Latest North Somerset Council Coronavirus Advice

Published: 01 March 2021

Friday 26 February 2021

Dear all

The roadmap out of lockdown has been revealed but we must all continue to play our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday we now know the plan to ease the country out of lockdown. The roadmap sets out how England will exit lockdown during the spring and summer.

Vaccines give clear hope for the future but while infection rates are falling, they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals.

So for now, remember we are still in lockdown and the current rules about staying at home still apply.

Latest coronavirus case data

Recorded cases of coronavirus have continued to fall in North Somerset since last week’s update and we have now dropped below the regional average.

169 new cases have been identified in the latest seven-day period reported for North Somerset compared with 193 the previous week. Our case rate per 100,000 head of population has continued to decrease and is now 78.6 compared with a South West figure of 70.2, the lowest regional rate in England, and an England rate of 118.3.

There is a lag in case data meaning the latest information is for the week ending Saturday 20 February.

You can see more detail on our local case data at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/lomp.

Case data is also available at national, regional, council and neighbourhood level at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Light a candle to remember those we’ve lost

On Sunday 14 March it will be exactly a year since we lost our first resident in North Somerset to coronavirus. In the year that’s passed, many more residents have lost their lives to the disease and no community has been untouched, so we’d like to encourage a shared moment of remembrance and reflection for those we’ve lost.

Join us on Sunday 14 March and light up your window, whether with a candle or other light, at 7pm for the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

With the current restrictions still in place we’re not able to organise any gatherings, but we hope to be able to harness the power of social media to demonstrate North Somerset’s communities coming together virtually to remember everyone we’ve lost but not been able to say goodbye to in the usual ways over the past year.

Please use your own social media channels to take part and encourage those in your community – family, friends and colleagues – to light their own candles and share their images to generate a stronger collective act of remembrance. If people post their candle images using #NStogether we’ll be able to gather together a collection of community involvement on the evening.

Vaccinations for unpaid carers

Local health and care organisations are now vaccinating people with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are defined as:

  • people who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or
  • people who are the sole or main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and is therefore clinically vulnerable.

To be eligible for vaccination as part of Group 6, carers must deliver personal care to the individual at risk. This does not include, for example, shopping or cleaning.

Registered Carers
If you are already registered as a carer with us or your GP, or you have been confirmed as eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will be invited for vaccination by your GP or asked to book through the national booking service. Please do not contact the NHS. It is possible you may be invited for vaccination more than once. Please do not be concerned and only book one appointment.

Unregistered Carers
If you deliver personal care to an ‘at risk’ person but are not registered as a carer or are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will also have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Further information about how you will be able to book will be available in the next few weeks.

Please do not be concerned if you are not contacted immediately for vaccination or have to wait a short while to book your appointment. The NHS is working tirelessly to vaccinate everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible. Please be patient and kind to the staff. They will be in touch when it’s your turn.

For more information about the roll-out of the vaccination programme in our area - including full details of the vaccination locations and travel support - please visit the Healthier Together website.

Extended support for North Somerset businesses

Financial support for businesses in North Somerset has been extended to cover the current period of national lockdown.

On Monday (22 February) the Government set out its four-step roadmap and announced that a further Business Grant payment will be provided to businesses for the 44-day period up to the end of the financial year (covering 16 February – 31 March).

We are working to make automatic payments to those businesses that have been awarded a grant since November last year. Those businesses should have received an email from us and do not need to apply again.

We are doing a series of fraud checks to support the process and, once complete, will send out payments in the next ten working days.

Businesses that have not yet applied for a grant are urged to contact us quickly as the closing date for some grant claims is 31 March.

Since March last year we have given out more than £57m of government grants to businesses across the area. However, we believe there are still businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or more of the various grants available but have not yet come forward.

To help them access the grants they are entitled to we have a dedicated Business Grants contact centre on 01934 888 114 or businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Businesses contacting the centre will be offered guidance on the range of grants available, as there are 26 different permutations of grants, and given tailored advice on which schemes are appropriate for their business.

If you run a business in North Somerset that has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have not yet applied for a grant please get in touch with us and we will help you.

In addition to the government grants, our grant to assist the North Somerset hospitality sector has recently been extended from pubs, cafes and restaurants to include hotels and external catering such as weddings or functions (please note this does not apply to takeaways or food delivery services). The claim form for this is available on our website.

Letters and emails for shielding residents

Last week the Government announced an extension of the number of people who are being advised to shield as a result of a review of the evidence since the start of the pandemic about which people are more likely to become very unwell as a result of Covid-19 infection.

North Somerset Together will be writing to everyone who has been added to the list to make sure they aware of the support that is available.

We will also take this opportunity to send updated information to everyone already on the shielding list.

In response to concerns that have been raised about Covid-related telephone scam calls, this will also allow us to give everyone who is shielding a unique personal identification number (PIN) which they can use as a passcode to identify support calls made from North Somerset Together partners.

The advice to shield is applicable until the end of March.

Anyone who is now being advised to shield is entitled to statutory sick pay, prioritisation for online shopping slots and help collecting medicines.

Help is available locally for people who need additional support during the pandemic through the North Somerset Together network www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together.

If you look after schoolchildren get your regular tests

With schools set to reopen on Monday 8 March, staff and pupils, in year seven and above, will get regular rapid Covid-19 tests to help screen for those who may be infected without symptoms.

If you are a parent or look after children as part of a childcare bubble, you are also encouraged to take rapid tests twice a week.

You can start your tests next week, ready for the return to face-to-face teaching the week after.

Testing is available at:

  • Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea
  • Somerset Hall, Portishead
  • Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston.

All three sites operate seven days a week 8.30am-5pm, with evening opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Anyone living or working in North Somerset without symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested at one of the three centres.

Find out more and book a test at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

Home testing
Government has announced it will make rapid home testing kits available and we are looking to make this available in North Somerset. As soon as we have details confirmed by Department of Health and Social Care we will let you know how this will work in our area.

Got coronavirus symptoms? Book a symptomatic test

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

You should book even if you have a recent negative rapid test result.

This gives access to a symptomatic test, which can be carried out at Locking Road car park, Weston-super-Mare, or Castlewood, Clevedon.

Locking Road is open 8am-8pm seven days a week can be used by people arriving for their appointment on foot as well as by car. Free parking is available for those being tested.

A mobile testing unit (MTU) runs from Castlewood in Clevedon but can only accept appointments by car.

The roadmap out of lockdown

On Monday the Prime Minister set out the government’s roadmap to recovery with a timetable that takes us, at intervals, through a process of gradual unlocking.

He has stated that each step will be carried out a minimum of five weeks apart and we will only progress to the next step in England if the data supports that progress.

You can read the roadmap and what will change at each of the four steps on the government website. Here’s the key dates at a glance, but remember, it is all under constant review and could change.

Stage one – part one – from Monday 8 March

Pupils and students in all schools and further education can return to face-to-face teaching. Breakfast and after school clubs will reopen.

Two people from different households can meet outside

Every care home resident will be able to nominate one visitor who will need PPE and lateral flow tests

Stage one – part two – from Monday 29 March

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and formally organised sports can restart.

The stay at home rule will be removed – people will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should continue to work at home if they can and try not to travel

Rule of six will return - people can meet outside, including in private gardens, in groups of up to six for meeting up outdoors, including private gardens

Parent and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

Weddings with up to six people can take place

Stage two – no earlier than Monday 12 April

All shops will be able to open

Hairdressers, beauty salons can open

Zoos, themes parks, drive-in cinemas, libraries and community centres can open

Restaurants and pubs can serve customers sitting outside

Indoor sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

Weddings can take place with up to 15 people

Stage three - no earlier than Monday 17 May

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30

Six people, or two households, can meet indoors

Indoor entertainment venues can open

Adult indoor groups sports and exercise classes can start

Weddings and christenings can take place with up to 30 people

Large events can take place – with some limits

Stage four - no earlier than Monday 21 June

All legal limits on social contact to be removed

No legal limit on how many people can attend weddings, funerals, christenings and other life events

Nightclubs and theatres reopen

Roadmap sees school and care home changes from 8 March

On Monday 8 March children will be able to return to face-to-face teaching. Schools are sharing information on how they open with parents and pupils.

Care homes will also be able to allow visitors again, with a loved one from a single household able to visit residents.

Care home providers will be working this week to implement the government guidance to allow visitors, which will also see rapid Covid-19 testing undertaken as part of the visits.

If you would like to check if you can visit your loved one in a care home, speak to the provider to find out more.

Vaccination data available for your local area

You can find out how many people have been vaccinated in your local area with more detailed figures now available from the NHS.

If you are interested in numbers you can find the reports on the NHS website and you are looking for file in 25 February in the weekly data called Vaccinations by MSOA.

This gives close to a ward by ward breakdown of the data.

Covid alert level

The chief medical officers across the UK recommended yesterday (Thursday) for the Covid alert level, which reflects the impact of the virus on health systems in the NHS including hospitals, be lowered from its highest rate of four to three.

In a statement they said: “The health services across the 4 nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital. However, thanks to the efforts of the public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.”

You can read the full CMO statement on the government’s website.

In other news…

What the budget means for children’s services

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council meeting.

Mikhail Riches and North Somerset Council development secures approval

Planning consent has been secured for a “rural sister site” to Mikhail Riches’ Stirling Prize winning Goldsmith Street scheme.

New strategies to unlock millions in local investment

Plans to support the future delivery of council services and community assets were given the green light at Tuesday night’s ‘Full Council’ meeting of North Somerset Council.

What the budget means for adult care and health

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the budget being adopted at Full Council last Tuesday (23 February).

Illegal tobacco products lead to suspended sentence

A man from Diamond Batch, Weston-super-Mare, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to 15 charges relating to the supply and distribution of illegal tobacco products.

New one way scheme improves safety outside Worle Village Primary

A £4,000 scheme to improve safety outside Worle Village Primary school is being trialled.

£1.3m flood alleviation scheme completed

A major £1.3m scheme which will protect an area of Weston-super-Mare from future flooding has been completed.

Action on empties - National Empty Homes Week 2021

This week is National Empty Homes week. North Somerset Council would like to work with owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use and to highlight the problems that may occur when homes are left empty.

Creating a strong financial footing

Millions of pounds are to be invested in projects which will have a positive impact for local people in North Somerset Council's budget for the year ahead.

Private owner attempts to delay Birnbeck CPO but Council stands firm

The private owner of Birnbeck Pier has put in an application to the Magistrates Court to put a ‘stay’ on the Compulsory Purchase Order brought by North Somerset Council.

Marketing and Communications
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01934 634 996

E-Mail: press.office@n-somerset.gov.uk
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk

Friday 26 February 2021

Dear all

The roadmap out of lockdown has been revealed but we must all continue to play our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday we now know the plan to ease the country out of lockdown. The roadmap sets out how England will exit lockdown during the spring and summer.

Vaccines give clear hope for the future but while infection rates are falling, they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals.

So for now, remember we are still in lockdown and the current rules about staying at home still apply.

Latest coronavirus case data

Recorded cases of coronavirus have continued to fall in North Somerset since last week’s update and we have now dropped below the regional average.

169 new cases have been identified in the latest seven-day period reported for North Somerset compared with 193 the previous week. Our case rate per 100,000 head of population has continued to decrease and is now 78.6 compared with a South West figure of 70.2, the lowest regional rate in England, and an England rate of 118.3.

There is a lag in case data meaning the latest information is for the week ending Saturday 20 February.

You can see more detail on our local case data at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/lomp.

Case data is also available at national, regional, council and neighbourhood level at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Light a candle to remember those we’ve lost

On Sunday 14 March it will be exactly a year since we lost our first resident in North Somerset to coronavirus. In the year that’s passed, many more residents have lost their lives to the disease and no community has been untouched, so we’d like to encourage a shared moment of remembrance and reflection for those we’ve lost.

