following discussions with local leaders it was agreed that from 30 October at 00.01 the following measures will also come into place:

  • all hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs) can remain open to offer substantial meals, or must move to operate a delivery and takeaway service only. Alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal
  • the use of shared smoking equipment (such as but not limited to shisha) in hospitality venues will be prohibited
  • betting shops, car boot sales and auction houses (with the exception of livestock and agricultural equipment sales) must close
  • alcohol sales must be prohibited after 9pm where alcohol is purchased to consume off premises, for example shops. Alcohol can continue to be purchased in hospitality venues where accompanying a substantial meal, up until 10pm
  • indoor entertainment and tourism venues must close, except for ice skating rinks, cinemas, concert halls, and theatres. Hotels and other accommodation can stay open
  • outdoor entertainment and tourism venues can remain open, with the exception of their indoor attractions (such as at animal attractions or landmarks)
  • saunas and steam rooms must close
  • leisure and sporting facilities (such as leisure centres, gyms, fitness and dance studios, swimming pools and sports courts) can remain open. It is strongly advised that indoor group exercise classes (including dance and fitness classes) should not take place
  • personal care settings such as tattoo parlours, tanning and nail salons, and piercing services must close. Hairdressers and barber salons can remain open but cannot perform services that are otherwise closed. It is advised that personal care services do not take place in private homes.
  • public buildings such as town and parish halls, community centres and libraries can remain open to run activities such as childcare and support groups. Public buildings should not host events for private hire, such as birthday parties or other social activities

Weekly case rates

The rate of COVID-19 infections is rising rapidly across the UK. The weekly case rate in England stood at 201 people per 100,000 from 15 October to 21 October, up from 100 people per 100,000 for the week 25 September to 1 October. Cases are not evenly spread, with infection rates rising more rapidly in some areas than others.

In Nottinghamshire, infection rates are among the highest in the country and continue to rise rapidly. The weekly case rate stands at 364 people per 100,000 in Nottinghamshire County, and is 239 per 100,000 in those over 60 rising to 772 per 100,000 in those aged 17-21 years old. In Nottingham City the current weekly case rate per 100,000 rises to 493 per 100,000, with 918 per 100,000 aged between 17-21. As of 20 October, there were 194 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, with 11 mechanical ventilation beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients.

To support the local community during this period, it has also been agreed in principle with local leaders that the move to the local COVID alert level: very high will be supported by funding that is proportionate to that received by other regions that have moved to local COVID alert level: very high. This will include additional funding from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund to support proactive containment and intervention measures, as well as business support funding.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

We have seen infection rates rising sharply across Nottinghamshire, and in close collaboration with local leaders we have agreed on a package of local measures to stop this virus in its tracks. I understand how difficult life is under these restrictions and the impact they have on families and businesses, but we never take these decisions lightly.

I want to thank local leaders for their continued support, and to extend my gratitude to the people of Nottinghamshire who have shown real resilience, consistently working together to follow the rules and help bring down rates of infection.

Everyone has a part to play in controlling the virus – remember Hands, Face, Space – self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms and follow the rules where you live.

Minister of State Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said:

I would like to thank the local leaders in Nottinghamshire for entering into productive discussions and coming to an agreement as quickly as possible.

We are very conscious that these new restrictions will have a huge impact on those living and working in the county, but this action is vital and is based on public health advice. In order to support local people, businesses and the councils, we worked together to agree an extensive package of support.

These restrictions will be reviewed in 28 days to ensure they are only in place for as long as necessary. We are working closely with leaders across Nottinghamshire to support local people and businesses through the ongoing challenges this pandemic brings.

All available data for the areas that will move to local COVID alert level: very high have been assessed by the government, including the Health and Social Care Secretary, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), Public Health England (PHE), the Chief Medical Officer and the Cabinet Office. Data assessed includes incidence, test positivity and the growth rate of the virus.

It is essential that these outbreaks are contained to protect lives and our NHS, and prevent greater economic damage in the future. We face a new challenge as we head into the winter, and we know that even mild cases of COVID-19 can have devastating consequences for people in all age groups, along with the risk of long COVID.

Our strategy is to suppress the virus while supporting the economy, education and the NHS, until an effective vaccine is widely available. Local action is at the centre of our response, and engagement with local authorities is, and will continue to be, a key part of this process.

