05/01/2021Latest news and advice for residents on COVID-19 from Wiltshire Council (see more)

5 January 2021
National lockdown: Stay at Home

Yesterday evening (Monday 4 January), the Prime Minister announced that due to rapidly rising cases of COVID-19, England will be going into a national lockdown, until at least February half term, from today (Tuesday 5 January).

This means you must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should follow the new guidance immediately and this means you must not leave your home without a ‘reasonable excuse.’ The law has been updated to reflect these new rules.
Find out what you can and cannot do in the national lockdown (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home)

Guidance on shielding

If you are clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The government is advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to begin shielding again, and letters will be sent out to individuals with advice on what this means for them.
More guidance on shielding (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19)
Latest COVID-19 cases in Wiltshire

COVID-19 cases in Wiltshire continue to rise sharply with the case rate per 100k increasing from 158.2 to 245.2 in the last seven days.

It’s vital that we all play our part in protecting ourselves and each other.

Please remember, hands, face, space.

Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Wiltshire COVID-19 public update – Live!

Join us tomorrow (Wednesday 6 January) at 7pm for a half-hour live COVID-19 Public Update.

The online broadcast will feature Wiltshire Council Leader, Cllr Philip Whitehead, Chief Executive, Terence Herbert and Director of Public Health, Kate Blackburn.

They will be providing an update on the Government’s National lockdown:Stay at Home restrictions announced by the Prime Minister yesterday, Wiltshire Council services and our work to continue to support residents and businesses at this time.

The live briefing will be broadcast via Microsoft Teams. Please download the Microsoft Teams app to your device in advance and use this link to join (https://teams.microsoft.com/dl/launcher/launcher.html?url=%2F_%23%2Fl%2Fmeetup-join%2F19%3Ameeting_MjM1MGQyZjAtNGY0Ny00NTQ2LWJlOWItZjM3OGQ5NmQ3YTRi%40thread.v2%2F0%3Fcontext%3D%257B%2522Tid%2522%3A%25225546e75e-3be1-4813-b0ff-26651ea2fe19%2522%2C%2522Oid%2522%3A%25221795bbd5-30bf-4321-ae10-4433b5da467f%2522%2C%2522IsBroadcastMeeting%2522%3Atrue%257D%26anon%3Dtrue&type=meetup-join&deeplinkId=e4a73760-759f-405a-9c13-1bc48cfd3aeb&directDl=true&msLaunch=true&enableMobilePage=true&suppressPrompt=true) .

You will be able to post questions during the event and we will try to answer as many as possible during the update.

The briefing will also be recorded and available via our YouTube channel
as soon as possible afterwards.

How the national lockdown will affect our services

Being in a national lockdown will affect how we are able to deliver some of our services.

All primary schools, secondary schools and colleges have closed for the majority of students and pupils will switch to remote learning.

Schools in Wiltshire will remain open for children of key workers and vulnerable children where they can.
View the critical worker guidance (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision)
Early Years settings

Early years settings including nurseries and childminders can remain open.
If your child attends an early years setting – please contact them directly to see if they’re still open.

Our libraries will close until further notice.

We will be moving to an order and collect service, which will be in place while the libraries remain closed.

We’ll publish information on this as soon as possible.

eBooks, Audio and eMagazines are still available for members on our website (https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/article/1302/eBooks-Audio-and-eMagazines) .
More about our library services (https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/libraries-news)
Leisure centres

Our leisure centres will close until further notice.

All direct debit members will be frozen and January direct debit payments will be refunded in due course.

Online exercises classes (https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-online-classes) are still running.
More information our leisure services (https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-covid19)
Household Recycling Centres and waste collection
Our household recycling centres are open as usual, but you must book in advance online.

However, please only visit your nearest HRC if it is essential to do so and the items cannot be stored safely at home.

If you have booked and your journey is not essential, please cancel your booking.
Book or cancel HRC booking (https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/household-recycling-centres-book)

Business grants
The Chancellor has announced new support for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.  New one-off grants will be available to closed businesses as follows:
* £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
* £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
* £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

A £594 million discretionary fund is also being made available to support other impacted businesses.
We are awaiting further guidance from the government on these schemes before rolling them out to businesses.

If you have already applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme, you do not need to apply again. If your businesses was closed as a result of the restrictions in November 2020 and  you have not yet applied for a grant, please complete the application form as soon as possible.

***Scam regarding fake ‘COVID-19 government grant’***

A number of scam text messages are being received across the UK, trying to entice people into giving up their card details in order to claim a non-existent government grant.

The text message claims to come from
HM Revenue and Customs.

HMRC will never offer a tax refund by text, email or phone.
Read the Chancellor’s announcement (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/46-billion-in-new-lockdown-grants-to-support-businesses-and-protect-jobs)
Apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/business-advice-support-covid19-grants)

A fake NHS text has been circulating, telling people they’re eligible to apply for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The link in the text message leads to a fake NHS website that asks for your personal details, including your bank/card details in order to ‘check your identity’.

When you are invited for your vaccine you WILL NOT be asked for bank details or payment of any kind.

Vaccine programme

We wanted to make sure that you are aware of how the COVID-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out.

Nationally this programme is led by the NHS and in Wiltshire the Bath And North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group are the lead organisation with support from Wiltshire Council and partners.

Residents will be written to directly by the NHS with information on their appointment for the vaccine so there is no need to call NHS in advance.

If you have any queries about the timings of vaccinations or priority groups please find information on the JCVI website (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi-30-december-2020/joint-committee-on-vaccination-and-immunisation-advice-on-priority-groups-for-covid-19-vaccination-30-december-2020#vaccine-priority-groups-advice-on-30-december-2020) where all relevant information is held.

Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub

Our Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub remains in place for those who may need additional support.

You can call the hub on 0300 003 4576 or email wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk
It’s open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Those who require help with tasks such as picking up food and other essentials, should ask friends or family or order online.

If they do not have family, friends or a support network that can help, please contact the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub and request help.

Need some mental health support? Below are all the numbers you’ll need.

•    North Team – 01249 468500
•    South Team – 01722432555
•    West Team – 01249 706611
•    Emergency Duty Service for out of hours and weekends – 0300 456 0100 (Option 7 then 1 for Adults)
•    0300 303 1320 – Avon & Wilts mental health care provider (24/7)
•    0808 196 3382 – NHS ‘GoodSam’
•    01380 724833 – Richmond Fellowship Mon-Fri 24 hours