Join us on Sunday 14 March and light up your window, whether with a candle or other light, at 7pm for the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

With the current restrictions still in place we’re not able to organise any gatherings, but we hope to be able to harness the power of social media to demonstrate North Somerset’s communities coming together virtually to remember everyone we’ve lost but not been able to say goodbye to in the usual ways over the past year.

Please use your own social media channels to take part and encourage those in your community – family, friends and colleagues – to light their own candles and share their images to generate a stronger collective act of remembrance. If people post their candle images using #NStogether we’ll be able to gather together a collection of community involvement on the evening.

Vaccinations for unpaid carers

Local health and care organisations are now vaccinating people with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are defined as:

  • people who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or
  • people who are the sole or main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and is therefore clinically vulnerable.

To be eligible for vaccination as part of Group 6, carers must deliver personal care to the individual at risk. This does not include, for example, shopping or cleaning.

Registered Carers
If you are already registered as a carer with us or your GP, or you have been confirmed as eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will be invited for vaccination by your GP or asked to book through the national booking service. Please do not contact the NHS. It is possible you may be invited for vaccination more than once. Please do not be concerned and only book one appointment.

Unregistered Carers
If you deliver personal care to an ‘at risk’ person but are not registered as a carer or are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will also have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Further information about how you will be able to book will be available in the next few weeks.

Please do not be concerned if you are not contacted immediately for vaccination or have to wait a short while to book your appointment. The NHS is working tirelessly to vaccinate everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible. Please be patient and kind to the staff. They will be in touch when it’s your turn.

For more information about the roll-out of the vaccination programme in our area - including full details of the vaccination locations and travel support - please visit the Healthier Together website.

Extended support for North Somerset businesses

Financial support for businesses in North Somerset has been extended to cover the current period of national lockdown.

On Monday (22 February) the Government set out its four-step roadmap and announced that a further Business Grant payment will be provided to businesses for the 44-day period up to the end of the financial year (covering 16 February – 31 March).

We are working to make automatic payments to those businesses that have been awarded a grant since November last year. Those businesses should have received an email from us and do not need to apply again.

We are doing a series of fraud checks to support the process and, once complete, will send out payments in the next ten working days.

Businesses that have not yet applied for a grant are urged to contact us quickly as the closing date for some grant claims is 31 March.

Since March last year we have given out more than £57m of government grants to businesses across the area. However, we believe there are still businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or more of the various grants available but have not yet come forward.

To help them access the grants they are entitled to we have a dedicated Business Grants contact centre on 01934 888 114 or businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Businesses contacting the centre will be offered guidance on the range of grants available, as there are 26 different permutations of grants, and given tailored advice on which schemes are appropriate for their business.

If you run a business in North Somerset that has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have not yet applied for a grant please get in touch with us and we will help you.

In addition to the government grants, our grant to assist the North Somerset hospitality sector has recently been extended from pubs, cafes and restaurants to include hotels and external catering such as weddings or functions (please note this does not apply to takeaways or food delivery services). The claim form for this is available on our website.

Letters and emails for shielding residents

Last week the Government announced an extension of the number of people who are being advised to shield as a result of a review of the evidence since the start of the pandemic about which people are more likely to become very unwell as a result of Covid-19 infection.

North Somerset Together will be writing to everyone who has been added to the list to make sure they aware of the support that is available.

We will also take this opportunity to send updated information to everyone already on the shielding list.

In response to concerns that have been raised about Covid-related telephone scam calls, this will also allow us to give everyone who is shielding a unique personal identification number (PIN) which they can use as a passcode to identify support calls made from North Somerset Together partners.

The advice to shield is applicable until the end of March.

Anyone who is now being advised to shield is entitled to statutory sick pay, prioritisation for online shopping slots and help collecting medicines.

Help is available locally for people who need additional support during the pandemic through the North Somerset Together network www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together.

If you look after schoolchildren get your regular tests

With schools set to reopen on Monday 8 March, staff and pupils, in year seven and above, will get regular rapid Covid-19 tests to help screen for those who may be infected without symptoms.

If you are a parent or look after children as part of a childcare bubble, you are also encouraged to take rapid tests twice a week.

You can start your tests next week, ready for the return to face-to-face teaching the week after.

Testing is available at:

  • Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea
  • Somerset Hall, Portishead
  • Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston.

All three sites operate seven days a week 8.30am-5pm, with evening opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Anyone living or working in North Somerset without symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested at one of the three centres.

Find out more and book a test at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

Home testing
Government has announced it will make rapid home testing kits available and we are looking to make this available in North Somerset. As soon as we have details confirmed by Department of Health and Social Care we will let you know how this will work in our area.

Got coronavirus symptoms? Book a symptomatic test

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

You should book even if you have a recent negative rapid test result.

This gives access to a symptomatic test, which can be carried out at Locking Road car park, Weston-super-Mare, or Castlewood, Clevedon.

Locking Road is open 8am-8pm seven days a week can be used by people arriving for their appointment on foot as well as by car. Free parking is available for those being tested.

A mobile testing unit (MTU) runs from Castlewood in Clevedon but can only accept appointments by car.

The roadmap out of lockdown

On Monday the Prime Minister set out the government’s roadmap to recovery with a timetable that takes us, at intervals, through a process of gradual unlocking.

He has stated that each step will be carried out a minimum of five weeks apart and we will only progress to the next step in England if the data supports that progress.

You can read the roadmap and what will change at each of the four steps on the government website. Here’s the key dates at a glance, but remember, it is all under constant review and could change.

Stage one – part one – from Monday 8 March

Pupils and students in all schools and further education can return to face-to-face teaching. Breakfast and after school clubs will reopen.

Two people from different households can meet outside

Every care home resident will be able to nominate one visitor who will need PPE and lateral flow tests

Stage one – part two – from Monday 29 March

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and formally organised sports can restart.

The stay at home rule will be removed – people will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should continue to work at home if they can and try not to travel

Rule of six will return - people can meet outside, including in private gardens, in groups of up to six for meeting up outdoors, including private gardens

Parent and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

Weddings with up to six people can take place

Stage two – no earlier than Monday 12 April

All shops will be able to open

Hairdressers, beauty salons can open

Zoos, themes parks, drive-in cinemas, libraries and community centres can open

Restaurants and pubs can serve customers sitting outside

Indoor sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

Weddings can take place with up to 15 people

Stage three - no earlier than Monday 17 May

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30

Six people, or two households, can meet indoors

Indoor entertainment venues can open

Adult indoor groups sports and exercise classes can start

Weddings and christenings can take place with up to 30 people

Large events can take place – with some limits

Stage four - no earlier than Monday 21 June

All legal limits on social contact to be removed

No legal limit on how many people can attend weddings, funerals, christenings and other life events

Nightclubs and theatres reopen

Roadmap sees school and care home changes from 8 March

On Monday 8 March children will be able to return to face-to-face teaching. Schools are sharing information on how they open with parents and pupils.

Care homes will also be able to allow visitors again, with a loved one from a single household able to visit residents.

Care home providers will be working this week to implement the government guidance to allow visitors, which will also see rapid Covid-19 testing undertaken as part of the visits.

If you would like to check if you can visit your loved one in a care home, speak to the provider to find out more.

Vaccination data available for your local area

You can find out how many people have been vaccinated in your local area with more detailed figures now available from the NHS.

If you are interested in numbers you can find the reports on the NHS website and you are looking for file in 25 February in the weekly data called Vaccinations by MSOA.

This gives close to a ward by ward breakdown of the data.

Covid alert level

The chief medical officers across the UK recommended yesterday (Thursday) for the Covid alert level, which reflects the impact of the virus on health systems in the NHS including hospitals, be lowered from its highest rate of four to three.

In a statement they said: “The health services across the 4 nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital. However, thanks to the efforts of the public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.”

You can read the full CMO statement on the government’s website.

In other news…

What the budget means for children’s services

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council meeting.

Mikhail Riches and North Somerset Council development secures approval

Planning consent has been secured for a “rural sister site” to Mikhail Riches’ Stirling Prize winning Goldsmith Street scheme.

New strategies to unlock millions in local investment

Plans to support the future delivery of council services and community assets were given the green light at Tuesday night’s ‘Full Council’ meeting of North Somerset Council.

What the budget means for adult care and health

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the budget being adopted at Full Council last Tuesday (23 February).

Illegal tobacco products lead to suspended sentence

A man from Diamond Batch, Weston-super-Mare, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to 15 charges relating to the supply and distribution of illegal tobacco products.

New one way scheme improves safety outside Worle Village Primary

A £4,000 scheme to improve safety outside Worle Village Primary school is being trialled.

£1.3m flood alleviation scheme completed

A major £1.3m scheme which will protect an area of Weston-super-Mare from future flooding has been completed.

Action on empties - National Empty Homes Week 2021

This week is National Empty Homes week. North Somerset Council would like to work with owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use and to highlight the problems that may occur when homes are left empty.

Creating a strong financial footing

Millions of pounds are to be invested in projects which will have a positive impact for local people in North Somerset Council's budget for the year ahead.

Private owner attempts to delay Birnbeck CPO but Council stands firm

The private owner of Birnbeck Pier has put in an application to the Magistrates Court to put a ‘stay’ on the Compulsory Purchase Order brought by North Somerset Council.

Marketing and Communications
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01934 634 996

E-Mail: press.office@n-somerset.gov.uk
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk

Friday 26 February 2021

Dear all

The roadmap out of lockdown has been revealed but we must all continue to play our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday we now know the plan to ease the country out of lockdown. The roadmap sets out how England will exit lockdown during the spring and summer.

Vaccines give clear hope for the future but while infection rates are falling, they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals.

So for now, remember we are still in lockdown and the current rules about staying at home still apply.

Latest coronavirus case data

Recorded cases of coronavirus have continued to fall in North Somerset since last week’s update and we have now dropped below the regional average.

169 new cases have been identified in the latest seven-day period reported for North Somerset compared with 193 the previous week. Our case rate per 100,000 head of population has continued to decrease and is now 78.6 compared with a South West figure of 70.2, the lowest regional rate in England, and an England rate of 118.3.

There is a lag in case data meaning the latest information is for the week ending Saturday 20 February.

You can see more detail on our local case data at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/lomp.

Case data is also available at national, regional, council and neighbourhood level at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Light a candle to remember those we’ve lost

On Sunday 14 March it will be exactly a year since we lost our first resident in North Somerset to coronavirus. In the year that’s passed, many more residents have lost their lives to the disease and no community has been untouched, so we’d like to encourage a shared moment of remembrance and reflection for those we’ve lost.

Join us on Sunday 14 March and light up your window, whether with a candle or other light, at 7pm for the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

With the current restrictions still in place we’re not able to organise any gatherings, but we hope to be able to harness the power of social media to demonstrate North Somerset’s communities coming together virtually to remember everyone we’ve lost but not been able to say goodbye to in the usual ways over the past year.

Please use your own social media channels to take part and encourage those in your community – family, friends and colleagues – to light their own candles and share their images to generate a stronger collective act of remembrance. If people post their candle images using #NStogether we’ll be able to gather together a collection of community involvement on the evening.

Vaccinations for unpaid carers

Local health and care organisations are now vaccinating people with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are defined as:

  • people who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or
  • people who are the sole or main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and is therefore clinically vulnerable.

To be eligible for vaccination as part of Group 6, carers must deliver personal care to the individual at risk. This does not include, for example, shopping or cleaning.

Registered Carers
If you are already registered as a carer with us or your GP, or you have been confirmed as eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will be invited for vaccination by your GP or asked to book through the national booking service. Please do not contact the NHS. It is possible you may be invited for vaccination more than once. Please do not be concerned and only book one appointment.

Unregistered Carers
If you deliver personal care to an ‘at risk’ person but are not registered as a carer or are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will also have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Further information about how you will be able to book will be available in the next few weeks.

Please do not be concerned if you are not contacted immediately for vaccination or have to wait a short while to book your appointment. The NHS is working tirelessly to vaccinate everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible. Please be patient and kind to the staff. They will be in touch when it’s your turn.