Background information

Case rates per 100,000 people (data for specimens taken between 15 October 2020 and 21 October 2020):

  • in Ashfield, weekly case rates stand at 295 people per 100,000, is 324 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 262 per 100,000 in the over-60s
  • in Bassetlaw, weekly case rates stand at 272 people per 100,000, is 489 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 172 per 100,000 in the over-60s
  • in Broxtowe, weekly case rates stand at 360 people per 100,000, is 612 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 230 per 100,000 in the over-60s
  • in Gedling, weekly case rates stand at 410 people per 100,000, is 823 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 301 per 100,000 in the over-60s
  • in Mansfield, weekly case rates stand at 282 people per 100,000, is 520 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 292 per 100,000 in the over-60s
  • in Newark and Sherwood, weekly case rates stand at 192 people per 100,000, is 408 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 111 per 100,000 in the over-60s
  • in Nottingham, weekly case rates stand at 494 people per 100,000, is 918 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 280 per 100,000 in the over-60s
  • in Rushcliffe, weekly case rates stand at 380 people per 100,000, is 1112 per 100,000 in those aged 17 to 21 and is 261 per 100,000 in the over-60s

On 12 October, the government introduced a new, simplified framework for local interventions based around three new local COVID alert levels.

The postcode checker shows which alert level applies in each area.

The NHS COVID-19 app will also direct people to this information.

We have provided £3.7 billion of funding to local authorities in England to respond to pressures in all their services.

The Prime Minister also announced on Monday 12 October additional COVID funding of around £1 billion, which will provide local authorities with additional money to protect vital services. The government will set out further information in due course on how this new funding will be allocated.

See data slides on the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Nottinghamshire.

See guidance on each local COVID alert level.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire move to Tier Three – ‘Very High’ alert level

No Comments

All nine councils have now agreed that Nottingham and Nottinghamshire should move together into Tier 3 restrictions for the city and the county following discussions between Government and Council Leaders.

The ‘Very High’ alert measures come into force at one minute past midnight on Friday 30 October 2020.

 

The Tier 3 restrictions mean:

  • People must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of their household or support bubble. This includes private homes and indoors in hospitality venues, such as pubs.
  • People must not meet with people outside of their household or support bubble in a private garden or in most outdoor public venues.
  • People can continue to see friends and family in groups of six or less that they don’t live with (or have formed a support bubble with) in certain outdoor public spaces, such as a park or public garden.
  • All pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals, such as a main lunchtime or evening meal. They can only serve alcohol as part of a meal. Pubs, bars and restaurants must still close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Wedding receptions will not be permitted, but people can get married with a maximum of 15 people at the ceremony (check with the venue for additional restrictions).
  • Avoid travelling outside the Very High alert area or entering a Very High alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities, or to travel through as part of a longer journey.
  • Avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK.

As well as the main Tier 3 restrictions, Council Leaders have agreed the following additional local restrictions:

  • All hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs) can only remain open to offer substantial meals, or must move to operate a delivery and takeaway service only. Alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal.
  • The use of shared smoking equipment (such as but not limited to shisha) in hospitality venues will be prohibited.
  • Betting shops, car boot sales and auction houses (with the exception of Livestock and agricultural equipment sales) must close.
  • Alcohol sales must be prohibited after 9pm where alcohol is purchased to consume off premises, for example shops. Alcohol can continue to be purchased in hospitality venues where accompanying a substantial meal, up until 10pm.
  • Indoor entertainment and tourism venues must close, except for ice-skating rinks, cinemas, concert halls, and theatres. Hotels and other accommodation can stay open.
  • Outdoor entertainment and tourism venues can remain open, with the exception of their indoor attractions (such as animal attractions or landmarks).
  • Saunas and steam rooms must close.
  • Leisure and sporting facilities (such as leisure centres, gyms, fitness and dance studios, swimming pools and sports courts) can remain open. It is strongly advised that indoor group exercise classes (including dance and fitness classes) should not take place.
  • Personal care settings such as tattoo parlours, tanning and nail salons, and piercing services must close. Hairdressers and barber salons can remain open but cannot perform services that are otherwise closed. It is advised that personal care services do not take place in private homes.
  • Public buildings such as town and parish halls, community centres and libraries can remain open to run activities such as childcare and support groups. Public buildings should not host events for private hire, such as birthday parties or other social activities.

Government and local partners will closely monitor the impact of these new restrictions, which will be in place for 28 days from Friday 30th October and will be kept under review.

As well as the new restrictions, please continue to:

  • wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will coming into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing a face covering, or increasing ventilation indoors).

People who have symptoms of Covid-19 – high temperature, continuous cough or loss of taste or smell – must self-isolate immediately and book a test online or by calling 119.

More information

We appreciate there is a lot of information to absorb. We are continuing to work through the guidance for these stricter/additional restrictions and will share more details, guidance and FAQs as soon as possible. This information will be posted on the council websites.

 

More detail about the Tier 3 restrictions are on the Government website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-very-high

Whatton to be placed in Tier Three

No Comments

Any views or opinions in this post of those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Parish Council

It has been announced that Nottingham City and parts of the County (including Rushcliffe) will be placed on Tier Three restrictions with effect from midnight of Wednesday 28th October 2020 for a period of 28 days.

The precise restrictions (in addition to those contained in Tier Three) will probably be announced tomorrow (Tuesday 27th October, 2020).

We will update the website with the New restrictions as soon as they are announced.

Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know

No Comments

Information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean, why they are being introduced and what the different levels are.

These rules will apply from 00.01 on Wednesday 14 October. You must follow the current guidance until then.

What local COVID alert levels mean

Local COVID alert levels set out information for local authorities, residents and workers about what to do and how to manage the outbreak in their area.

Find out what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in each local COVID alert level.

Check the local COVID alert level of your local area to see which level applies to you.

Why the government is introducing local COVID alert levels

The government is committed to ensuring the right levels of intervention in the right places to manage outbreaks. Working with local authorities through the contain framework, our approach has been simplified so that there are now 3 local COVID alert levels.

Local COVID alert level: medium

This is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place.

This means:

  • you must not socialise in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors (other than where a legal exemption applies)
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law
  • certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
  • businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • schools and universities remain open
  • places of worship remain open, subject to the rule of 6
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors, or indoors if the rule of 6 is followed

You must:

You should continue to:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • work from home where you can effectively do so
  • when travelling, plan ahead or avoid busy times and routes. Walk or cycle if you can

Find out more about the measures that apply in medium alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19

Local COVID alert level: high

This is for areas with a higher level of infections where some additional restrictions are in place.

This means on top of restrictions in alert level medium:

  • you must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other spaces like beaches or parks (other than where specific exemptions apply in law)
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law
  • certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
  • businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • schools, universities and places of worship remain open
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible

You must:

You should continue to:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • work from home where you can effectively do so
  • walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport

Find out more about the measures that apply in high alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19

Local COVID alert level: very high

This is for areas with a very high level of infections and where tighter restrictions are in place. The restrictions placed on areas with a very high level of infections can vary, and are based on discussions between central and local government. You should therefore check the specific rules in your area.

At a minimum, this means:

  • you must not socialise with anybody you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
  • pubs and bars must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal
  • schools and universities remain open
  • places of worship remain open, but household mixing is not permitted
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees. However, wedding receptions are not allowed
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with), or for youth or disability sport
  • you should try to avoid travelling outside the very-high alert level area you are in or entering a very-high alert level area, other than for things like work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey
  • you should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if you are resident in a very-high alert level area, or avoid staying overnight in a very-high alert level area if you are resident elsewhere

You must:

You should continue to:

  • follow social distancing rules
  • work from home where you can effectively do so
  • travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but aim to reduce the number of journeys you make

This is the baseline in very-high alert level areas. The government will also seek to agree additional interventions in consultation with local authorities, in order to drive down transmission of the virus. These could include the following options:

  • restrictions preventing the sale of alcohol in hospitality or closing all hospitality (except takeaway and delivery)
  • closing indoor and outdoor entertainment venues and tourist attractions
  • closing venues such as leisure centres and gyms (while ensuring provision remains available for elite athletes, youth and disabled sport and physical activity)
  • closing public buildings, such as libraries and community centres (while ensuring provision remains available for youth and childcare activities and support groups)
  • closing personal care and close contact services or prohibiting the highest-risk activities
  • closing performing arts venues for the purposes of performing to audiences

You should therefore check whether additional restrictions apply in your area.

Find out more about the measures that apply in very high alert level areas to help reduce the spread of COVID-19

Published 12 October 2020

Local COVID Alert level: High

No Comments

Find out what restrictions are in place if you live in an area where the Local COVID Alert level is High.

All Alert Levels

In all areas of England, you should remember ‘Hands. Face. Space’:

  • HANDS – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • FACE – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • SPACE – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)

This guidance is for the general public who are fit and well. There is separate guidance for:

HIGH ALERT LEVEL

Meeting family and friends

You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

Informal childcare can also be provided via childcare bubbles. Find out more about childcare bubbles in the ‘Childcare’ section below.

You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. When you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.

Meeting in larger groups is against the law – with certain exceptions (see below). The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).

You can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

If you live in a High alert level area you also cannot meet indoors with people outside of the area, unless exceptions apply.

When meeting friends and family you should:

There are exceptions where people from different households can gather beyond the limits set out above. These exceptions are:

  • in a legally permitted support bubble
  • in a legally permitted childcare bubble (see section on childcare below for more details)
  • for work, volunteering to provide voluntary or charitable services (see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes)
  • for registered childcare, education or training
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them
  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after school childcare), youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups
  • for birth partners
  • to see someone who is dying
  • to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable
  • to facilitate a house move
  • for a wedding or equivalent ceremony and wedding receptions where the organiser has carried out a risk assessment and taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus – up to a maximum of 15 people (not to take place in private dwellings)
  • for funerals – up to a maximum of 30 people. Wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people present (not to take place in private dwellings)
  • for elite sportspeople and their coaches if necessary for competition and training, as well as parents or guardians if they are a child
  • for outdoor exercise and dance classes, organised outdoor sport, and licensed outdoor physical activity
  • indoor organised team sports for disabled people, and youth sport
  • support groups of up to 15 participants – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support (not to take place in private dwellings)
  • protests – if organised in compliance with COVID-secure guidance

Other activities, such as indoor exercise classes and other activity groups can only continue provided that households or support bubbles do not mix. Where it is likely that groups will mix, these activities must not go ahead.

Where a group includes someone covered by an exception (for example, someone who is working), they are not generally counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means, for example, a tradesperson can go into a household without breaching the limit, if they are there for work.

Visiting other venues, including shops, restaurants, pubs and places of worship

Venues following COVID-19 secure guidance can host more people in total, but no one must mix indoors with anyone who they do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) unless exemptions apply. Outdoors, you can meet in groups of up to 6 people.

This includes in:

  • pubs and restaurants
  • shops
  • leisure and entertainment venues
  • places of worship

At least one person in your group should give their contact details to the venue or check in using the official NHS COVID-19 app so NHS Test and Tracecan contact you if needed.

Protecting people more at risk from coronavirus

If you have any of the following health conditions, you may be clinically vulnerable, meaning you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. If you are clinically vulnerable you:

  • can go outside as much as you like but you should still try to keep your overall social interactions low
  • can visit businesses, such as supermarkets, pubs and shops, whilst keeping 2 metres away from others wherever possible or 1 metre plus other precautions
  • should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace

Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
    • chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    • chronic kidney disease
    • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
    • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
    • diabetes
    • a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets)
    • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
  • pregnant women

There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. At each local COVID alert level, there is additional advice that clinically extremely vulnerable people must follow

Business and venues

All businesses and venues should follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Restrictions on businesses and venues in High alert level areas include:

  • certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am. Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises, can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through. Orders must be made via phone, online or by post. Hospitality venues in ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas do not need to close at 10pm, but must not serve alcohol after that time. There is full guidance on what businesses are permitted to remain open
  • businesses must ensure that they operate in a COVID-19 Secure manner, including restrictions on table service and group bookings
  • certain businesses and venues are required to collect customer, visitor, and staff data to support NHS Test and Trace
  • the wearing of face coverings for customers and staff in certain indoor settings
  • businesses must ensure that if their workers are required to self-isolate, they do not work outside their designated place of self-isolation
  • businesses and venues must ensure people do not meet in their premises with people from outside of their household or support bubble
  • businesses and venues that fail to comply with these restrictions may face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure.

See full guidance on which businesses and venues are permitted to be open where the local COVID alert level is High.

Going to work

To help contain the virus, office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so.

Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary.

Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work.

The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 Secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

Those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable can go to work as long as the workplace is COVID-19 Secure, but should carry on working from home wherever possible.

There is no limit to the group size when you are meeting or gathering for work purposes, but workplaces should be set up to meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

For more information, follow the guidance on how to return to work safely.

Going to school, college and university

The government has prioritised ensuring all children can attend school safely, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians.

You can find out more about the government’s approach to education and how schools have prepared. This is applicable in all the local COVID Alert Levels.

Universities have welcomed students back and we have published guidance advising universities on reopening to ensure they have safety measures in place to minimise the spread of the virus.

You can move home and travel to go to university but there are some stricter rules in place for areas in high alert level areas:

You must not move backward and forward between your permanent home and term time address during term time – subject to limited exemptions set out in law.

Students living at their university term time address in a High alert level area should follow the same guidance on meeting other people and travel as others in that area.

Commuter students (those who live at a family home and travel to/from university each day) should be able to continue to travel to/from their university as required, this being for education purposes. If you commute into a High alert level area to go to university you must not:

  • meet people you do not live with in their home inside the area, unless they’re in your household, childcare or support bubble
  • host people you do not live with in your home, if they live in the affected area, unless they’re in your childcare or support bubble
  • meet people you do not live with in their student halls, whether inside or outside of the area, unless they’re in your childcare or support bubble

If you move out of, or currently live outside of, an affected area you should not:

  • host people you do not live with in your home or student halls if they live in a High alert level area (unless they’re in your household, support bubble or childcare bubble)

Childcare

There are exceptions from legal gatherings limits for registered childcare, education or training, and supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care, youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups. This means you can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders, after-school clubs and nannies. See guidance on working safely in other people’s homes.

The following people can provide childcare support in private homes and gardens:

  • registered childcare providers, including nannies
  • people in your support bubble
  • people in your childcare bubble

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household provides informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. For any given childcare bubble, this must always be between the same 2 households.

Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare. Childcare bubbles are to be used to provide childcare only, and not for the purposes of different households mixing where they are otherwise not allowed to do so.

The tiers of restriction for education and childcare, summarised in annex 3 of the contain framework and in guidance on higher education, are separate to the local COVID alert level framework. Decisions on any restrictions necessary in education or childcare settings are taken separately on a case-by-case basis in the light of local circumstances, including information about the incidence and transmission of COVID-19.

