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National lockdown: what you need to know – 05/01

Posted on 6th January, 2021 in News

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.

Public Health dashboard: Detailed Public Health information dashboards are available on our website www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus just scroll down to ‘Covid-19 dashboard’. These are updated daily.

Top stories today:

National lockdown: Stay at home

Somerset – with the rest of England – is now in national lockdown following the government’s announcement last night.

The message is simple: you must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

You must not leave or be outside your home except where necessary. You may leave home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally allowed to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including fleeing from domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of key workers such as those working in health and social care. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings, for example nurseries, can remain open.

The rules apply to those who are fit and well. Separate guidance (below) has been issued for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. National lockdown: Stay at Home – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Protecting those more at risk from coronavirus

If you are clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There is additional advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people who should not attend work, school, college or university, and limit the time you spend outside the home. You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.

The government is sending COVID-19: letters to clinically extremely vulnerable people. This letter is to inform them about the new guidance that will be in place: COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Support for Somerset residents

Help is available for anyone in Somerset who may need additional support. The five councils in Somerset have been working together since the first lockdown to provide a single phone number for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus-related support.

Residents are reminded they can call 0300 790 6275 if they need any help themselves or are concerned about relatives or neighbours. Lines are open seven days a week between 8am and 6pm.

Volunteers needed to support Somerset vaccination programme

Health services in Somerset are encouraging people to volunteer to support the county’s vaccination programme. They are looking for people to help greet residents as they come to be vaccinated, marshal, and help with administration. They are also looking for retired or former nurses who are willing to step forward as vaccinators. All necessary training will be provided. If you think you can help, please email mvp.recruitment@somersetft.nhs.uk to register your interest.

The vaccination programme is currently focusing on those aged 80 and over and health and care staff in line with the priorities identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, they will contact you

When you are contacted please attend your booked appointments. You will be given all the information that you need and any questions you may have at your vaccination appointment will be answered.

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Recycling sites stay open for essential use

Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) plans to keep the county’s 16 recycling sites open on standard winter hours for essential use during the latest COVID-19 national lockdown.

Government guidance – gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home – has clarified that people can visit recycling sites as they are an essential service.

SWP is asking people to only visit sites if the trip is really necessary, for example because waste cannot be safely kept home or disposed of through kerbside recycling and rubbish collections.

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