For more information about the roll-out of the vaccination programme in our area - including full details of the vaccination locations and travel support - please visit the Healthier Together website.

Extended support for North Somerset businesses

Financial support for businesses in North Somerset has been extended to cover the current period of national lockdown.

On Monday (22 February) the Government set out its four-step roadmap and announced that a further Business Grant payment will be provided to businesses for the 44-day period up to the end of the financial year (covering 16 February – 31 March).

We are working to make automatic payments to those businesses that have been awarded a grant since November last year. Those businesses should have received an email from us and do not need to apply again.

We are doing a series of fraud checks to support the process and, once complete, will send out payments in the next ten working days.

Businesses that have not yet applied for a grant are urged to contact us quickly as the closing date for some grant claims is 31 March.

Since March last year we have given out more than £57m of government grants to businesses across the area. However, we believe there are still businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or more of the various grants available but have not yet come forward.

To help them access the grants they are entitled to we have a dedicated Business Grants contact centre on 01934 888 114 or businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Businesses contacting the centre will be offered guidance on the range of grants available, as there are 26 different permutations of grants, and given tailored advice on which schemes are appropriate for their business.

If you run a business in North Somerset that has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have not yet applied for a grant please get in touch with us and we will help you.

In addition to the government grants, our grant to assist the North Somerset hospitality sector has recently been extended from pubs, cafes and restaurants to include hotels and external catering such as weddings or functions (please note this does not apply to takeaways or food delivery services). The claim form for this is available on our website.

Letters and emails for shielding residents

Last week the Government announced an extension of the number of people who are being advised to shield as a result of a review of the evidence since the start of the pandemic about which people are more likely to become very unwell as a result of Covid-19 infection.

North Somerset Together will be writing to everyone who has been added to the list to make sure they aware of the support that is available.

We will also take this opportunity to send updated information to everyone already on the shielding list.

In response to concerns that have been raised about Covid-related telephone scam calls, this will also allow us to give everyone who is shielding a unique personal identification number (PIN) which they can use as a passcode to identify support calls made from North Somerset Together partners.

The advice to shield is applicable until the end of March.

Anyone who is now being advised to shield is entitled to statutory sick pay, prioritisation for online shopping slots and help collecting medicines.

Help is available locally for people who need additional support during the pandemic through the North Somerset Together network www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together.

If you look after schoolchildren get your regular tests

With schools set to reopen on Monday 8 March, staff and pupils, in year seven and above, will get regular rapid Covid-19 tests to help screen for those who may be infected without symptoms.

If you are a parent or look after children as part of a childcare bubble, you are also encouraged to take rapid tests twice a week.

You can start your tests next week, ready for the return to face-to-face teaching the week after.

Testing is available at:

  • Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea
  • Somerset Hall, Portishead
  • Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston.

All three sites operate seven days a week 8.30am-5pm, with evening opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Anyone living or working in North Somerset without symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested at one of the three centres.

Find out more and book a test at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

Home testing
Government has announced it will make rapid home testing kits available and we are looking to make this available in North Somerset. As soon as we have details confirmed by Department of Health and Social Care we will let you know how this will work in our area.

Got coronavirus symptoms? Book a symptomatic test

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

You should book even if you have a recent negative rapid test result.

This gives access to a symptomatic test, which can be carried out at Locking Road car park, Weston-super-Mare, or Castlewood, Clevedon.

Locking Road is open 8am-8pm seven days a week can be used by people arriving for their appointment on foot as well as by car. Free parking is available for those being tested.

A mobile testing unit (MTU) runs from Castlewood in Clevedon but can only accept appointments by car.

The roadmap out of lockdown

On Monday the Prime Minister set out the government’s roadmap to recovery with a timetable that takes us, at intervals, through a process of gradual unlocking.

He has stated that each step will be carried out a minimum of five weeks apart and we will only progress to the next step in England if the data supports that progress.

You can read the roadmap and what will change at each of the four steps on the government website. Here’s the key dates at a glance, but remember, it is all under constant review and could change.

Stage one – part one – from Monday 8 March

Pupils and students in all schools and further education can return to face-to-face teaching. Breakfast and after school clubs will reopen.

Two people from different households can meet outside

Every care home resident will be able to nominate one visitor who will need PPE and lateral flow tests

Stage one – part two – from Monday 29 March

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and formally organised sports can restart.

The stay at home rule will be removed – people will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should continue to work at home if they can and try not to travel

Rule of six will return - people can meet outside, including in private gardens, in groups of up to six for meeting up outdoors, including private gardens

Parent and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

Weddings with up to six people can take place

Stage two – no earlier than Monday 12 April

All shops will be able to open

Hairdressers, beauty salons can open

Zoos, themes parks, drive-in cinemas, libraries and community centres can open

Restaurants and pubs can serve customers sitting outside

Indoor sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

Weddings can take place with up to 15 people

Stage three - no earlier than Monday 17 May

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30

Six people, or two households, can meet indoors

Indoor entertainment venues can open

Adult indoor groups sports and exercise classes can start

Weddings and christenings can take place with up to 30 people

Large events can take place – with some limits

Stage four - no earlier than Monday 21 June

All legal limits on social contact to be removed

No legal limit on how many people can attend weddings, funerals, christenings and other life events

Nightclubs and theatres reopen

Roadmap sees school and care home changes from 8 March

On Monday 8 March children will be able to return to face-to-face teaching. Schools are sharing information on how they open with parents and pupils.

Care homes will also be able to allow visitors again, with a loved one from a single household able to visit residents.

Care home providers will be working this week to implement the government guidance to allow visitors, which will also see rapid Covid-19 testing undertaken as part of the visits.

If you would like to check if you can visit your loved one in a care home, speak to the provider to find out more.

Vaccination data available for your local area

You can find out how many people have been vaccinated in your local area with more detailed figures now available from the NHS.

If you are interested in numbers you can find the reports on the NHS website and you are looking for file in 25 February in the weekly data called Vaccinations by MSOA.

This gives close to a ward by ward breakdown of the data.

Covid alert level

The chief medical officers across the UK recommended yesterday (Thursday) for the Covid alert level, which reflects the impact of the virus on health systems in the NHS including hospitals, be lowered from its highest rate of four to three.

In a statement they said: “The health services across the 4 nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital. However, thanks to the efforts of the public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.”

You can read the full CMO statement on the government’s website.

In other news…

What the budget means for children’s services

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council meeting.

Mikhail Riches and North Somerset Council development secures approval

Planning consent has been secured for a “rural sister site” to Mikhail Riches’ Stirling Prize winning Goldsmith Street scheme.

New strategies to unlock millions in local investment

Plans to support the future delivery of council services and community assets were given the green light at Tuesday night’s ‘Full Council’ meeting of North Somerset Council.

What the budget means for adult care and health

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the budget being adopted at Full Council last Tuesday (23 February).

Illegal tobacco products lead to suspended sentence

A man from Diamond Batch, Weston-super-Mare, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to 15 charges relating to the supply and distribution of illegal tobacco products.

New one way scheme improves safety outside Worle Village Primary

A £4,000 scheme to improve safety outside Worle Village Primary school is being trialled.

£1.3m flood alleviation scheme completed

A major £1.3m scheme which will protect an area of Weston-super-Mare from future flooding has been completed.

Action on empties - National Empty Homes Week 2021

This week is National Empty Homes week. North Somerset Council would like to work with owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use and to highlight the problems that may occur when homes are left empty.

Creating a strong financial footing

Millions of pounds are to be invested in projects which will have a positive impact for local people in North Somerset Council's budget for the year ahead.

Private owner attempts to delay Birnbeck CPO but Council stands firm

The private owner of Birnbeck Pier has put in an application to the Magistrates Court to put a ‘stay’ on the Compulsory Purchase Order brought by North Somerset Council.

Marketing and Communications
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01934 634 996

E-Mail: press.office@n-somerset.gov.uk
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk

Friday 26 February 2021

Dear all

The roadmap out of lockdown has been revealed but we must all continue to play our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday we now know the plan to ease the country out of lockdown. The roadmap sets out how England will exit lockdown during the spring and summer.

Vaccines give clear hope for the future but while infection rates are falling, they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals.

So for now, remember we are still in lockdown and the current rules about staying at home still apply.

Latest coronavirus case data

Recorded cases of coronavirus have continued to fall in North Somerset since last week’s update and we have now dropped below the regional average.

169 new cases have been identified in the latest seven-day period reported for North Somerset compared with 193 the previous week. Our case rate per 100,000 head of population has continued to decrease and is now 78.6 compared with a South West figure of 70.2, the lowest regional rate in England, and an England rate of 118.3.

There is a lag in case data meaning the latest information is for the week ending Saturday 20 February.

You can see more detail on our local case data at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/lomp.

Case data is also available at national, regional, council and neighbourhood level at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Light a candle to remember those we’ve lost

On Sunday 14 March it will be exactly a year since we lost our first resident in North Somerset to coronavirus. In the year that’s passed, many more residents have lost their lives to the disease and no community has been untouched, so we’d like to encourage a shared moment of remembrance and reflection for those we’ve lost.

Join us on Sunday 14 March and light up your window, whether with a candle or other light, at 7pm for the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

With the current restrictions still in place we’re not able to organise any gatherings, but we hope to be able to harness the power of social media to demonstrate North Somerset’s communities coming together virtually to remember everyone we’ve lost but not been able to say goodbye to in the usual ways over the past year.

Please use your own social media channels to take part and encourage those in your community – family, friends and colleagues – to light their own candles and share their images to generate a stronger collective act of remembrance. If people post their candle images using #NStogether we’ll be able to gather together a collection of community involvement on the evening.

Vaccinations for unpaid carers

Local health and care organisations are now vaccinating people with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are defined as:

  • people who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or
  • people who are the sole or main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and is therefore clinically vulnerable.

To be eligible for vaccination as part of Group 6, carers must deliver personal care to the individual at risk. This does not include, for example, shopping or cleaning.

Registered Carers
If you are already registered as a carer with us or your GP, or you have been confirmed as eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will be invited for vaccination by your GP or asked to book through the national booking service. Please do not contact the NHS. It is possible you may be invited for vaccination more than once. Please do not be concerned and only book one appointment.

Unregistered Carers
If you deliver personal care to an ‘at risk’ person but are not registered as a carer or are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will also have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Further information about how you will be able to book will be available in the next few weeks.

Please do not be concerned if you are not contacted immediately for vaccination or have to wait a short while to book your appointment. The NHS is working tirelessly to vaccinate everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible. Please be patient and kind to the staff. They will be in touch when it’s your turn.

For more information about the roll-out of the vaccination programme in our area - including full details of the vaccination locations and travel support - please visit the Healthier Together website.

Extended support for North Somerset businesses

Financial support for businesses in North Somerset has been extended to cover the current period of national lockdown.

On Monday (22 February) the Government set out its four-step roadmap and announced that a further Business Grant payment will be provided to businesses for the 44-day period up to the end of the financial year (covering 16 February – 31 March).

We are working to make automatic payments to those businesses that have been awarded a grant since November last year. Those businesses should have received an email from us and do not need to apply again.

We are doing a series of fraud checks to support the process and, once complete, will send out payments in the next ten working days.

Businesses that have not yet applied for a grant are urged to contact us quickly as the closing date for some grant claims is 31 March.

Since March last year we have given out more than £57m of government grants to businesses across the area. However, we believe there are still businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or more of the various grants available but have not yet come forward.

To help them access the grants they are entitled to we have a dedicated Business Grants contact centre on 01934 888 114 or businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Businesses contacting the centre will be offered guidance on the range of grants available, as there are 26 different permutations of grants, and given tailored advice on which schemes are appropriate for their business.

If you run a business in North Somerset that has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have not yet applied for a grant please get in touch with us and we will help you.

In addition to the government grants, our grant to assist the North Somerset hospitality sector has recently been extended from pubs, cafes and restaurants to include hotels and external catering such as weddings or functions (please note this does not apply to takeaways or food delivery services). The claim form for this is available on our website.

Letters and emails for shielding residents

Last week the Government announced an extension of the number of people who are being advised to shield as a result of a review of the evidence since the start of the pandemic about which people are more likely to become very unwell as a result of Covid-19 infection.

North Somerset Together will be writing to everyone who has been added to the list to make sure they aware of the support that is available.

We will also take this opportunity to send updated information to everyone already on the shielding list.

In response to concerns that have been raised about Covid-related telephone scam calls, this will also allow us to give everyone who is shielding a unique personal identification number (PIN) which they can use as a passcode to identify support calls made from North Somerset Together partners.

The advice to shield is applicable until the end of March.

Anyone who is now being advised to shield is entitled to statutory sick pay, prioritisation for online shopping slots and help collecting medicines.

Help is available locally for people who need additional support during the pandemic through the North Somerset Together network www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together.

If you look after schoolchildren get your regular tests

With schools set to reopen on Monday 8 March, staff and pupils, in year seven and above, will get regular rapid Covid-19 tests to help screen for those who may be infected without symptoms.

If you are a parent or look after children as part of a childcare bubble, you are also encouraged to take rapid tests twice a week.

You can start your tests next week, ready for the return to face-to-face teaching the week after.

Testing is available at:

  • Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea
  • Somerset Hall, Portishead
  • Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston.

All three sites operate seven days a week 8.30am-5pm, with evening opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Anyone living or working in North Somerset without symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested at one of the three centres.

Find out more and book a test at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

Home testing
Government has announced it will make rapid home testing kits available and we are looking to make this available in North Somerset. As soon as we have details confirmed by Department of Health and Social Care we will let you know how this will work in our area.

Got coronavirus symptoms? Book a symptomatic test

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

You should book even if you have a recent negative rapid test result.

This gives access to a symptomatic test, which can be carried out at Locking Road car park, Weston-super-Mare, or Castlewood, Clevedon.

Locking Road is open 8am-8pm seven days a week can be used by people arriving for their appointment on foot as well as by car. Free parking is available for those being tested.

A mobile testing unit (MTU) runs from Castlewood in Clevedon but can only accept appointments by car.

The roadmap out of lockdown

On Monday the Prime Minister set out the government’s roadmap to recovery with a timetable that takes us, at intervals, through a process of gradual unlocking.

He has stated that each step will be carried out a minimum of five weeks apart and we will only progress to the next step in England if the data supports that progress.

You can read the roadmap and what will change at each of the four steps on the government website. Here’s the key dates at a glance, but remember, it is all under constant review and could change.

Stage one – part one – from Monday 8 March

Pupils and students in all schools and further education can return to face-to-face teaching. Breakfast and after school clubs will reopen.

Two people from different households can meet outside

Every care home resident will be able to nominate one visitor who will need PPE and lateral flow tests

Stage one – part two – from Monday 29 March

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and formally organised sports can restart.

The stay at home rule will be removed – people will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should continue to work at home if they can and try not to travel

Rule of six will return - people can meet outside, including in private gardens, in groups of up to six for meeting up outdoors, including private gardens

Parent and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

Weddings with up to six people can take place

Stage two – no earlier than Monday 12 April

All shops will be able to open

Hairdressers, beauty salons can open

Zoos, themes parks, drive-in cinemas, libraries and community centres can open

Restaurants and pubs can serve customers sitting outside

Indoor sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

Weddings can take place with up to 15 people

Stage three - no earlier than Monday 17 May

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30

Six people, or two households, can meet indoors

Indoor entertainment venues can open

Adult indoor groups sports and exercise classes can start

Weddings and christenings can take place with up to 30 people

Large events can take place – with some limits

Stage four - no earlier than Monday 21 June

All legal limits on social contact to be removed

No legal limit on how many people can attend weddings, funerals, christenings and other life events

Nightclubs and theatres reopen

Roadmap sees school and care home changes from 8 March

On Monday 8 March children will be able to return to face-to-face teaching. Schools are sharing information on how they open with parents and pupils.

Care homes will also be able to allow visitors again, with a loved one from a single household able to visit residents.

Care home providers will be working this week to implement the government guidance to allow visitors, which will also see rapid Covid-19 testing undertaken as part of the visits.

If you would like to check if you can visit your loved one in a care home, speak to the provider to find out more.

Vaccination data available for your local area

You can find out how many people have been vaccinated in your local area with more detailed figures now available from the NHS.

If you are interested in numbers you can find the reports on the NHS website and you are looking for file in 25 February in the weekly data called Vaccinations by MSOA.

This gives close to a ward by ward breakdown of the data.

Covid alert level

The chief medical officers across the UK recommended yesterday (Thursday) for the Covid alert level, which reflects the impact of the virus on health systems in the NHS including hospitals, be lowered from its highest rate of four to three.

In a statement they said: “The health services across the 4 nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital. However, thanks to the efforts of the public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.”

You can read the full CMO statement on the government’s website.

In other news…

What the budget means for children’s services

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council meeting.

Mikhail Riches and North Somerset Council development secures approval

Planning consent has been secured for a “rural sister site” to Mikhail Riches’ Stirling Prize winning Goldsmith Street scheme.

New strategies to unlock millions in local investment

Plans to support the future delivery of council services and community assets were given the green light at Tuesday night’s ‘Full Council’ meeting of North Somerset Council.

What the budget means for adult care and health

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the budget being adopted at Full Council last Tuesday (23 February).

Illegal tobacco products lead to suspended sentence

A man from Diamond Batch, Weston-super-Mare, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to 15 charges relating to the supply and distribution of illegal tobacco products.

New one way scheme improves safety outside Worle Village Primary

A £4,000 scheme to improve safety outside Worle Village Primary school is being trialled.

£1.3m flood alleviation scheme completed

A major £1.3m scheme which will protect an area of Weston-super-Mare from future flooding has been completed.

Action on empties - National Empty Homes Week 2021

This week is National Empty Homes week. North Somerset Council would like to work with owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use and to highlight the problems that may occur when homes are left empty.

Creating a strong financial footing

Millions of pounds are to be invested in projects which will have a positive impact for local people in North Somerset Council's budget for the year ahead.

Private owner attempts to delay Birnbeck CPO but Council stands firm

The private owner of Birnbeck Pier has put in an application to the Magistrates Court to put a ‘stay’ on the Compulsory Purchase Order brought by North Somerset Council.

Marketing and Communications
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01934 634 996

E-Mail: press.office@n-somerset.gov.uk
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk

Friday 26 February 2021

Dear all

The roadmap out of lockdown has been revealed but we must all continue to play our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday we now know the plan to ease the country out of lockdown. The roadmap sets out how England will exit lockdown during the spring and summer.

Vaccines give clear hope for the future but while infection rates are falling, they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals.

So for now, remember we are still in lockdown and the current rules about staying at home still apply.

Latest coronavirus case data

Recorded cases of coronavirus have continued to fall in North Somerset since last week’s update and we have now dropped below the regional average.

169 new cases have been identified in the latest seven-day period reported for North Somerset compared with 193 the previous week. Our case rate per 100,000 head of population has continued to decrease and is now 78.6 compared with a South West figure of 70.2, the lowest regional rate in England, and an England rate of 118.3.

There is a lag in case data meaning the latest information is for the week ending Saturday 20 February.

You can see more detail on our local case data at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/lomp.

Case data is also available at national, regional, council and neighbourhood level at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Light a candle to remember those we’ve lost

On Sunday 14 March it will be exactly a year since we lost our first resident in North Somerset to coronavirus. In the year that’s passed, many more residents have lost their lives to the disease and no community has been untouched, so we’d like to encourage a shared moment of remembrance and reflection for those we’ve lost.

Join us on Sunday 14 March and light up your window, whether with a candle or other light, at 7pm for the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

With the current restrictions still in place we’re not able to organise any gatherings, but we hope to be able to harness the power of social media to demonstrate North Somerset’s communities coming together virtually to remember everyone we’ve lost but not been able to say goodbye to in the usual ways over the past year.

Please use your own social media channels to take part and encourage those in your community – family, friends and colleagues – to light their own candles and share their images to generate a stronger collective act of remembrance. If people post their candle images using #NStogether we’ll be able to gather together a collection of community involvement on the evening.

Vaccinations for unpaid carers

Local health and care organisations are now vaccinating people with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are defined as:

  • people who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or
  • people who are the sole or main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and is therefore clinically vulnerable.

To be eligible for vaccination as part of Group 6, carers must deliver personal care to the individual at risk. This does not include, for example, shopping or cleaning.

Registered Carers
If you are already registered as a carer with us or your GP, or you have been confirmed as eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will be invited for vaccination by your GP or asked to book through the national booking service. Please do not contact the NHS. It is possible you may be invited for vaccination more than once. Please do not be concerned and only book one appointment.

Unregistered Carers
If you deliver personal care to an ‘at risk’ person but are not registered as a carer or are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will also have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Further information about how you will be able to book will be available in the next few weeks.

Please do not be concerned if you are not contacted immediately for vaccination or have to wait a short while to book your appointment. The NHS is working tirelessly to vaccinate everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible. Please be patient and kind to the staff. They will be in touch when it’s your turn.

For more information about the roll-out of the vaccination programme in our area - including full details of the vaccination locations and travel support - please visit the Healthier Together website.

Extended support for North Somerset businesses

Financial support for businesses in North Somerset has been extended to cover the current period of national lockdown.

On Monday (22 February) the Government set out its four-step roadmap and announced that a further Business Grant payment will be provided to businesses for the 44-day period up to the end of the financial year (covering 16 February – 31 March).

We are working to make automatic payments to those businesses that have been awarded a grant since November last year. Those businesses should have received an email from us and do not need to apply again.

We are doing a series of fraud checks to support the process and, once complete, will send out payments in the next ten working days.

Businesses that have not yet applied for a grant are urged to contact us quickly as the closing date for some grant claims is 31 March.

Since March last year we have given out more than £57m of government grants to businesses across the area. However, we believe there are still businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or more of the various grants available but have not yet come forward.

To help them access the grants they are entitled to we have a dedicated Business Grants contact centre on 01934 888 114 or businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Businesses contacting the centre will be offered guidance on the range of grants available, as there are 26 different permutations of grants, and given tailored advice on which schemes are appropriate for their business.

If you run a business in North Somerset that has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have not yet applied for a grant please get in touch with us and we will help you.

In addition to the government grants, our grant to assist the North Somerset hospitality sector has recently been extended from pubs, cafes and restaurants to include hotels and external catering such as weddings or functions (please note this does not apply to takeaways or food delivery services). The claim form for this is available on our website.

Letters and emails for shielding residents

Last week the Government announced an extension of the number of people who are being advised to shield as a result of a review of the evidence since the start of the pandemic about which people are more likely to become very unwell as a result of Covid-19 infection.

North Somerset Together will be writing to everyone who has been added to the list to make sure they aware of the support that is available.

We will also take this opportunity to send updated information to everyone already on the shielding list.

In response to concerns that have been raised about Covid-related telephone scam calls, this will also allow us to give everyone who is shielding a unique personal identification number (PIN) which they can use as a passcode to identify support calls made from North Somerset Together partners.

The advice to shield is applicable until the end of March.

Anyone who is now being advised to shield is entitled to statutory sick pay, prioritisation for online shopping slots and help collecting medicines.

Help is available locally for people who need additional support during the pandemic through the North Somerset Together network www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together.

If you look after schoolchildren get your regular tests

With schools set to reopen on Monday 8 March, staff and pupils, in year seven and above, will get regular rapid Covid-19 tests to help screen for those who may be infected without symptoms.

If you are a parent or look after children as part of a childcare bubble, you are also encouraged to take rapid tests twice a week.

You can start your tests next week, ready for the return to face-to-face teaching the week after.

Testing is available at:

  • Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea
  • Somerset Hall, Portishead
  • Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston.

All three sites operate seven days a week 8.30am-5pm, with evening opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Anyone living or working in North Somerset without symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested at one of the three centres.