Visiting relatives in care homes

You should not visit a care home except in exceptional circumstances, for example to visit an individual who is at the end of their life. See the guidance on visiting relatives in care homes.

Travel

You may continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, for work, voluntary, charitable or youth services, or to access education, within a High alert level area, but you should and aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible. If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.

If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.

It is difficult to socially distance during car journeys and transmission of coronavirus can occur in this context. So you should avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing. See the guidance on car sharing.

You can still travel within High alert level areas to hotels and other guest accommodation, but you should only do this with people in your household or support bubble.

You can still go on holiday outside of High alert level areas, but you must only do this with people in your household or support bubble.

When travelling, it is important that you respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of the UK where their intended activities there would be prohibited by legislation passed by the relevant devolved administration. You should also avoid travelling to any part of the country subject to higher local COVID alert levels.

There is guidance on what to do if you’ve booked holiday accommodation in a local restriction area.

Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funeral

You can attend places of worship for a service if you’re in a High alert level area. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions must only take place in COVID-19 Secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances. Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions are restricted to 15 people. Receptions should be sit down meals to ensure people can keep their distance from each other, and mustn’t take place in private dwellings.

Funerals must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces with up to 30 people in attendance. Wakes or linked ceremonial events (such as stone-settings) before or after the funeral are limited to 15 people and must not take place in private homes. Where food or drink is consumed, this should be in the form of a sit down meal.

Anyone working at a wedding, civil partnership ceremony, reception, wake or funeral is not generally counted as part of the limit. Within these larger gatherings, people do not need to limit their interaction to groups of 6 or their own household, but social distancing should still be followed between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

People living outside of a high alert level area can travel to this area to attend an event, but they must not meet with another household indoors.

Read the guidance on small marriages and civil partnerships and managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sport and physical activity

In line with guidelines from national sporting bodies, you can take part in sport and physical activity outdoors.

Organised indoor exercise classes are only permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing in with people you do not live with or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions to enable disability and youth sport and physical activity indoors, in any number.

You should follow the guidance on:

Moving home

You can still move home if you’re in a High alert level area. Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely which includes advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering.

Financial support

Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help through the:

Published 12 October 2020

 

PM Commons statement on coronavirus: 12 October 2020

No Comments

Oral statement to Parliament

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on coronavirus to the House of Commons.

Mr Speaker, with your permission, I will make a statement on our continuing fight against coronavirus and how we intend to fulfil our simultaneous objectives saving lives, protecting the NHS while keeping our children in school and our economy running, and protecting jobs and livelihoods

This morning the Deputy Chief Medical Officer set out the stark reality of the second wave of this virus the number of cases has quadrupled in the last three weeks there are now more people in hospital with Covid than when we went into lockdown on March 23 and deaths are already rising and of course there are those who say that on that logic we should go back into a full national lockdown of indefinite duration closing schools and businesses telling people again to stay at home as we did in March once again shuttering our lives and our society I do not believe that would be the right course,

We would not only be depriving our children of their education we would do such damage to our economy as to erode our long term ability to fund the NHS and other crucial public services

And on the other side of the argument there are those who think that the patience of the public is now exhausted and that we should abandon the fight against Covid stand aside, let nature take her course, and call a halt to these repressions of liberty and of course I understand those emotions I understand the frustration of those who have been chafing under the restrictions, the sacrifices they have made.

But if we were to follow that course Mr Speaker, and let the virus rip, then the bleak mathematics dictate that we would suffer not only an intolerable death toll from Covid, We would put such huge strain on our NHS, with an uncontrolled second spike that our doctors and nurses would be simply unable to devote themselves to the other treatments for cancer, for heart disease and hundreds more that have already been delayed and that would be delayed again with serious long term damage to the health of the nation and I am afraid it is no answer to say that we could let the virus take hold among the young and fit while shielding the elderly and vulnerable because the virus would then spread with such velocity in the general population that there would be no way of stopping it from spreading among the elderlyand even if the virus is less lethal for the under 60s there will still be many younger people for whom, alas, it remains lethal

So Mr Speaker, we don’t want to go back to another national lockdown

We can’t let the virus rip and so we have followed since June a balanced approach with the support of many Members across the House to keeping the R down while keeping schools and the economy going and controlling the virus by changing our behaviour so as to restrict its spread

That is why we have the Rule of Six, and why we have restrictions such as a 10pm closing time on our hospitality sector.

Mr Speaker, I take no pleasure whatsoever in imposing restrictions on these businesses, many of which have gone to great lengths to reopen as safely as possible.

Nor do I want to stop people enjoying themselves, but we must act to save lives. And the evidence shows that in changing our behaviour in restricting transmission between us our actions are saving lives.

