All our help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-latest-advice/
This page is refreshed through the day so please check in regularly to keep across developments and news.
Top stories today:
Staged return of children to early years settings and schools
From the week beginning 1 June, and conditional on the national COVID 19 situation, the Government is proposing that mainstream provision is extended to include early years settings, all primary school pupils in reception, Year One and Year Six as part of a staged return to school.
The proposals also include the provision of face-to-face contact for pupils in Year 10 and 12.
The Council, early years providers and school leaders are currently discussing how this can be implemented safely for pupils and staff, following Government guidelines. You can read these in full here.
Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils will continue to be given priority.
Please note early years settings are being asked to open to all children but must carry out a risk assessment to ascertain how many children they can safely accommodate at any one time. Settings may therefore reduce the numbers of children they can safely care for and where this is the case priority will be given to 3 and 4 year-olds in the first instance.
Similarly, it may be that, because of specific circumstances, not all schools will be able to offer full time provision to the year groups set out in the government guidance. Head teachers will be contacting parents and carers to advise what provision they will be able to make.
Each educational setting is different, and we all need to support the professionalism and judgement of education leaders who will be making difficult decisions over the next few weeks and months, based on the context of their setting and community.
The government is also proposing the return of all primary school pupils, if possible, for up to a month before the beginning of the summer holidays. We are awaiting further details on this.
This evening’s wellbeing slot on BBC Somerset is a Golden Oldies Sing–along
This week Rachel from Golden Oldies will be leading the Public Health wellbeing slot on BBC Somerset this evening between 7-8pm. She will be talking about the Golden Oldies Singing clubs in Somerset and opportunities for people to get involved online during Coronavirus. Rachel will also be singing a couple of songs live on air that people can join in with at home. Visit: https://www.healthysomerset.co.uk/covid-19/happy/ to find the lyrics for Sailor and Que Sera Sera. Listen in to BBC Somerset Charlie Taylor’s show between 7-8pm for an uplifting sing-along. The frequencies to tune in are 95.5FM, 1566AM, DAB, or listen at www.bbc.co.uk/bbcsomerset and on the BBC Sounds app.
Volunteering pack released by Spark Somerset
Spark Somerset has created a new Volunteer Pack for COVID-19 support groups. If you, or anyone else would benefit from this guidance – it can be downloaded here: https://sparksomerset.org.uk/VolunteerPack For further information about support available to voluntary and community sector organisations, volunteering and funding opportunities visit: https://www.sparksomerset.org.uk/covid-19
Support for the self-employed
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme opens for applications today. Grants will be calculated as 80% of average monthly profit over a period of up to three years, with a maximum payment of £7,500 which is intended to cover March, April and May. Money will be paid into the accounts of eligible people six days after applying. Eligible people have been given a date from when they can claim between 13 and 18 May. More details and how to apply at https://www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-support-for-self-employed/
Essential road resurfacing brought forward
Highways workers in Somerset are taking advantage of the quieter roads across the county by bringing forward essential resurfacing schemes. Due to high levels of traffic on busy roads, it can be difficult to plan works that require a road closure. However, with traffic levels still reduced, Somerset County Council has brought forward some works on key roads to minimise disruption, including at two sites near Williton.
The Department for Transport has published guidance on safe travel and safe transport operations following the publication of the government’s roadmap. People are asked to continue to work from home if they can and, if this is not possible, urged to consider cycling, walking or driving before using public transport. Passenger guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers ; operators’ guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators