COVID-19 Information & signposting for residents
With nearly 11,000 residents within the Parish we are taking steps to keep you all informed about COVID-19, with factual information and advice.
LATEST LOCKDOWN INFORMATION ROADMAP OUT OF LOCKDOWN
Step 1 - 8th and 29th March 2021
March 8th Changes
All children & students to return to face to face education
Childcare and children’s supervised activities can also resume where necessary to enable parents to work or engage in similar activities.
Higher Education students at English universities on practical courses can also return.
Twice-weekly rapid testing for secondary and college pupils has been introduced - in addition to regular testing for all teachers - this is to reduce the chance of the virus spreading in schools.
Social Contact -
You can now meet with one other person from outside our household for recreation or exercise.
Care home residents are now allowed one regular visitor.
March 29th Changes
Social Contact -
You can now meet outside (including private gardens) in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households.
Business and activities -
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place.
People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.
Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.
Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme.
Step 2 - not before 12th April
Business and activities -
Non essential retial can now open
Personal care can now open, hairdressers,nail salons etc.
Public buildings such as librarires and community buildings can reopen
Indoor leisure facilities (gyms) reopen.
Outdoor attractions, zoos, theme parks, and outdoor cinemas can also open.
Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
Pubs & restaurants will be allowed to serve people outdoors at Step 2 and there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’). Wider social contact rules will apply in all these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households.
Funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners
Weddings, and other commemorative events can have 15 people attending.
Step 3 - not before 17th May
Social Contact -
As part of Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, the government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances.
This means that most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted - although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal. Indoors, the Rule of 6 or 2 households will apply - they will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.
As soon as possible and by no later than Step 3, the government will also update the advice on social distancing between friends and family, including hugging. But until this point, people should continue to keep their distance from anyone not in their household or support bubble.
Business and activities -
Most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and businesses may not cater for groups bigger than the legal limits.
Indoor hospitality will reopen - and as in Step 2, venues will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks; nor will there be a curfew. Customers will, however, have to order, eat and drink while seated.
Other indoor locations to open up in Step 3 include indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas; the rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs; and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes.
The government will also allow some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number), and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number). In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).
Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals. This limit will also apply to other types of significant life events including bar mitzvahs and christenings.
Review of social distancing
Finally, before Step 4 begins, the government will complete a review of social distancing and other long-term measures that have been put in place to cut transmission.
This will inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which the rules on 1 metre plus, the wearing of face coverings and other measures may be lifted.
This will also inform guidance on working from home – which should continue wherever possible until this review is complete.
Step 4 - not before 21st June
Social contact -
By Step 4 which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.
Business, activities and events -
The government hope to reopen remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease the restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3. This will be subject to the results of a scientific Events Research Programme to test the outcome of certain pilot events through the spring and summer, where they will trial the use of testing and other techniques to cut the risk of infection. The same Events Research Programme will guide decisions on whether all limits can be removed on weddings and other life events.
As we move through each of these phases in the roadmap, we must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives. We are going to have to keep living our lives differently to keep ourselves and others safe. We must carry on with ‘hands, face, space’. Comply with the COVID-Secure measures that remain in place. Meet outdoors when we can and keep letting fresh air in. Get tested when needed. Get vaccinated when offered. If we all continue to play our part, we will be that bit closer to a future that is more familiar.
😷 Public must wear face-masks when in enclosed public places
🚌 When using public transport
🏬 When shopping
✖️ They don't need to be worn whilst outside
✖️ They DO NOT replace the need for hand-washing
✖️ When wearing you STILL need to maintain 2m social distancing
✖️ Do not purchase medical grade masks/respirators please leave these for health-care professionals
Thinking of making your own mask?
Click HERE to get some useful info on what type of material is best to make your mask from?
Click on the image below to find out how to wear and make a cloth face covering
Good Hand-washing & Hygiene Practices
Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
At the current time and based on our understanding of what is known of COVID-19 and other similar respiratory viruses, it is likely that older people and those with chronic medical conditions may be vulnerable to severe disease. As more information emerges, recommendations may change.
Photo credit: BBC NEWS
Hand Washing Songs
Fed up of singing Happy Birthday twice whilst washing your hands? Yes, you are not alone, check out the video for the top 10 tunes to sing whilst washing your hands.
Please see below for a list of local organisations/services/groups that may be able to provide help and support. These are not endorsed in any way by the Parish Council.
The Safety Detectives!
Do you know how to keep your kids safe when they are online? Head over to The Safety Detectives and check out their Parents' Guide for Safe YouTube and Internet Streaming for Kids.
Domestic violence has doubled during the lockdown. Please don't be afraid to seek help.
Women's Aid run a live chat service, their hours are Monday to Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-12:00pm. If you need to talk in silence you can via their website.
Or if you can talk you can call MK Act on 0344 375 4307 (Monday to Friday). Calls are low cost and in confidence. If you need help outside these hours call the National Helpline on 08082000247.
If you think you might be in danger, call the police immediately on 999.
If you can't speak, use the Silent Solution