02/04/2021 Latest news and advice for residents on COVID-19 and more from Wiltshire Council. New online directory launched to support local businesses

1 April 2021
Latest Wiltshire COVID-19 casesThe number of cases in Wiltshire continues to be below the national average. However, rates have increased slightly this week.

The rate of cases per 100k has increased from 27.4 to 29.2.Please continue to play your part to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

First stage of lockdown eased

Social contact

You are now able to meet outdoors (including in private gardens) in groups of six people (the Rule of 6) or two households, making it easier for you to meet friends and family outside.

Business and activities

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, are now allowed to reopen, and you can take part in formally organised outdoor sports.


The ‘stay at home’ rule has ended, but many restrictions remain in place. You should continue to work from home where you can and minimise the number of journeys you make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad continues to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme. The Government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel which will report on 12 April.

Full guidance on the easing of restrictions
Please be cautious over Easter

We’re working with local partners to encourage everyone to be cautious over Easter.

Please continue to follow the Government’s guidance and keep yourselves and  loved ones safe over the Easter break.

Although the ‘stay at home’ rule has now lifted, this has been replaced by guidance that you should minimise travel, avoid making unnecessary trips and not stay away from home overnight at this stage.

If you’re planning to meet up with others over the Easter weekend and the school holidays, please stick to the rules of social distancing and only meet others outdoors, in a maximum group of 6 people (Rule of 6) or two households.

More details on the need to be cautious over Easter
New online directory launched to support local businesses

We have launched a new digital directory to help business owners and managers as they make decisions about the future of their business.

The Business Support Directory is a comprehensive online tool which signposts businesses affected by COVID-19 to local, regional or national support or alternative solutions to help them survive.

We created the tool, in conjunction with partners and stakeholders, to help many businesses who are facing new risks and challenges and may not be aware of what support is available to them or what the best solution may be for their situation. So, whether businesses may be considering growing, changing, downsizing or potentially closing, the tool can help identify the information and support available to help them.

The tool contains information tailored to the size of the business, ranging from self-employed and sole traders to large businesses with over 250 employees. So, if you are looking to grow your business’ online presence but need to upskill yourself or your team, or thinking about future talent but don’t know where to start, or having to make staff redundant and want to support them move on, this directory can help you do that.

View the Online Business Support Directory
Poll cards start to be posted out with elections on the horizon

With the elections a little over a month away, poll cards are starting to be sent out by Wiltshire Council to eligible voters, and will soon land on residents’ doormats.

We are legally obliged to send out poll cards to registered voters. The poll card also contains details of the resident’s local polling station. More than 20 polling stations have changed from previous years, with extra measures being introduced to make them COVID-secure. In total there will be 348 polling stations across the county.

On 6 May, unitary and town and parish council elections take place, as well as the Police and Crime Commissioner election. Given the amount of elections and COVID measures required, the count of the ballots will take place from 7 to 10 May. There are also a number of neighbourhood planning referendums, and those eligible to vote in those will be sent an additional poll card.

You do not need to bring your poll card to vote but it is helpful if you can bring it with you.

Terence Herbert, Wiltshire Council’s Chief Executive and Wiltshire’s Returning Officer has filmed a short video to talk about the poll cards in a bit more detail.

It is not too late register to vote if you haven’t already; visit the GOV.uk website for more information.

To register to vote by post, please go online.

For local information on the elections taking place on 6 May, please visit our website.

Waste collections over the Easter weekend

Our waste teams are collecting as usual this bank holiday, so if it’s your collection day, please leave your bins out as normal.

Check your waste collection dates
Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub taking on additional roleThe Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub, which has proved a lifeline to many local residents during the pandemic, is taking on an additional role from 1 April.

The multi-agency hub has provided support, guidance and signposting helping to provide a community response to assist those who are at highest risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19 – the clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable.

From today (Thursday 1 April) the Hub will take on an additional role of supporting those self-isolating due to a positive test or as a close contact where they don’t have friends and family to help. The Hub will be able to provide advice or support for individuals who are required to self-isolate and need practical, social and emotional support.

More details on the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub taking on an additional role
Census 2021

Each property in England and Wales will have received a Census Pack.

If you own a 2nd home or a holiday let it is likely that due to lockdown you will not have been able to visit the property to pick up your census pack.

You still need to complete a census questionnaire for the property, even if it is empty in terms of you’ve not been able to stay there or let it out for holiday use.

2nd Home
If your second property is a holiday home that is only for your use, you’re responsible for filling in the census form sent to that address as well as the one sent to your other address.

If you can’t get the post from a property, you can complete the census online by requesting an access code for that address to be sent to you by text.

If no one was staying there overnight on Sunday 21 March 2021, you will only need to answer a few questions about that property.

Away from your property
You should fill in a census form for this address if:

  • you’re still in the UK
  • you’re outside the UK for less than 12 months

You don’t need to fill in the census form if you’re away for 12 months or more, and outside the UK.

Find out more about the Census 2021
Online fostering information session

“All we’ve done is make him feel safe, loved and accepted. He can be exhausting, but to see him develop and grow as a person is so rewarding,” Laura, foster carer.

If you’re looking for a change of career and to make a huge difference to a child’s life, come and join us as we host an online fostering information session on Wednesday 7 April at 7:30pm.

Link to join.

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