Find out more and book a test at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

Home testing
Government has announced it will make rapid home testing kits available and we are looking to make this available in North Somerset. As soon as we have details confirmed by Department of Health and Social Care we will let you know how this will work in our area.

Got coronavirus symptoms? Book a symptomatic test

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

You should book even if you have a recent negative rapid test result.

This gives access to a symptomatic test, which can be carried out at Locking Road car park, Weston-super-Mare, or Castlewood, Clevedon.

Locking Road is open 8am-8pm seven days a week can be used by people arriving for their appointment on foot as well as by car. Free parking is available for those being tested.

A mobile testing unit (MTU) runs from Castlewood in Clevedon but can only accept appointments by car.

The roadmap out of lockdown

On Monday the Prime Minister set out the government’s roadmap to recovery with a timetable that takes us, at intervals, through a process of gradual unlocking.

He has stated that each step will be carried out a minimum of five weeks apart and we will only progress to the next step in England if the data supports that progress.

You can read the roadmap and what will change at each of the four steps on the government website. Here’s the key dates at a glance, but remember, it is all under constant review and could change.

Stage one – part one – from Monday 8 March

Pupils and students in all schools and further education can return to face-to-face teaching. Breakfast and after school clubs will reopen.

Two people from different households can meet outside

Every care home resident will be able to nominate one visitor who will need PPE and lateral flow tests

Stage one – part two – from Monday 29 March

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and formally organised sports can restart.

The stay at home rule will be removed – people will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should continue to work at home if they can and try not to travel

Rule of six will return - people can meet outside, including in private gardens, in groups of up to six for meeting up outdoors, including private gardens

Parent and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

Weddings with up to six people can take place

Stage two – no earlier than Monday 12 April

All shops will be able to open

Hairdressers, beauty salons can open

Zoos, themes parks, drive-in cinemas, libraries and community centres can open

Restaurants and pubs can serve customers sitting outside

Indoor sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

Weddings can take place with up to 15 people

Stage three - no earlier than Monday 17 May

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30

Six people, or two households, can meet indoors

Indoor entertainment venues can open

Adult indoor groups sports and exercise classes can start

Weddings and christenings can take place with up to 30 people

Large events can take place – with some limits

Stage four - no earlier than Monday 21 June

All legal limits on social contact to be removed

No legal limit on how many people can attend weddings, funerals, christenings and other life events

Nightclubs and theatres reopen

Roadmap sees school and care home changes from 8 March

On Monday 8 March children will be able to return to face-to-face teaching. Schools are sharing information on how they open with parents and pupils.

Care homes will also be able to allow visitors again, with a loved one from a single household able to visit residents.

Care home providers will be working this week to implement the government guidance to allow visitors, which will also see rapid Covid-19 testing undertaken as part of the visits.

If you would like to check if you can visit your loved one in a care home, speak to the provider to find out more.

Vaccination data available for your local area

You can find out how many people have been vaccinated in your local area with more detailed figures now available from the NHS.

If you are interested in numbers you can find the reports on the NHS website and you are looking for file in 25 February in the weekly data called Vaccinations by MSOA.

This gives close to a ward by ward breakdown of the data.

Covid alert level

The chief medical officers across the UK recommended yesterday (Thursday) for the Covid alert level, which reflects the impact of the virus on health systems in the NHS including hospitals, be lowered from its highest rate of four to three.

In a statement they said: “The health services across the 4 nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital. However, thanks to the efforts of the public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.”

You can read the full CMO statement on the government’s website.

In other news…

What the budget means for children’s services

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council meeting.

Mikhail Riches and North Somerset Council development secures approval

Planning consent has been secured for a “rural sister site” to Mikhail Riches’ Stirling Prize winning Goldsmith Street scheme.

New strategies to unlock millions in local investment

Plans to support the future delivery of council services and community assets were given the green light at Tuesday night’s ‘Full Council’ meeting of North Somerset Council.

What the budget means for adult care and health

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the budget being adopted at Full Council last Tuesday (23 February).

Illegal tobacco products lead to suspended sentence

A man from Diamond Batch, Weston-super-Mare, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to 15 charges relating to the supply and distribution of illegal tobacco products.

New one way scheme improves safety outside Worle Village Primary

A £4,000 scheme to improve safety outside Worle Village Primary school is being trialled.

£1.3m flood alleviation scheme completed

A major £1.3m scheme which will protect an area of Weston-super-Mare from future flooding has been completed.

Action on empties - National Empty Homes Week 2021

This week is National Empty Homes week. North Somerset Council would like to work with owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use and to highlight the problems that may occur when homes are left empty.

Creating a strong financial footing

Millions of pounds are to be invested in projects which will have a positive impact for local people in North Somerset Council's budget for the year ahead.

Private owner attempts to delay Birnbeck CPO but Council stands firm

The private owner of Birnbeck Pier has put in an application to the Magistrates Court to put a ‘stay’ on the Compulsory Purchase Order brought by North Somerset Council.

Marketing and Communications
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01934 634 996

E-Mail: press.office@n-somerset.gov.uk
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk

Friday 26 February 2021

Dear all

The roadmap out of lockdown has been revealed but we must all continue to play our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday we now know the plan to ease the country out of lockdown. The roadmap sets out how England will exit lockdown during the spring and summer.

Vaccines give clear hope for the future but while infection rates are falling, they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals.

So for now, remember we are still in lockdown and the current rules about staying at home still apply.

Latest coronavirus case data

Recorded cases of coronavirus have continued to fall in North Somerset since last week’s update and we have now dropped below the regional average.

169 new cases have been identified in the latest seven-day period reported for North Somerset compared with 193 the previous week. Our case rate per 100,000 head of population has continued to decrease and is now 78.6 compared with a South West figure of 70.2, the lowest regional rate in England, and an England rate of 118.3.

There is a lag in case data meaning the latest information is for the week ending Saturday 20 February.

You can see more detail on our local case data at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/lomp.

Case data is also available at national, regional, council and neighbourhood level at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Light a candle to remember those we’ve lost

On Sunday 14 March it will be exactly a year since we lost our first resident in North Somerset to coronavirus. In the year that’s passed, many more residents have lost their lives to the disease and no community has been untouched, so we’d like to encourage a shared moment of remembrance and reflection for those we’ve lost.

Join us on Sunday 14 March and light up your window, whether with a candle or other light, at 7pm for the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

With the current restrictions still in place we’re not able to organise any gatherings, but we hope to be able to harness the power of social media to demonstrate North Somerset’s communities coming together virtually to remember everyone we’ve lost but not been able to say goodbye to in the usual ways over the past year.

Please use your own social media channels to take part and encourage those in your community – family, friends and colleagues – to light their own candles and share their images to generate a stronger collective act of remembrance. If people post their candle images using #NStogether we’ll be able to gather together a collection of community involvement on the evening.

Vaccinations for unpaid carers

Local health and care organisations are now vaccinating people with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are defined as:

  • people who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or
  • people who are the sole or main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and is therefore clinically vulnerable.

To be eligible for vaccination as part of Group 6, carers must deliver personal care to the individual at risk. This does not include, for example, shopping or cleaning.

Registered Carers
If you are already registered as a carer with us or your GP, or you have been confirmed as eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will be invited for vaccination by your GP or asked to book through the national booking service. Please do not contact the NHS. It is possible you may be invited for vaccination more than once. Please do not be concerned and only book one appointment.

Unregistered Carers
If you deliver personal care to an ‘at risk’ person but are not registered as a carer or are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will also have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Further information about how you will be able to book will be available in the next few weeks.

Please do not be concerned if you are not contacted immediately for vaccination or have to wait a short while to book your appointment. The NHS is working tirelessly to vaccinate everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible. Please be patient and kind to the staff. They will be in touch when it’s your turn.

For more information about the roll-out of the vaccination programme in our area - including full details of the vaccination locations and travel support - please visit the Healthier Together website.

Extended support for North Somerset businesses

Financial support for businesses in North Somerset has been extended to cover the current period of national lockdown.

On Monday (22 February) the Government set out its four-step roadmap and announced that a further Business Grant payment will be provided to businesses for the 44-day period up to the end of the financial year (covering 16 February – 31 March).

We are working to make automatic payments to those businesses that have been awarded a grant since November last year. Those businesses should have received an email from us and do not need to apply again.

We are doing a series of fraud checks to support the process and, once complete, will send out payments in the next ten working days.

Businesses that have not yet applied for a grant are urged to contact us quickly as the closing date for some grant claims is 31 March.

Since March last year we have given out more than £57m of government grants to businesses across the area. However, we believe there are still businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or more of the various grants available but have not yet come forward.

To help them access the grants they are entitled to we have a dedicated Business Grants contact centre on 01934 888 114 or businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Businesses contacting the centre will be offered guidance on the range of grants available, as there are 26 different permutations of grants, and given tailored advice on which schemes are appropriate for their business.

If you run a business in North Somerset that has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have not yet applied for a grant please get in touch with us and we will help you.

In addition to the government grants, our grant to assist the North Somerset hospitality sector has recently been extended from pubs, cafes and restaurants to include hotels and external catering such as weddings or functions (please note this does not apply to takeaways or food delivery services). The claim form for this is available on our website.

Letters and emails for shielding residents

Last week the Government announced an extension of the number of people who are being advised to shield as a result of a review of the evidence since the start of the pandemic about which people are more likely to become very unwell as a result of Covid-19 infection.

North Somerset Together will be writing to everyone who has been added to the list to make sure they aware of the support that is available.

We will also take this opportunity to send updated information to everyone already on the shielding list.

In response to concerns that have been raised about Covid-related telephone scam calls, this will also allow us to give everyone who is shielding a unique personal identification number (PIN) which they can use as a passcode to identify support calls made from North Somerset Together partners.

The advice to shield is applicable until the end of March.

Anyone who is now being advised to shield is entitled to statutory sick pay, prioritisation for online shopping slots and help collecting medicines.

Help is available locally for people who need additional support during the pandemic through the North Somerset Together network www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together.

If you look after schoolchildren get your regular tests

With schools set to reopen on Monday 8 March, staff and pupils, in year seven and above, will get regular rapid Covid-19 tests to help screen for those who may be infected without symptoms.

If you are a parent or look after children as part of a childcare bubble, you are also encouraged to take rapid tests twice a week.

You can start your tests next week, ready for the return to face-to-face teaching the week after.

Testing is available at:

  • Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea
  • Somerset Hall, Portishead
  • Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston.

All three sites operate seven days a week 8.30am-5pm, with evening opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Anyone living or working in North Somerset without symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested at one of the three centres.

Find out more and book a test at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

Home testing
Government has announced it will make rapid home testing kits available and we are looking to make this available in North Somerset. As soon as we have details confirmed by Department of Health and Social Care we will let you know how this will work in our area.

Got coronavirus symptoms? Book a symptomatic test

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

You should book even if you have a recent negative rapid test result.

This gives access to a symptomatic test, which can be carried out at Locking Road car park, Weston-super-Mare, or Castlewood, Clevedon.

Locking Road is open 8am-8pm seven days a week can be used by people arriving for their appointment on foot as well as by car. Free parking is available for those being tested.

A mobile testing unit (MTU) runs from Castlewood in Clevedon but can only accept appointments by car.

The roadmap out of lockdown

On Monday the Prime Minister set out the government’s roadmap to recovery with a timetable that takes us, at intervals, through a process of gradual unlocking.

He has stated that each step will be carried out a minimum of five weeks apart and we will only progress to the next step in England if the data supports that progress.

You can read the roadmap and what will change at each of the four steps on the government website. Here’s the key dates at a glance, but remember, it is all under constant review and could change.

Stage one – part one – from Monday 8 March

Pupils and students in all schools and further education can return to face-to-face teaching. Breakfast and after school clubs will reopen.

Two people from different households can meet outside

Every care home resident will be able to nominate one visitor who will need PPE and lateral flow tests

Stage one – part two – from Monday 29 March

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and formally organised sports can restart.

