Wiltshire placed in Tier 2: High alert
From this Wednesday, 2 December, the government will be reintroducing the tier system where different levels of restrictions apply in different parts of the country.
Wiltshire has been placed in Tier 2: High alert, which is one higher than before the current period of national restrictions. This means that from Wednesday measures will be in place including:
•you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
•you must not socialise in a group of more than six people outside, including gardens or public spaces
•businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
•pubs and bars must remain closed, unless operating as restaurants and alcohol can only be served with substantial meals
•hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises must provide table service and are now required to close between 11pm and 5am with last orders being taken at 10pm
What impact does this have on our services?
Our libraries and leisure centres will be able to open their doors to you again and will be operating the same service as before the current national restrictions were introduced.
Leisure Centres are due to open again on 3 December. Some libraries are expected to reopen next week, dates will be confirmed shortly.
Weddings will be able to take place again with up to 15 people able to attend wedding ceremonies. Up to 30 people will be able to attend funerals.
During the current national restrictions, traders at our street markets were only able to sell food, but from 2 December they will once again be able to sell their full range of products and produce.
We will keep our COVID-19 page as up to date as possible with any other information on our services.
More information on the re-opening of libraries and Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre here.
More information on the re-opening of leisure centres here.
UK-wide measures for Christmas
A single set of UK-wide measures has been agreed by to help people come together with their loved ones in a way that is as safe as possible.
•Travel restrictions between tiers will be lifted to provide a window for households to come together between 23 and 27 December
•Up to three households can form an exclusive ‘bubble’ to meet at home during this period. When a bubble is formed it is fixed, and must not be changed or extended further at any point
•Each Christmas bubble can meet at home, at a place of worship or an outdoor public place, but existing, more restrictive rules on hospitality and meeting in other venues will be maintained throughout this period.
Read the full announcement here.
Wiltshire COVID-19 cases and national data
The government updates its COVID-19 case rate data daily. You can view this information and check COVID-19 case rates in your local postcode area here: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/
COVID-19 data for Wiltshire schools, hospitals and care homes, is available here: https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-coronavirus
Up-to-date information about the latest number of COVID-related deaths in the Wiltshire Council area can be found here: GOV.UK
The following graphic shows Wiltshire's latest seven-day COVID-19 case rate information (as of 30 November).
Support and childcare bubbles
There is separate guidance for support bubbles and childcare bubbles across all tiers. Support bubbles have been expanded. You can form a support bubble with another household if any of the following apply to you: •you are the only adult in your household – any other members of the household having been under 18 on 12 June 2020 – or are an under-18-year-old living alone
•you live with someone with a disability who requires continuous care and there is no other adult living in the household
•you live with a child who is under 1, or who was under 1 on 2 December 2020
•you live with a child who is under 5, or who was under 5 on 2 December 2020, with a disability
Childcare bubbles are separate from support bubbles.
If you’re eligible, you can form one childcare bubble and one support bubble with different households. You must not meet socially with your support bubble and childcare bubble at the same time. Childcare bubbles must be used exclusively for the purposes of childcare.
More information here.
COVID-19 support for Wiltshire businesses
There are a number of government business grant schemes to support businesses during the COVID-19 restrictions with full information available on the council's website.
This includes the recently launched Additional Restrictions Grant Scheme.
This new grant scheme is a discretionary scheme that will help those businesses required to close, or that have been severely affected by the national restrictions and are outside of the business rate system. The scheme aims to support those businesses which are not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme.
Businesses could receive a grant worth up to £3,000 to help them cope with the challenges presented by COVID-19.
These grants will be awarded on a rolling basis with successful applicants receiving payments in November and December 2020.
Applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 18 December 2020 via the online application form. Applications will then be reviewed and assessed, with grants being paid as quickly as possible.
COVID-19 business grant guidance and application forms here.
Wiltshire COVID-19 public update - Live!
Join Wiltshire Council for a COVID-19 Live Public Update on Tuesday 8 December
We will be broadcasting our second COVID-19 Live Public Update on Tuesday 8 December at 5pm.
Wiltshire Council Leader, Cllr Philip Whitehead, will be joined by Terence Herbert, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Council and Kate Blackburn, Director of Public Health to help guide you through the latest information and regulations.
The broadcast will be an opportunity to hear about the new Tier 2: ‘High Alert’ category Wiltshire has been placed in, the latest number and the rate of positive COVID-19 cases in the county, the arrangements in place to mitigate the spread of the virus, and the work we continue to do to support residents and businesses at this time.
The live briefing will be broadcast via Microsoft Teams. Viewers should download the Microsoft Teams app to their device in advance and use this link to join: 8 December COVID-19 public update.
The briefing will also be recorded and available via our YouTube channel as soon as possible afterwards.
Full details on the live public update
England introduces new testing for international arrivals
The government has announced that from 15 December, passengers arriving into England from countries not featured on the government’s travel corridor list (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors) will have the option to take a test after five days of self-isolation to reduce the 14-day self-isolation period. A negative coronavirus result will release passengers from the need to isolate further.
Read the full announcement
COVID-19 Test and Trace Support Payment scheme
We are urging eligible residents to apply for the Test and Trace Support Scheme, which is in place to help support those who are out of pocket because they are having to self-isolate.
Financial support continues to be available for people that are on low incomes who are required to self-isolate due to COVID-19 and will lose money because they are unable to work, who may be eligible for a lump sum of £500.
There are a number of reasons that ineligible people are applying for the scheme or applications are being refused.
More details on this.