Left unchecked each person with the virus will infect on average between 2.7 and 3 others but SAGE assess that the current R nationally is between 1.2 and 1.5.

So we are already suppressing that R to well below its natural level which is why the virus is not spreading as quickly as it did in March.

But we need to go further.

In recent months, we have worked with local leaders to counter local spikes with targeted restrictions.

But this local approach has inevitably produced different sets of rules in different parts of the country that are now complex to understand and enforce.

So just as we simplified our national rules with the Rule of Six, we will now simplify and standardise our local rules by introducing a three tiered system of local Covid Alert Levels in England – set at medium, high, and very high.

The “medium” alert level, which will cover most of the country, and will consist of the current national measures.

This includes the Rule of Six and the closure of hospitality at 10pm.

The “high” alert level reflects the interventions in many local areas at the moment.

This primarily aims to reduce household to household transmission, by preventing all mixing between different households or support bubbles indoors.

In these areas, the Rule of Six will continue to apply outdoors, where it is harder for the virus to spread, in public spaces as well as private gardens.

Most areas which are already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into the “high” alert level.

As a result of rising infection rates, Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak will also move into the “high” alert level.

The “very high” alert level will apply where transmission rates are rising most rapidly and where the NHS could soon be under unbearable pressure without further restrictions.

In these areas the government will set a baseline of prohibiting social mixing indoors and in private gardens and, I’m sorry to say, closing pubs and bars,

We want to create the maximum possible local consensus behind this more severe local action, so in each area, we will work with local government leaders on the additional measures which should be taken.

This could lead to further restrictions on the hospitality, leisure, entertainment or personal care sectors.

But retail, schools and universities will remain open.

As my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor has set out, the government will expand its unprecedented economic support to assist those affected by these decisions, extending our Job Support Scheme to cover two-thirds of the wages of those in any business that is required to close, and providing those businesses with a cash grant of up to £3,000 a month, instead of £1500 every three weeks.

We will also provide Local Authorities across England with around £1 billion of new financial support, on top of our £3.6 billion Towns Fund.

And for very high areas, we will give further financial support for local test and trace, and local enforcement and assistance from the armed forces – not for enforcement but rather to support local services, if desired in the local area.

Mr Speaker, I can report that we have been able to reach agreement with leaders in Merseyside.

Local Authorities in the Liverpool City Region will move into the “very high” alert level from Wednesday.

In addition to the baseline I have outlined, that is as well as pubs and bars, in Merseyside gyms and leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will also close.

I would like to put on record my thanks to Steve Rotheram and his colleagues for their cooperation in very difficult circumstances.

Engagement with other leaders in the North West, the North East and Yorkshire & Humber is continuing.

I know how difficult this is – they like, like everyone in the House, us are grappling with very real dilemmas – but we cannot let the NHS fall over when lives are at stake.

So let me repeat the offer that we are making to those local authorities – work with us on these difficult but necessary measures in the areas that are rated very high areas, in return for:

  • more support for local test and trace
  • more funding for local enforcement
  • the offer of help from the armed services
  • the job support scheme as announced by the Chancellor

I believe not to act would be unforgivable, so I hope that rapid progress can be made in the coming days.

Regulations for all three Covid local alert levels are being laid today. They will be debated and voted on tomorrow, before coming into force on Wednesday.

We will also keep these measures under constant review, including a four-week sunset clause for interventions in “very high” areas.

A postcode search on gov.uk, as well as the NHS Covid-19 app, will show which local alert level applies in each area and we are also publishing updated guidance to explain what the Covid alert levels mean for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

And while these levels specifically apply to England, we continue work closely with the Devolved Administrations to tackle this virus across the whole of United Kingdom.

Mr Speaker

This is not how we want to live our lives, but this is the narrow path we have to tread between the social and economic trauma of a full lockdown and the massive human and indeed economic cost of an uncontained epidemic With local and regional and national government coming together in a shared responsibility and a shared effortto deliver ever better testing and tracing, ever more efficient enforcement of the rules and with ever improving therapies, with the mountains of PPE and the ventilators that we have stockpiled

With all the lessons we have learned in the last few months we are becoming better and better at fighting this virus and though I must warn the House again that the weeks and months ahead will continue to be difficult and will test the mettle of this country

I have no doubt at all that together we will succeed

And I commend this statement to the House

West Bridgford bar closed for COVID-19 breach that saw groups mix and prompt positive cases

No Comments

Rushcliffe News

A West Bridgford bar which had previously been fined on three occasions for breaking COVID-19 rules has been closed until further notice for a further breach that saw customers mix in groups, not socially distance and seven individuals later record positive cases.

We have worked with Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Police to close the doors of Zinc on Central Avenue in the town today (October 9) having allowed multiple groups to congregate on the premises, just a day after its latest fine on September 25.

It continued to receive complaints from concerned members of the public which was confirmed after officers from the Council’s Environmental Health Team witnessed CCTV of customers entering the premises in large groups and being unchallenged by the business.

