All our help and information for 03/07/2020 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:
A warm welcome back – and please keep Somerset safe
This weekend will see further coronavirus restrictions eased with a host of re-openings making life seem a little nearer to normal.
Pubs, restaurants, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions can reopen from tomorrow (Saturday) as long as they keep to national public health guidelines.
Holiday accommodation sites can also reopen, and with visitors able to stay overnight, the expectation is that the county will see a significant rise in road traffic.
Other re-openings happening from 4 July, provided they can be done so safely, include children’s playgrounds and outdoor gyms; museums and galleries; funfairs and theme parks; places of worship.
Saturday is also Independents’ Day when everyone is encouraged to support local, independent shops – so many have continued to provide vital services during lockdown.
In England, two households of any size will be able to meet indoors or outside, including overnight stays. The two households must maintain social distancing throughout, unless they are part of the same support bubble.
Indoor meetings of more than two households are not recommended because of the higher risk of infection.
But it is vital everyone remembers the public health guidance about hand washing and social distancing so that Somerset stays a safe place to live in, work in and to visit.
The county has low levels of Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, and everyone – residents and visitors – must make sure this continues. Do remember when visiting favourite places and local businesses to keep your distance, wash hands frequently and wear a face covering on public transport and when you are in a busy indoor space where social distancing may be more difficult.
Please also remember if you start to develop any symptoms, you MUST self-isolate.
There’s useful guidance here:
Advice from Avon and Somerset Police
A significant policing plan will be in place this weekend as the night-time economy reopens for the first time in three months. Licenced premises, such as pubs and restaurants, will be able to open from Saturday providing they adhere to certain restrictions set out by the government.
A dedicated command structure will be operating throughout the weekend to ensure we keep our communities safe and respond quickly to any emerging issues or crimes.
£10 million for small businesses to kickstart tourism
Communities that depend on tourism will receive a boost from a new £10 million Kick-starting Tourism Package, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke MP has today (3 July 2020) announced. The funding will give small businesses in tourist destinations grants of up to £5,000 to help them adapt their businesses following the coronavirus pandemic. The money will be allocated to the Growth Hubs for grants.
Flexible furlough scheme
Businesses now have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time. Employers can decide the hours and shift patterns of their employees – with the government continuing to pay 80 per cent of salaries for the hours they do not work.