Please find below the latest update from Wiltshire Council regarding COVID-19 and other matters.
The government’s COVID-19 data is updated daily and specific information on Wiltshire is available here.
Whilst, the COVID-19 infection rate in Wiltshire and the South West remains low compared to other regions, the council is working hard with its partners to encourage residents and businesses to continue their efforts to follow government guidance on prevention (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus), and sign up to the new NHS App which is the best and fastest way to check if they are at risk from coronavirus. The app is a vital tool to help the NHS understand where and how quickly the virus is spreading, so it can respond quickly and effectively.
The NHS app is available to download for free in England and Wales, and has a number of tools to protect individuals, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in.
For further information about the app and how to download it please click here: https://covid19.nhs.uk.
COVID-19 - what has changed?
The government recently announced further national measures to address rising cases of coronavirus, which are likely to remain in place until March 2021. To read the announcement in full:
Precautionary COVID-19 measures taken at four educational settings in Wiltshire
Following advice from public health professionals, Larkrise School in Trowbridge, Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, Dilton Marsh C of E Primary School near Westbury, and Wiltshire College & University Centre’s Trowbridge Campus are taking precautionary COVID-19 measures due to an individual positive case confirmed at each of their settings. These measures ensure the risk of any transmission within the settings is kept as low as possible.
At Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, one pupil in Year 10 has tested positive for COVID-19, and while all precautionary and proper bubble measures have been followed, the school has agreed to take additional precautions with advice from public health professionals and ask all Year 10, a total of 277 pupils, to self-isolate until 30 September.
At Dilton Marsh Primary School, the Headteacher has tested positive for COVID-19. Close contacts have been identified and by taking precautionary measures, 24 children from different year groups are self-isolating until 2 October. Eight members of staff are also self-isolating. The school had temporarily closed to all pupils but following conversations with Wiltshire Council and Public Health England, all pupils who have not been identified as close contacts of the Headteacher will now start to return from 25 September on a staggered basis.
At Larkrise School in Trowbridge one pupil has tested positive for COVID-19. In following the correct precautionary measures, 10 pupils and 10 members of staff are self-isolating until 5 October.
At Wiltshire College & University Centre’s Trowbridge campus, one student has tested positive for COVID-19. In following the correct precautionary measures, the College has asked 24 students to self-isolate until 5 October.
We understand these precautionary measures can be disruptive for the schools, colleges, pupils, students and their families, but it’s vital we keep the virus under control in Wiltshire, and we thank everyone involved for their support with this.
The government’s letter to parents and guardians on booking coronavirus tests for their children is available. Please click here
Government's Winter Economy Plan
This plan outlines a package of targeted measures to support businesses and jobs through the winter.
The measures include:
- support for businesses to bring employees back to work and save jobs with a new Job Support Scheme which will be introduced from 1 November 2020. Employees will need to work a minimum of 33% of their usual hours and for the hours not worked, the employer and the government will each pay one third of the employee’s usual pay
- extending the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to April 2021
- help for the hospitality and tourism sectors through a continuation of the reduction in VAT (5%) to end of March 2021
- support for businesses’ finances and cashflow through an extension to the application period to 30 November 2020 for four government-backed loans schemes – Bounce Back Loan Schemes, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Future Fund
- changes to the terms of repayment for Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans so businesses can repay their loan over a period of up to ten years
- new payment scheme to ease the burden of paying deferred VAT by giving businesses the option to spread their payments in 11 equal instalments over the 2021-2022 financial year
- more time to pay Self-Assessment tax liabilities
To read the Winter Economy Plan in full: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/winter-economy-plan/winter-economy-plan
A record 30 million people are being offered the free flu vaccination this year.
The flu vaccine is given to people who:
- are 65 and over (including those who'll be 65 by 31 March 2021)
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in a long-stay residential care
- receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
- frontline health or social care workers
It’s more important than ever for people to get their vaccination, to help protect the nation from the double threat of flu and COVID-19 this winter. Please encourage eligible members of your community to get their vaccine.
Further information is available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/.