People were also seen freely mixing between groups and shaking hands. Seven members of one of the groups later tested positive for Coronavirus.

It prompted us to seek immediate closure of the premises for a month for the serious and imminent risk to health the business was posing and continued evidence of non-compliance with the regulations.

It was also handed a £2,000 fine and its operation as a business will now be reviewed on a weekly basis.

COVID-19 update – please do not mix indoors with people from other households

No Comments

Rushcliffe News

As you may be continuing to view in the local media, cases of COVID are increasing significantly across the County.

The Government are expected to announce tougher restrictions for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire soon which could include measures similar to those in place in other parts of the country in which movements are restricted.

We, the County Council and fellow districts are working alongside the City Council in now urging people to take urgent steps to not mix indoors with people from other households.

Our Leader Cllr Simon Robinson said: “It’s imperative Rushcliffe residents, in line with all those across Nottinghamshire, play their part to stop the spread of the virus by not mixing indoors with people from other households.

“We know the sacrifices many people have made and continue to make that affect their freedom but we must continue to follow all guidelines so we can do what is required to protect us all.

“Please continue to check our website www.rushcliffe.gov.uk for the latest advice to follow.”

Until anything further is announced please continue to follow this advice and play your part to stop the spread of the virus:

  • “Hands, Face, Space” which means: – Hands – wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds – Face – wear a face covering where required, unless you are exempt – Space – Maintain social distance of at least 2 metres from anyone you don’t live with or 1 metre plus additional precautions such as extra ventilation, screens or face coverings
  • When eating out at a café, pub or restaurant everyone should provide full and accurate contact details of everyone in your group using the NHS COVID-19 app or leaving details with the business.
  • Avoid car sharing but if doing so keep windows open, stick to small groups and wipe down surfaces.
  • If you have COVID symptoms, get a test and self-isolate. Symptoms include a fever, a new continuous cough, or loss of your sense of taste or smell. Call 119 to book your free test or book online via the NHS website.

A reminder, face coverings must be worn in the following locations:

  • Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis.
  • Customers in hospitality venues, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail are required to wear them too.
  • Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers.

For any questions on this update please email media@rushcliffe.gov.uk

Nottinghamshire Councils urge people to follow stricter guidelines on Covid-19

No Comments

News from Nottinghamshire County Council

Issued on the 7th October 2020

County, district and borough councils are working together and have added their support to the City Council to urge people to follow stricter guidelines to help stop the spread of Covid-19.It follows a dramatic increase in positive cases of Covid-19 across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire as well as a rise in the rate of infection.

The rates across the county currently vary between 53 and 150 per 100,000. The rate of infection for Nottinghamshire County is 106 per 100,000. Coupled with the alarming rates of infection in Nottingham City which currently sits at more than 400 per 100,000.

All councils in Nottinghamshire are now asking the public to act now. The government’s threshold for concerns is currently 80 per 100,000. Therefore, all of the county districts and boroughs are likely to be the subject of additional restrictions and measures.  

The Government is expected to announce tougher restrictions for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire later this week which could include measures similar to those in place in other parts of the country in which movements are restricted.

The County Council and district councils are working alongside the City Council in urging people to take urgent steps now to not mix indoors with people from other households.

Director of Public Health for Nottinghamshire Jonathan Gribbin said:  “COVID-19 does not recognise geographical boundaries so we must stand shoulder to shoulder with our local authority partners to do all we can to fight this virus across all our communities.  

“The rapid and sustained increase in the numbers of positive cases is a serious cause for concern and the very dramatic rates in the city are a clear sign that action is needed now across the whole of the city and county.

“We must now ask every resident to do their bit and not mix indoors with people from other households. It remains OK to mix with those in your support bubbles unless someone has tested positive or has symptoms.

“It is critical that if you have symptoms of COVID-19 – high temperature, continuous cough or loss of taste or smell – to self-isolate immediately and book a test by calling 119.

“And I wholly support calls from the director of public health for Nottingham to strongly advise young people, including students anywhere in Nottinghamshire, to remain in their social bubbles and not mix in their homes with people from other households.

“Despite the efforts of our best scientists the fact remains there is no vaccine for Covid-19 at present. The single best way to suppress the spread of COVID-19 is in all of our hands.

“This is through effective handwashing, wearing a face covering where needed and maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres where possible. Get tested if you have symptoms, then self-isolate and follow the advice when the results are given.

Leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council Cllr Simon Robinson said: “It’s imperative Rushcliffe residents, in line with all those across Nottinghamshire, play their part to stop the spread of the virus by not mixing indoors with people from other households.

“We know the sacrifices many people have made and continue to make that affect their freedom but we must continue to follow all guidelines so we can do what is required to protect us all.

“Please continue to check our website for the latest advice to follow.”

