Statement from the Leader of the Council and the Managing Director.
Please note these daily briefings will now be twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays.
Updates from Rochford District Council
Please respect our staff
We are very sad to report increased levels of hostility directed towards our waste crews and grounds maintenance staff. We understand that frustrations may be running high at this difficult time but we think it's important for everyone to be treated in a courteous, polite and efficient manner. We know that the majority of our residents act responsibly and respectfully and our employees will be sensitive to customers’ needs but we would remind everyone that acts of abuse or aggression are not acceptable. Please respect our staff and if you have any complaints or compliments please use our online form: https://www.rochford.gov.uk/node/8886
Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough; high temperature; or a loss of or change in your normal sense of smell or taste can book a test by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or telephoning 119 to book their test between the hours of 7am – 11pm. The service can be accessed by people with hearing or speech difficulties by calling 18001 119 (in England and Wales).
The COVID-19 mobile testing units will be at Rayleigh Leisure Centre on Tuesday 21st and Saturday 25th July. The units will operate from roughly 10.30am to 4pm each day.
New local authority powers
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 come into force on 18 July 2020. These powers are exercisable by Essex County Council as the relevant upper tier authority in this area as part of the Outbreak Control Plan which can be found here: https://www.essex.gov.uk/local-outbreak-control-plan
Guidance has been produced for local authorities in England on what the new regulations allow them to do and how they should exercise those powers; how those powers should be enforced; and guidance for those affected by local authority directions.
Updates from Government
Guidance on how you can see people that you do not live with while protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 has been updated on gathering in larger groups and travelling to meet people, and the guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people.
Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak have been updated to reflect recent changes.
Business and Planning Bill
Businesses can already make their own non-smoking policies for outside space without the need for regulations. The new Bill (which makes it easier for businesses to offer outdoor seating areas) will reinforce this point, making it clear that the licence-holder has to make reasonable provision for smoke-free seating. It includes:
- Clear ‘no smoking’ signage displayed in designated areas.
- No ash trays or similar receptacles to be provided or permitted to be left on furniture where a smoke-free seating is identified.
- Licence holders should aim for a minimum 2 metre distance between non-smoking and smoking areas, wherever possible.
Councils and their local partners can now apply for funds from the Government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme to cover property costs and support new tenancies for around 15,000 vulnerable people who were provided with emergency accommodation during the pandemic.
Small weddings and civil partnerships
This guidance is designed to assist people planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England. It has been amended to show that from 1 August, small wedding receptions will be able to take place – this means sit-down meals for no more than 30 people, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance.
Business events and conferences
Business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October provided rates of infection remain at current levels.
Guidance relating to hotels and other guest accommodation has been updated to include guidance on business events and meetings (section 2.3.2).
Places of worship
This guidance is designed to enable the safe reopening of places of worship for a broader range of activities. It has been updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings, and added guided on outdoor worship.
Indoor performances with socially distanced audiences will be able to take place across the country from 1 August.
Sporting events will allow fans to return from 1 October with social distancing in place, if it is safe to do so.
Eat Out to Help Out scheme
From 3 to 31 August, get a 50% discount when you eat in at restaurants that are registered with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. The restaurant finder will now give you results within a 2 mile radius of the postcode you use.
Public bodies, organisations and charities have produced additional resources that may be useful to employers and employees. This guidance has been updated to include details about support offered from the National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses (FSB).
Everyone is reminded to follow the NHS advice which includes preventative measures about social distancing. Please also remember to keep your hands clean, especially if you have been outside e.g. at the supermarket or using an ATM.
Please use our website!
Don’t forget a lot of useful content is available via our website and this will be updated regularly, so www.rochford.gov.uk is the best place to check first and we have a dedicated section at www.rochford.gov.uk/coronavirus. Our other media channels are also good sources of information - www.rochford.gov.uk/tellmemore, Facebook: Rochford District Council, Instagram @RochfordDC and Twitter @RochfordDC
We would like to reassure everyone that we are working closely with our partners from across Essex in the NHS, emergency services, county council and other local authorities, ensuring that well-practiced plans are put into place.
The council is monitoring Government guidance daily and will be issuing communications to staff, members and the public regularly, so please watch our website, sign up for e-mail alerts or go to our social media channels to keep up-to-date with the latest information.