Coronavirus: Latest information

Proposed social distancing changes

The Government has set out a timetable for further easing of lockdown restrictions and an ambition to remove social distancing measures completely by November.

Assuming infection and transmission rates remain low, the changes below are planned.

From 1 August:

  • employers will have more discretion, in consultation with their staff, on how to ensure people can work safely – working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines
  • the clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer need to follow advice on shielding, though should still take particular care to follow the social distancing guidelines when meeting people
  • bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos can open
  • conference and exhibition centres will be able to reopen in order to enable pilots for business events to take place – they should not yet be open fully to host events more widely
  • indoor performances to a live audience can begin to take place, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines and subject to the success of pilots that are taking place as soon as possible
  • further pilots of larger events can take place in venues, including in sports stadia and business conferences
  • small wedding receptions – sit-down meals for no more than 30 people – can take place, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance
  • all remaining close contact services – such as facial treatment and make up application – can restart, in line with COVID-secure guidelines

From 1 September

  • schools, nurseries and colleges will open for all children and young people on a full-time basis
  • universities are working to reopen as fully as possible

From 1 October, if prevalence of the virus remains around or below current levels:

  • the Government will bring back audiences in stadiums, and allow conferences and other business events to recommence in a COVID-19 Secure way

This can only happen if infection rates continue to remain low. It will also depend on the specific challenges being faced at the time.

For now, we all need to continue to play our part to control the spread of covid-19.

You can help by:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water regularly for 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if that is not possible
  • Keeping a safe distance from others
  • Wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces (see our guide on face coverings further down)

Read the coronavirus FAQs: what you can and can’t do

A guide to using face coverings

We are now required to wear face coverings in shops, banks, supermarkets and post offices from today (24 July). You already have to wear them on public transport.

Face coverings can help control the spread of the virus but only if they are used safely.

Watch Worcestershire County Council’s short video on wearing a face covering correctly

Read our guide to wearing, storing and washing or disposing of face coverings

Leisure centres to reopen tomorrow

Leisure centres in Droitwich, Evesham and Pershore reopen tomorrow (25 July) for gym and exercise classes.

Swimming pools at Evesham and Droitwich will reopen from 1 August. Pershore swimming pool will remain closed until the autumn due to refurbishment work.

Droitwich Lido will reopen from 1 August.

Covid-19 secure measures will be in place and booking is required at all sites.

Read more about how to use our leisure centres from 25 July.

More changes to libraries

Droitwich Library will reopen from Monday 3 August. Evesham Library is already open. Pershore Library will reopen later in August.

From Monday 3 August, library users will also be able to:

  • browse shelves and borrow books using self-service kiosks
  • return books
  • pre-book public computers
  • pre-book a desk in the library for study and/or wi-fi access

Some restrictions remain in place. Read more about changes to Worcestershire’s libraries

#EnjoyWychavonSafely

We want you to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wychavon safely this summer.

Many of Wychavon’s visitor attractions are now open and are eager to welcome you back with safety measures in place.

There is also Wychavon’s beautiful countryside to explore and our award-winning parks to enjoy. Wychavon managed play areas and public toilets are also open.

Parking is also free in all of our car parks until 3 August.

Our festival season would normally be in full swing at this time of year but many events have sadly had to be cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak.

You do not have to miss out completely though. The Worcestershire Vale and Spa website contains ideas of how you can recreate the spirit of some of those festivals in your own way.

Apply for a Census 2021 temporary job

Temporary jobs are available to make Census 2021 a success.

The census is a survey about all of us and will create a picture of communities. This helps the Government and other authorities to plan and fund public services.

Nothing else gives so much detail about the society in which we live, helping to make decisions with the potential to transform lives for the better.

Whether you’re saving up for something or you want to make a real difference to your community, there’s a job for you.

Visit Census Jobs 2021 to find out more and apply. Deadline for applications is 31 July 2020. Other positions are available later in the year.

Financial support for you

Advice and support if you have lost your job

Help paying your Council Tax

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, then check if you can apply for Council Tax Support

If you do not qualify for Council Tax Support please get in touch with our team and they will see if there is another way they can help you.

Email Revenues@southworcestershirerevenues.gov.uk to discuss your situation.

Ban on evictions extended

The Government has extended the ban on landlords being able to evict people renting their home until 23 August. Read the full announcement.

Citizens’ Advice is open for business

Citizens’ Advice South Worcestershire also remains open to support you if you need it. They offer one-to-one advice by highly trained volunteers, now working from home. Many are specialists in their fields such as housing, employment and debt.

You can contact their Wychavon branch in Evesham on 01386 712 100, choosing Option 1 or email admin.wychavon@citizensadvicesw.org.uk

Option 2 is dedicated to the Universal Credit Support Service.

The service is also part of the national Advice Line telephone service, open to the public Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm on 03444 111 303.

Money management help

If you would like help to make the most of your money then the two online budgeting toolkits below may be useful.

Money Saving Expert Budget Planning Guide

Money Advice Service Budget Planner

If you need help with debt management or restructuring your finances then contact the CAB using the details above or you can get free help from The Money Advice Service.

Help paying your utility bills

If you need help paying your water bill then please visit Severn Trent’s bill help payment page.

If you need help paying your gas or electric bill then read Ofgem’s advice about the support on offer.

Help for your mental health

Although life is edging back to normal, there is still a lot that is uncertain and it’s okay to feel anxious or worried.

Get help and advice from NHS Every Mind Matters

Take the Every Mind Matters Quiz and get a support plan tailored to you

Covid-19 Memory Bank Project

The Covid-19 outbreak is undoubtedly a significant moment in human history. We are keen to capture information about what happened locally to inform future generations. That is why we have launched the Covid-19 Memory Bank.

You are encouraged to send in messages of goodwill you have received from neighbours, rainbow pictures you have drawn in support of key workers, messages of thanks you have left for key workers or received, diary entries you may have made during lockdown, video blogs, photographs, video footage, poems, songs or artwork.

The subject can be anything from how you felt during this time to the way the community pulled together, the weekly clap for our carers event, response of key workers on the frontline and the challenges or joys of home schooling.

If you have lost a loved one to this virus, you are also invited to submit a photograph and/or tribute to them.

The information received will be used in a future art project or exhibition and then handed over to the archive at The Hive or locally for preservation.

You can find out more about the project and upload any contributions you may have at www.wychavon.gov.uk/memorybank

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