Director of Adult Social Care for Nottinghamshire County Council Melanie Brooks said:” We are advising Care Homes to restrict visiting to exceptional circumstances only.

“We thank carers and relatives for their patience as we work to protect those most at risk of adverse consequences of COVID-19.  Please contact care homes to ask about their specific restrictions before you visit. We appreciate how hard these new restrictions will be, but we must prioritise the safety of our residents and workforce.”

New legal duty to self-isolate comes into force today

No Comments

Legal duty to self-isolate comes into force today, to ensure compliance and reduce spread of COVID-19

  • Support is now available for people on low incomes who are unable to work while self-isolating through the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment
  • Fines for those breaking the rules now in place starting at £1,000 and increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offenders

From today (Monday 28 September) people across England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

Those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result will also be eligible for a new £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.

Local Authorities will be working quickly to set up Test and Trace Support Payment schemes and we expect them to be in place by 12 October. Those who are told to self-isolate from today will receive backdated payments, if they are eligible, once the scheme is set up in their Local Authority.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Anyone can catch coronavirus and anyone can spread it. We all have a crucial part to play in keeping the number of new infections down and protecting our loved ones.

As cases rise it is imperative we take action, and we are introducing a legal duty to self-isolate when told to do so, with fines for breaches and a new £500 support payment for those on lower incomes who can’t work from home while they are self-isolating.

These simple steps can make a huge difference to reduce the spread of the virus, but we will not hesitate to put in place further measures if cases continue to rise.

As the infection is now spreading rapidly again, these new measures will help ensure compliance and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

A number of steps will also be taken to make sure that people are complying with the rules. These include:

  • NHS Test and Trace call handlers increasing contact with those self-isolating;
  • Using police resources to check compliance in highest incidence areas and in high-risk groups, based on local intelligence;
  • Investigating and prosecuting high-profile and egregious cases of non-compliance; and
  • Acting on instances where third parties have identified others who have tested positive, but are not self-isolating.

Recognising that self-isolation is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the transmission of COVID-19, this new Test and Trace Support payment of £500 will ensure that those on low incomes are able to self-isolate without worry about their finances.

Just under 4 million people who are in receipt of benefits in England will be eligible for this payment, which will be available to those who have been notified that they must self-isolate from today

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

These new measures are about saving lives. Everyone must take personal responsibility and self-isolate if they test positive or if told to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

For those who fail to do so, the police will enforce the law. These new fines are a clear sign that we will not allow those who break the rules to reverse the hard-won progress made by the law-abiding majority.

Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

Councils across the country are working at pace to set up new self-isolation support payment schemes and ensure people in their communities have the information and advice they need to stay safe and reduce the spread of the virus.

Since the start of the pandemic councils have played a crucial role in supporting businesses and their communities, and I want to thank them for their hard work as they roll out this new support for those who need to self-isolate.

Fines will also be introduced from today for those breaching self-isolation rules, starting at £1,000, in line with the existing penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel. This could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and the most serious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.

Employers who force or allow staff to come to work when they should be self-isolating will also be liable for fines of up to £10,000, sending a clear message that this will not be tolerated.

If someone or another member of their household has symptoms of coronavirus, they should, as now, isolate immediately. If someone receives a positive test result, they are now required by law to self-isolate for the period ending 10 days after displaying symptoms or after the date of the test, if they did not have symptoms. Other members of their household must self-isolate for the period ending 14 days after symptom onset, or after the date of the initial person’s positive test.

If someone is instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, because they have had close contact with someone outside their household who has tested positive, they are legally required to self-isolate for the period notified by NHS Test and Trace. Both household and non-household contacts must self-isolate for the full period, regardless of whether they have symptoms and, if they develop symptoms and take a test, regardless of whether any test taken gives a negative result.

Further information

Individuals will receive this payment on top of any Statutory Sick Pay or benefits they receive. Currently individuals in employment who are self-isolating and cannot work from home are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they earn more than £120 a week from a single employer. Depending on their circumstances, they might also be able to claim Universal Credit and/ or new style Employment and Support Allowance.

The criteria for self-isolation payment is:

  • 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

This will initially be England-only, but we are engaging with DAs to explore opportunities for a UK-wide scheme delivered through LAs, seeking as much alignment as possible.

Councils will also have discretion to make payments to those who don’t receive the qualifying benefits, but are on a low income and could suffer financial hardship as a result of not being able to work.

As per the current guidance, the legal obligation to self-isolate will afford specific exemptions including for those who need to escape from illness or harm during their isolation, and those that require care.

Local Authorities will focus on the principle of encouraging, educating and supporting self-compliance. Where there is clear evidence that someone is not following the rules, the police will determine what follow-up action to take.

Users of the official NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app are anonymous and we cannot force them to self-isolate or identify them if they are not self-isolating. The app will advise a user to self-isolate if they have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. Users should follow that advice to protect their loved ones and stop the spread of the virus.