The stay at home rule will be removed – people will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should continue to work at home if they can and try not to travel

Rule of six will return - people can meet outside, including in private gardens, in groups of up to six for meeting up outdoors, including private gardens

Parent and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

Weddings with up to six people can take place

Stage two – no earlier than Monday 12 April

All shops will be able to open

Hairdressers, beauty salons can open

Zoos, themes parks, drive-in cinemas, libraries and community centres can open

Restaurants and pubs can serve customers sitting outside

Indoor sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

Weddings can take place with up to 15 people

Stage three - no earlier than Monday 17 May

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30

Six people, or two households, can meet indoors

Indoor entertainment venues can open

Adult indoor groups sports and exercise classes can start

Weddings and christenings can take place with up to 30 people

Large events can take place – with some limits

Stage four - no earlier than Monday 21 June

All legal limits on social contact to be removed

No legal limit on how many people can attend weddings, funerals, christenings and other life events

Nightclubs and theatres reopen

Roadmap sees school and care home changes from 8 March

On Monday 8 March children will be able to return to face-to-face teaching. Schools are sharing information on how they open with parents and pupils.

Care homes will also be able to allow visitors again, with a loved one from a single household able to visit residents.

Care home providers will be working this week to implement the government guidance to allow visitors, which will also see rapid Covid-19 testing undertaken as part of the visits.

If you would like to check if you can visit your loved one in a care home, speak to the provider to find out more.

Vaccination data available for your local area

You can find out how many people have been vaccinated in your local area with more detailed figures now available from the NHS.

If you are interested in numbers you can find the reports on the NHS website and you are looking for file in 25 February in the weekly data called Vaccinations by MSOA.

This gives close to a ward by ward breakdown of the data.

Covid alert level

The chief medical officers across the UK recommended yesterday (Thursday) for the Covid alert level, which reflects the impact of the virus on health systems in the NHS including hospitals, be lowered from its highest rate of four to three.

In a statement they said: “The health services across the 4 nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital. However, thanks to the efforts of the public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.”

You can read the full CMO statement on the government’s website.

In other news…

What the budget means for children’s services

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council meeting.

Mikhail Riches and North Somerset Council development secures approval

Planning consent has been secured for a “rural sister site” to Mikhail Riches’ Stirling Prize winning Goldsmith Street scheme.

New strategies to unlock millions in local investment

Plans to support the future delivery of council services and community assets were given the green light at Tuesday night’s ‘Full Council’ meeting of North Somerset Council.

What the budget means for adult care and health

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the budget being adopted at Full Council last Tuesday (23 February).

Illegal tobacco products lead to suspended sentence

A man from Diamond Batch, Weston-super-Mare, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to 15 charges relating to the supply and distribution of illegal tobacco products.

New one way scheme improves safety outside Worle Village Primary

A £4,000 scheme to improve safety outside Worle Village Primary school is being trialled.

£1.3m flood alleviation scheme completed

A major £1.3m scheme which will protect an area of Weston-super-Mare from future flooding has been completed.

Action on empties - National Empty Homes Week 2021

This week is National Empty Homes week. North Somerset Council would like to work with owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use and to highlight the problems that may occur when homes are left empty.

Creating a strong financial footing

Millions of pounds are to be invested in projects which will have a positive impact for local people in North Somerset Council's budget for the year ahead.

Private owner attempts to delay Birnbeck CPO but Council stands firm

The private owner of Birnbeck Pier has put in an application to the Magistrates Court to put a ‘stay’ on the Compulsory Purchase Order brought by North Somerset Council.

Marketing and Communications
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01934 634 996

E-Mail: press.office@n-somerset.gov.uk
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk

Friday 26 February 2021

Dear all

The roadmap out of lockdown has been revealed but we must all continue to play our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday we now know the plan to ease the country out of lockdown. The roadmap sets out how England will exit lockdown during the spring and summer.

Vaccines give clear hope for the future but while infection rates are falling, they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals.

So for now, remember we are still in lockdown and the current rules about staying at home still apply.

Latest coronavirus case data

Recorded cases of coronavirus have continued to fall in North Somerset since last week’s update and we have now dropped below the regional average.

169 new cases have been identified in the latest seven-day period reported for North Somerset compared with 193 the previous week. Our case rate per 100,000 head of population has continued to decrease and is now 78.6 compared with a South West figure of 70.2, the lowest regional rate in England, and an England rate of 118.3.

There is a lag in case data meaning the latest information is for the week ending Saturday 20 February.

You can see more detail on our local case data at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/lomp.

Case data is also available at national, regional, council and neighbourhood level at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Light a candle to remember those we’ve lost

On Sunday 14 March it will be exactly a year since we lost our first resident in North Somerset to coronavirus. In the year that’s passed, many more residents have lost their lives to the disease and no community has been untouched, so we’d like to encourage a shared moment of remembrance and reflection for those we’ve lost.

Join us on Sunday 14 March and light up your window, whether with a candle or other light, at 7pm for the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

With the current restrictions still in place we’re not able to organise any gatherings, but we hope to be able to harness the power of social media to demonstrate North Somerset’s communities coming together virtually to remember everyone we’ve lost but not been able to say goodbye to in the usual ways over the past year.

Please use your own social media channels to take part and encourage those in your community – family, friends and colleagues – to light their own candles and share their images to generate a stronger collective act of remembrance. If people post their candle images using #NStogether we’ll be able to gather together a collection of community involvement on the evening.

Vaccinations for unpaid carers

Local health and care organisations are now vaccinating people with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are defined as:

  • people who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or
  • people who are the sole or main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and is therefore clinically vulnerable.

To be eligible for vaccination as part of Group 6, carers must deliver personal care to the individual at risk. This does not include, for example, shopping or cleaning.

Registered Carers
If you are already registered as a carer with us or your GP, or you have been confirmed as eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will be invited for vaccination by your GP or asked to book through the national booking service. Please do not contact the NHS. It is possible you may be invited for vaccination more than once. Please do not be concerned and only book one appointment.

Unregistered Carers
If you deliver personal care to an ‘at risk’ person but are not registered as a carer or are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will also have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Further information about how you will be able to book will be available in the next few weeks.

Please do not be concerned if you are not contacted immediately for vaccination or have to wait a short while to book your appointment. The NHS is working tirelessly to vaccinate everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible. Please be patient and kind to the staff. They will be in touch when it’s your turn.

For more information about the roll-out of the vaccination programme in our area - including full details of the vaccination locations and travel support - please visit the Healthier Together website.

Extended support for North Somerset businesses

Financial support for businesses in North Somerset has been extended to cover the current period of national lockdown.

On Monday (22 February) the Government set out its four-step roadmap and announced that a further Business Grant payment will be provided to businesses for the 44-day period up to the end of the financial year (covering 16 February – 31 March).

We are working to make automatic payments to those businesses that have been awarded a grant since November last year. Those businesses should have received an email from us and do not need to apply again.

We are doing a series of fraud checks to support the process and, once complete, will send out payments in the next ten working days.

Businesses that have not yet applied for a grant are urged to contact us quickly as the closing date for some grant claims is 31 March.

Since March last year we have given out more than £57m of government grants to businesses across the area. However, we believe there are still businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or more of the various grants available but have not yet come forward.

To help them access the grants they are entitled to we have a dedicated Business Grants contact centre on 01934 888 114 or businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Businesses contacting the centre will be offered guidance on the range of grants available, as there are 26 different permutations of grants, and given tailored advice on which schemes are appropriate for their business.

If you run a business in North Somerset that has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have not yet applied for a grant please get in touch with us and we will help you.

In addition to the government grants, our grant to assist the North Somerset hospitality sector has recently been extended from pubs, cafes and restaurants to include hotels and external catering such as weddings or functions (please note this does not apply to takeaways or food delivery services). The claim form for this is available on our website.

Letters and emails for shielding residents

Last week the Government announced an extension of the number of people who are being advised to shield as a result of a review of the evidence since the start of the pandemic about which people are more likely to become very unwell as a result of Covid-19 infection.

North Somerset Together will be writing to everyone who has been added to the list to make sure they aware of the support that is available.

We will also take this opportunity to send updated information to everyone already on the shielding list.

In response to concerns that have been raised about Covid-related telephone scam calls, this will also allow us to give everyone who is shielding a unique personal identification number (PIN) which they can use as a passcode to identify support calls made from North Somerset Together partners.

The advice to shield is applicable until the end of March.

Anyone who is now being advised to shield is entitled to statutory sick pay, prioritisation for online shopping slots and help collecting medicines.

Help is available locally for people who need additional support during the pandemic through the North Somerset Together network www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together.

If you look after schoolchildren get your regular tests

With schools set to reopen on Monday 8 March, staff and pupils, in year seven and above, will get regular rapid Covid-19 tests to help screen for those who may be infected without symptoms.

If you are a parent or look after children as part of a childcare bubble, you are also encouraged to take rapid tests twice a week.

You can start your tests next week, ready for the return to face-to-face teaching the week after.

Testing is available at:

  • Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea
  • Somerset Hall, Portishead
  • Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston.

All three sites operate seven days a week 8.30am-5pm, with evening opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Anyone living or working in North Somerset without symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested at one of the three centres.

Find out more and book a test at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

Home testing
Government has announced it will make rapid home testing kits available and we are looking to make this available in North Somerset. As soon as we have details confirmed by Department of Health and Social Care we will let you know how this will work in our area.

Got coronavirus symptoms? Book a symptomatic test

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

You should book even if you have a recent negative rapid test result.

This gives access to a symptomatic test, which can be carried out at Locking Road car park, Weston-super-Mare, or Castlewood, Clevedon.

Locking Road is open 8am-8pm seven days a week can be used by people arriving for their appointment on foot as well as by car. Free parking is available for those being tested.

A mobile testing unit (MTU) runs from Castlewood in Clevedon but can only accept appointments by car.

The roadmap out of lockdown

On Monday the Prime Minister set out the government’s roadmap to recovery with a timetable that takes us, at intervals, through a process of gradual unlocking.

He has stated that each step will be carried out a minimum of five weeks apart and we will only progress to the next step in England if the data supports that progress.

You can read the roadmap and what will change at each of the four steps on the government website. Here’s the key dates at a glance, but remember, it is all under constant review and could change.

Stage one – part one – from Monday 8 March

Pupils and students in all schools and further education can return to face-to-face teaching. Breakfast and after school clubs will reopen.

Two people from different households can meet outside

Every care home resident will be able to nominate one visitor who will need PPE and lateral flow tests

Stage one – part two – from Monday 29 March

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and formally organised sports can restart.

The stay at home rule will be removed – people will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should continue to work at home if they can and try not to travel

Rule of six will return - people can meet outside, including in private gardens, in groups of up to six for meeting up outdoors, including private gardens

Parent and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

Weddings with up to six people can take place

Stage two – no earlier than Monday 12 April

All shops will be able to open

Hairdressers, beauty salons can open

Zoos, themes parks, drive-in cinemas, libraries and community centres can open

Restaurants and pubs can serve customers sitting outside

Indoor sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

Weddings can take place with up to 15 people

Stage three - no earlier than Monday 17 May

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30

Six people, or two households, can meet indoors

Indoor entertainment venues can open

Adult indoor groups sports and exercise classes can start

Weddings and christenings can take place with up to 30 people

Large events can take place – with some limits

Stage four - no earlier than Monday 21 June

All legal limits on social contact to be removed

No legal limit on how many people can attend weddings, funerals, christenings and other life events

Nightclubs and theatres reopen

Roadmap sees school and care home changes from 8 March

On Monday 8 March children will be able to return to face-to-face teaching. Schools are sharing information on how they open with parents and pupils.

Care homes will also be able to allow visitors again, with a loved one from a single household able to visit residents.

Care home providers will be working this week to implement the government guidance to allow visitors, which will also see rapid Covid-19 testing undertaken as part of the visits.

If you would like to check if you can visit your loved one in a care home, speak to the provider to find out more.

