All our help and information for 09/06/2020 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:
Somerset celebrates care heroes during Carers Week
Somerset is celebrating National Carers Week this week (8-14 June) to raise awareness and celebrate the vital role of Somerset’s estimated 50,000 carers.
The annual campaign was launched to highlight the challenges faced by unpaid carers, and to recognise the vital contribution they make to families and communities across the UK. The campaign also seeks to raise awareness about who should be classed as a carer – helping people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access the support they need.
Carer’s assessments can help identify a carer’s support needs, and these can be accessed via Somerset Direct on 0300 790 6275. However, a formal carer’s assessment is not necessary to access support – the Somerset Carers service is free, open to all, and can provide a range of support to those who need it. The service can be reached by phoning 0800 3168600, or by visiting the website: https://somersetcarers.org/
This year, Somerset County Council is celebrating Carers Week by asking carers to get creative and share photos of their work via a new Facebook group, Somerset Creative Carers Connect. Groups are also being set up across the county as part of Somerset Creative Carers Connect, so carers will be able to meet others in their area to build a support network and explore their creativity.
Toneway Creech Castle upgrade set to be postponed to support economic recovery
A major road improvement scheme to upgrade the busy Toneway Creech Castle junction in Taunton is set to be postponed until next year to support the economy as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Somerset County Council originally planned to begin work in April 2020 but this was temporarily paused due to the start of lockdown and uncertainty over materials, sub-contractors and key utilities work.
Now, following discussions with the business community, it is proposed to postpone the scheme for another 12-18 months. This is to help support the local economy during the recovery by minimising any temporary disruption on a key route into Taunton.
Last chance to submit a new claim for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Employers who plan to furlough an employee for the first time must have done so by tomorrow – Wednesday 10 June. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be closed to new entrants from 30 June. The final date when an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, so that the minimum three-week furlough period can be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June. More details on the scheme and how to apply is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Face masks mandatory at NHS Hospitals
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that all staff in hospitals in England will be provided with surgical masks which they will be expected to wear from 15 June. NHS staff already wear face masks in clinical areas within 2 metres of a patient, but the new guidance applies to everyone working in all areas of the hospital.
Members of the public are strongly urged to attend hospital wearing a face covering, but a face mask will be provided in emergencies. DHSC is working with the social care sector to implement a similar approach
Places of worship reopening for individual prayer
It has been confirmed that from Monday 15 June places of worship will be permitted to re-open for individual prayer in line with social distancing guidelines. Places of worship still have discretion over when they consider it safe to open and may decide to remain closed or reopen at a slower pace if they wish.