Vaccination data available for your local area

You can find out how many people have been vaccinated in your local area with more detailed figures now available from the NHS.

If you are interested in numbers you can find the reports on the NHS website and you are looking for file in 25 February in the weekly data called Vaccinations by MSOA.

This gives close to a ward by ward breakdown of the data.

Covid alert level

The chief medical officers across the UK recommended yesterday (Thursday) for the Covid alert level, which reflects the impact of the virus on health systems in the NHS including hospitals, be lowered from its highest rate of four to three.

In a statement they said: “The health services across the 4 nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital. However, thanks to the efforts of the public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.”

You can read the full CMO statement on the government’s website.

In other news…

What the budget means for children’s services

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council meeting.

Mikhail Riches and North Somerset Council development secures approval

Planning consent has been secured for a “rural sister site” to Mikhail Riches’ Stirling Prize winning Goldsmith Street scheme.

New strategies to unlock millions in local investment

Plans to support the future delivery of council services and community assets were given the green light at Tuesday night’s ‘Full Council’ meeting of North Somerset Council.

What the budget means for adult care and health

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the budget being adopted at Full Council last Tuesday (23 February).

Illegal tobacco products lead to suspended sentence

A man from Diamond Batch, Weston-super-Mare, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to 15 charges relating to the supply and distribution of illegal tobacco products.

New one way scheme improves safety outside Worle Village Primary

A £4,000 scheme to improve safety outside Worle Village Primary school is being trialled.

£1.3m flood alleviation scheme completed

A major £1.3m scheme which will protect an area of Weston-super-Mare from future flooding has been completed.

Action on empties - National Empty Homes Week 2021

This week is National Empty Homes week. North Somerset Council would like to work with owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use and to highlight the problems that may occur when homes are left empty.

Creating a strong financial footing

Millions of pounds are to be invested in projects which will have a positive impact for local people in North Somerset Council's budget for the year ahead.

Private owner attempts to delay Birnbeck CPO but Council stands firm

The private owner of Birnbeck Pier has put in an application to the Magistrates Court to put a ‘stay’ on the Compulsory Purchase Order brought by North Somerset Council.

Marketing and Communications
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01934 634 996

E-Mail: press.office@n-somerset.gov.uk
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk

Friday 26 February 2021

Dear all

The roadmap out of lockdown has been revealed but we must all continue to play our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday we now know the plan to ease the country out of lockdown. The roadmap sets out how England will exit lockdown during the spring and summer.

Vaccines give clear hope for the future but while infection rates are falling, they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals.

So for now, remember we are still in lockdown and the current rules about staying at home still apply.

Latest coronavirus case data

Recorded cases of coronavirus have continued to fall in North Somerset since last week’s update and we have now dropped below the regional average.

169 new cases have been identified in the latest seven-day period reported for North Somerset compared with 193 the previous week. Our case rate per 100,000 head of population has continued to decrease and is now 78.6 compared with a South West figure of 70.2, the lowest regional rate in England, and an England rate of 118.3.

There is a lag in case data meaning the latest information is for the week ending Saturday 20 February.

You can see more detail on our local case data at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/lomp.

Case data is also available at national, regional, council and neighbourhood level at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Light a candle to remember those we’ve lost

On Sunday 14 March it will be exactly a year since we lost our first resident in North Somerset to coronavirus. In the year that’s passed, many more residents have lost their lives to the disease and no community has been untouched, so we’d like to encourage a shared moment of remembrance and reflection for those we’ve lost.

Join us on Sunday 14 March and light up your window, whether with a candle or other light, at 7pm for the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

With the current restrictions still in place we’re not able to organise any gatherings, but we hope to be able to harness the power of social media to demonstrate North Somerset’s communities coming together virtually to remember everyone we’ve lost but not been able to say goodbye to in the usual ways over the past year.

Please use your own social media channels to take part and encourage those in your community – family, friends and colleagues – to light their own candles and share their images to generate a stronger collective act of remembrance. If people post their candle images using #NStogether we’ll be able to gather together a collection of community involvement on the evening.

Vaccinations for unpaid carers

Local health and care organisations are now vaccinating people with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are defined as:

  • people who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or
  • people who are the sole or main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and is therefore clinically vulnerable.

To be eligible for vaccination as part of Group 6, carers must deliver personal care to the individual at risk. This does not include, for example, shopping or cleaning.

Registered Carers
If you are already registered as a carer with us or your GP, or you have been confirmed as eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will be invited for vaccination by your GP or asked to book through the national booking service. Please do not contact the NHS. It is possible you may be invited for vaccination more than once. Please do not be concerned and only book one appointment.

Unregistered Carers
If you deliver personal care to an ‘at risk’ person but are not registered as a carer or are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will also have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Further information about how you will be able to book will be available in the next few weeks.

Please do not be concerned if you are not contacted immediately for vaccination or have to wait a short while to book your appointment. The NHS is working tirelessly to vaccinate everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible. Please be patient and kind to the staff. They will be in touch when it’s your turn.

For more information about the roll-out of the vaccination programme in our area - including full details of the vaccination locations and travel support - please visit the Healthier Together website.

Extended support for North Somerset businesses

Financial support for businesses in North Somerset has been extended to cover the current period of national lockdown.

On Monday (22 February) the Government set out its four-step roadmap and announced that a further Business Grant payment will be provided to businesses for the 44-day period up to the end of the financial year (covering 16 February – 31 March).

We are working to make automatic payments to those businesses that have been awarded a grant since November last year. Those businesses should have received an email from us and do not need to apply again.

We are doing a series of fraud checks to support the process and, once complete, will send out payments in the next ten working days.

Businesses that have not yet applied for a grant are urged to contact us quickly as the closing date for some grant claims is 31 March.

Since March last year we have given out more than £57m of government grants to businesses across the area. However, we believe there are still businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or more of the various grants available but have not yet come forward.

To help them access the grants they are entitled to we have a dedicated Business Grants contact centre on 01934 888 114 or businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Businesses contacting the centre will be offered guidance on the range of grants available, as there are 26 different permutations of grants, and given tailored advice on which schemes are appropriate for their business.

If you run a business in North Somerset that has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have not yet applied for a grant please get in touch with us and we will help you.

In addition to the government grants, our grant to assist the North Somerset hospitality sector has recently been extended from pubs, cafes and restaurants to include hotels and external catering such as weddings or functions (please note this does not apply to takeaways or food delivery services). The claim form for this is available on our website.

Letters and emails for shielding residents

Last week the Government announced an extension of the number of people who are being advised to shield as a result of a review of the evidence since the start of the pandemic about which people are more likely to become very unwell as a result of Covid-19 infection.

North Somerset Together will be writing to everyone who has been added to the list to make sure they aware of the support that is available.

We will also take this opportunity to send updated information to everyone already on the shielding list.

In response to concerns that have been raised about Covid-related telephone scam calls, this will also allow us to give everyone who is shielding a unique personal identification number (PIN) which they can use as a passcode to identify support calls made from North Somerset Together partners.

The advice to shield is applicable until the end of March.

Anyone who is now being advised to shield is entitled to statutory sick pay, prioritisation for online shopping slots and help collecting medicines.

Help is available locally for people who need additional support during the pandemic through the North Somerset Together network www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together.

If you look after schoolchildren get your regular tests

With schools set to reopen on Monday 8 March, staff and pupils, in year seven and above, will get regular rapid Covid-19 tests to help screen for those who may be infected without symptoms.

If you are a parent or look after children as part of a childcare bubble, you are also encouraged to take rapid tests twice a week.

You can start your tests next week, ready for the return to face-to-face teaching the week after.

Testing is available at:

  • Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea
  • Somerset Hall, Portishead
  • Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston.

All three sites operate seven days a week 8.30am-5pm, with evening opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Anyone living or working in North Somerset without symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested at one of the three centres.

Find out more and book a test at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

Home testing
Government has announced it will make rapid home testing kits available and we are looking to make this available in North Somerset. As soon as we have details confirmed by Department of Health and Social Care we will let you know how this will work in our area.

Got coronavirus symptoms? Book a symptomatic test

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

You should book even if you have a recent negative rapid test result.

This gives access to a symptomatic test, which can be carried out at Locking Road car park, Weston-super-Mare, or Castlewood, Clevedon.

Locking Road is open 8am-8pm seven days a week can be used by people arriving for their appointment on foot as well as by car. Free parking is available for those being tested.

A mobile testing unit (MTU) runs from Castlewood in Clevedon but can only accept appointments by car.

The roadmap out of lockdown

On Monday the Prime Minister set out the government’s roadmap to recovery with a timetable that takes us, at intervals, through a process of gradual unlocking.

He has stated that each step will be carried out a minimum of five weeks apart and we will only progress to the next step in England if the data supports that progress.

You can read the roadmap and what will change at each of the four steps on the government website. Here’s the key dates at a glance, but remember, it is all under constant review and could change.

Stage one – part one – from Monday 8 March

Pupils and students in all schools and further education can return to face-to-face teaching. Breakfast and after school clubs will reopen.

Two people from different households can meet outside

Every care home resident will be able to nominate one visitor who will need PPE and lateral flow tests

Stage one – part two – from Monday 29 March

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and formally organised sports can restart.

The stay at home rule will be removed – people will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should continue to work at home if they can and try not to travel

Rule of six will return - people can meet outside, including in private gardens, in groups of up to six for meeting up outdoors, including private gardens

Parent and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

Weddings with up to six people can take place

Stage two – no earlier than Monday 12 April

All shops will be able to open

Hairdressers, beauty salons can open

Zoos, themes parks, drive-in cinemas, libraries and community centres can open

Restaurants and pubs can serve customers sitting outside

Indoor sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

Weddings can take place with up to 15 people

Stage three - no earlier than Monday 17 May

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30

Six people, or two households, can meet indoors

Indoor entertainment venues can open

Adult indoor groups sports and exercise classes can start

Weddings and christenings can take place with up to 30 people

Large events can take place – with some limits

Stage four - no earlier than Monday 21 June

All legal limits on social contact to be removed

No legal limit on how many people can attend weddings, funerals, christenings and other life events

Nightclubs and theatres reopen

Roadmap sees school and care home changes from 8 March

On Monday 8 March children will be able to return to face-to-face teaching. Schools are sharing information on how they open with parents and pupils.

Care homes will also be able to allow visitors again, with a loved one from a single household able to visit residents.

Care home providers will be working this week to implement the government guidance to allow visitors, which will also see rapid Covid-19 testing undertaken as part of the visits.

If you would like to check if you can visit your loved one in a care home, speak to the provider to find out more.

Vaccination data available for your local area

You can find out how many people have been vaccinated in your local area with more detailed figures now available from the NHS.

If you are interested in numbers you can find the reports on the NHS website and you are looking for file in 25 February in the weekly data called Vaccinations by MSOA.

This gives close to a ward by ward breakdown of the data.

Covid alert level

The chief medical officers across the UK recommended yesterday (Thursday) for the Covid alert level, which reflects the impact of the virus on health systems in the NHS including hospitals, be lowered from its highest rate of four to three.

In a statement they said: “The health services across the 4 nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital. However, thanks to the efforts of the public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.”

You can read the full CMO statement on the government’s website.

In other news…

What the budget means for children’s services

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council meeting.

Mikhail Riches and North Somerset Council development secures approval

Planning consent has been secured for a “rural sister site” to Mikhail Riches’ Stirling Prize winning Goldsmith Street scheme.

New strategies to unlock millions in local investment

Plans to support the future delivery of council services and community assets were given the green light at Tuesday night’s ‘Full Council’ meeting of North Somerset Council.

What the budget means for adult care and health

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the budget being adopted at Full Council last Tuesday (23 February).

Illegal tobacco products lead to suspended sentence

A man from Diamond Batch, Weston-super-Mare, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to 15 charges relating to the supply and distribution of illegal tobacco products.

New one way scheme improves safety outside Worle Village Primary

A £4,000 scheme to improve safety outside Worle Village Primary school is being trialled.

£1.3m flood alleviation scheme completed

A major £1.3m scheme which will protect an area of Weston-super-Mare from future flooding has been completed.

Action on empties - National Empty Homes Week 2021

This week is National Empty Homes week. North Somerset Council would like to work with owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use and to highlight the problems that may occur when homes are left empty.

Creating a strong financial footing

Millions of pounds are to be invested in projects which will have a positive impact for local people in North Somerset Council's budget for the year ahead.

Private owner attempts to delay Birnbeck CPO but Council stands firm

The private owner of Birnbeck Pier has put in an application to the Magistrates Court to put a ‘stay’ on the Compulsory Purchase Order brought by North Somerset Council.

Marketing and Communications
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01934 634 996

E-Mail: press.office@n-somerset.gov.uk
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk

Friday 26 February 2021

Dear all

The roadmap out of lockdown has been revealed but we must all continue to play our part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday we now know the plan to ease the country out of lockdown. The roadmap sets out how England will exit lockdown during the spring and summer.

Vaccines give clear hope for the future but while infection rates are falling, they still remain very high and the impact of Covid-19 is still putting pressure on hospitals.

So for now, remember we are still in lockdown and the current rules about staying at home still apply.

Latest coronavirus case data

Recorded cases of coronavirus have continued to fall in North Somerset since last week’s update and we have now dropped below the regional average.

169 new cases have been identified in the latest seven-day period reported for North Somerset compared with 193 the previous week. Our case rate per 100,000 head of population has continued to decrease and is now 78.6 compared with a South West figure of 70.2, the lowest regional rate in England, and an England rate of 118.3.

There is a lag in case data meaning the latest information is for the week ending Saturday 20 February.

You can see more detail on our local case data at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/lomp.

Case data is also available at national, regional, council and neighbourhood level at https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Light a candle to remember those we’ve lost

On Sunday 14 March it will be exactly a year since we lost our first resident in North Somerset to coronavirus. In the year that’s passed, many more residents have lost their lives to the disease and no community has been untouched, so we’d like to encourage a shared moment of remembrance and reflection for those we’ve lost.

Join us on Sunday 14 March and light up your window, whether with a candle or other light, at 7pm for the memory of those no longer here, but never far from our thoughts.

With the current restrictions still in place we’re not able to organise any gatherings, but we hope to be able to harness the power of social media to demonstrate North Somerset’s communities coming together virtually to remember everyone we’ve lost but not been able to say goodbye to in the usual ways over the past year.

Please use your own social media channels to take part and encourage those in your community – family, friends and colleagues – to light their own candles and share their images to generate a stronger collective act of remembrance. If people post their candle images using #NStogether we’ll be able to gather together a collection of community involvement on the evening.

Vaccinations for unpaid carers

Local health and care organisations are now vaccinating people with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are defined as:

  • people who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or
  • people who are the sole or main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and is therefore clinically vulnerable.

To be eligible for vaccination as part of Group 6, carers must deliver personal care to the individual at risk. This does not include, for example, shopping or cleaning.

Registered Carers
If you are already registered as a carer with us or your GP, or you have been confirmed as eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will be invited for vaccination by your GP or asked to book through the national booking service. Please do not contact the NHS. It is possible you may be invited for vaccination more than once. Please do not be concerned and only book one appointment.

Unregistered Carers
If you deliver personal care to an ‘at risk’ person but are not registered as a carer or are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will also have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Further information about how you will be able to book will be available in the next few weeks.

Please do not be concerned if you are not contacted immediately for vaccination or have to wait a short while to book your appointment. The NHS is working tirelessly to vaccinate everyone who is eligible as quickly as possible. Please be patient and kind to the staff. They will be in touch when it’s your turn.

For more information about the roll-out of the vaccination programme in our area - including full details of the vaccination locations and travel support - please visit the Healthier Together website.

Extended support for North Somerset businesses

Financial support for businesses in North Somerset has been extended to cover the current period of national lockdown.

On Monday (22 February) the Government set out its four-step roadmap and announced that a further Business Grant payment will be provided to businesses for the 44-day period up to the end of the financial year (covering 16 February – 31 March).

We are working to make automatic payments to those businesses that have been awarded a grant since November last year. Those businesses should have received an email from us and do not need to apply again.

We are doing a series of fraud checks to support the process and, once complete, will send out payments in the next ten working days.

Businesses that have not yet applied for a grant are urged to contact us quickly as the closing date for some grant claims is 31 March.

Since March last year we have given out more than £57m of government grants to businesses across the area. However, we believe there are still businesses in North Somerset who could be eligible for one or more of the various grants available but have not yet come forward.

To help them access the grants they are entitled to we have a dedicated Business Grants contact centre on 01934 888 114 or businessgrants@n-somerset.gov.uk.

Businesses contacting the centre will be offered guidance on the range of grants available, as there are 26 different permutations of grants, and given tailored advice on which schemes are appropriate for their business.

If you run a business in North Somerset that has been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have not yet applied for a grant please get in touch with us and we will help you.

In addition to the government grants, our grant to assist the North Somerset hospitality sector has recently been extended from pubs, cafes and restaurants to include hotels and external catering such as weddings or functions (please note this does not apply to takeaways or food delivery services). The claim form for this is available on our website.

Letters and emails for shielding residents

Last week the Government announced an extension of the number of people who are being advised to shield as a result of a review of the evidence since the start of the pandemic about which people are more likely to become very unwell as a result of Covid-19 infection.

North Somerset Together will be writing to everyone who has been added to the list to make sure they aware of the support that is available.

We will also take this opportunity to send updated information to everyone already on the shielding list.

In response to concerns that have been raised about Covid-related telephone scam calls, this will also allow us to give everyone who is shielding a unique personal identification number (PIN) which they can use as a passcode to identify support calls made from North Somerset Together partners.

The advice to shield is applicable until the end of March.

Anyone who is now being advised to shield is entitled to statutory sick pay, prioritisation for online shopping slots and help collecting medicines.

Help is available locally for people who need additional support during the pandemic through the North Somerset Together network www.n-somerset.gov.uk/together.

If you look after schoolchildren get your regular tests

With schools set to reopen on Monday 8 March, staff and pupils, in year seven and above, will get regular rapid Covid-19 tests to help screen for those who may be infected without symptoms.

If you are a parent or look after children as part of a childcare bubble, you are also encouraged to take rapid tests twice a week.

You can start your tests next week, ready for the return to face-to-face teaching the week after.

Testing is available at:

  • Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea
  • Somerset Hall, Portishead
  • Hutton Moor Leisure Centre, Weston.

All three sites operate seven days a week 8.30am-5pm, with evening opening until 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Anyone living or working in North Somerset without symptoms of Covid-19 can get tested at one of the three centres.

Find out more and book a test at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rapidtesting

Home testing
Government has announced it will make rapid home testing kits available and we are looking to make this available in North Somerset. As soon as we have details confirmed by Department of Health and Social Care we will let you know how this will work in our area.

Got coronavirus symptoms? Book a symptomatic test

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 – new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of taste or smell, or a high temperature – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

You should book even if you have a recent negative rapid test result.

This gives access to a symptomatic test, which can be carried out at Locking Road car park, Weston-super-Mare, or Castlewood, Clevedon.

Locking Road is open 8am-8pm seven days a week can be used by people arriving for their appointment on foot as well as by car. Free parking is available for those being tested.

A mobile testing unit (MTU) runs from Castlewood in Clevedon but can only accept appointments by car.

The roadmap out of lockdown

On Monday the Prime Minister set out the government’s roadmap to recovery with a timetable that takes us, at intervals, through a process of gradual unlocking.

He has stated that each step will be carried out a minimum of five weeks apart and we will only progress to the next step in England if the data supports that progress.

You can read the roadmap and what will change at each of the four steps on the government website. Here’s the key dates at a glance, but remember, it is all under constant review and could change.

Stage one – part one – from Monday 8 March

Pupils and students in all schools and further education can return to face-to-face teaching. Breakfast and after school clubs will reopen.

Two people from different households can meet outside

Every care home resident will be able to nominate one visitor who will need PPE and lateral flow tests

Stage one – part two – from Monday 29 March

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and formally organised sports can restart.

The stay at home rule will be removed – people will no longer be legally required to stay at home but should continue to work at home if they can and try not to travel

Rule of six will return - people can meet outside, including in private gardens, in groups of up to six for meeting up outdoors, including private gardens

Parent and children groups can return but are capped at 15 and must be outdoors. Indoor groups can take place for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

Weddings with up to six people can take place

Stage two – no earlier than Monday 12 April

All shops will be able to open

Hairdressers, beauty salons can open

Zoos, themes parks, drive-in cinemas, libraries and community centres can open

Restaurants and pubs can serve customers sitting outside

Indoor sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise

Weddings can take place with up to 15 people

Stage three - no earlier than Monday 17 May

People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30

Six people, or two households, can meet indoors

Indoor entertainment venues can open

Adult indoor groups sports and exercise classes can start

Weddings and christenings can take place with up to 30 people

Large events can take place – with some limits

Stage four - no earlier than Monday 21 June

All legal limits on social contact to be removed

No legal limit on how many people can attend weddings, funerals, christenings and other life events

Nightclubs and theatres reopen

Roadmap sees school and care home changes from 8 March

On Monday 8 March children will be able to return to face-to-face teaching. Schools are sharing information on how they open with parents and pupils.

Care homes will also be able to allow visitors again, with a loved one from a single household able to visit residents.

Care home providers will be working this week to implement the government guidance to allow visitors, which will also see rapid Covid-19 testing undertaken as part of the visits.

If you would like to check if you can visit your loved one in a care home, speak to the provider to find out more.

Vaccination data available for your local area

You can find out how many people have been vaccinated in your local area with more detailed figures now available from the NHS.

If you are interested in numbers you can find the reports on the NHS website and you are looking for file in 25 February in the weekly data called Vaccinations by MSOA.

This gives close to a ward by ward breakdown of the data.

Covid alert level

The chief medical officers across the UK recommended yesterday (Thursday) for the Covid alert level, which reflects the impact of the virus on health systems in the NHS including hospitals, be lowered from its highest rate of four to three.

In a statement they said: “The health services across the 4 nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital. However, thanks to the efforts of the public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.”

You can read the full CMO statement on the government’s website.

In other news…

What the budget means for children’s services

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the setting of the budget at last Tuesday's Full Council meeting.

Mikhail Riches and North Somerset Council development secures approval

Planning consent has been secured for a “rural sister site” to Mikhail Riches’ Stirling Prize winning Goldsmith Street scheme.

New strategies to unlock millions in local investment

Plans to support the future delivery of council services and community assets were given the green light at Tuesday night’s ‘Full Council’ meeting of North Somerset Council.

What the budget means for adult care and health

In a series of focused press releases we'll be looking at areas where North Somerset Council will be investing in services which will improve outcomes for local people following the budget being adopted at Full Council last Tuesday (23 February).

Illegal tobacco products lead to suspended sentence

A man from Diamond Batch, Weston-super-Mare, has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to 15 charges relating to the supply and distribution of illegal tobacco products.

New one way scheme improves safety outside Worle Village Primary

A £4,000 scheme to improve safety outside Worle Village Primary school is being trialled.

£1.3m flood alleviation scheme completed

A major £1.3m scheme which will protect an area of Weston-super-Mare from future flooding has been completed.

Action on empties - National Empty Homes Week 2021

This week is National Empty Homes week. North Somerset Council would like to work with owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use and to highlight the problems that may occur when homes are left empty.

Creating a strong financial footing

Millions of pounds are to be invested in projects which will have a positive impact for local people in North Somerset Council's budget for the year ahead.

Private owner attempts to delay Birnbeck CPO but Council stands firm

The private owner of Birnbeck Pier has put in an application to the Magistrates Court to put a ‘stay’ on the Compulsory Purchase Order brought by North Somerset Council.

Marketing and Communications
North Somerset Council

Tel: 01934 634 996

E-Mail: press.office@n-somerset.gov.uk
Post: Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ
Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk