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Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council – 17/05

Posted on 18th May, 2021 in News

All our help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website https://www.somerset.gov.uk/latest-coronavirus-updates/

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:
Hugs, pubs, hotels – and more
After months of keeping our distance from those we don’t live with, many of us will be looking forward to hugging our nearest and dearest from today. But please stay cautious and continue to follow health protection measures where you can.

When people welcome family and friends back, they also should let fresh air in too. The message of hands, face, space, and fresh air is especially important when mixing indoors.

Science still indicates that along with washing our hands regularly and wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces, keeping your distance from others is an important measure in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

From today:

  • There’s new guidance on meeting friends and family, stressing personal responsibility and caution rather than telling you to stay two metres apart from anyone you don’t live with.
  • You can socialise indoors in a group of up to six people or two households, including for overnight stays, and up to 30 people can meet outside.
  • Indoor hospitality, such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes, can reopen. Venues will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks nor will there be a curfew. However, customers will have to order, eat and drink while seated.
  • Indoor entertainment including cinemas, museums, and children’s indoor play areas, can reopen with Covid-secure measures in place.
  • Organised indoor sport, including group exercise classes, can take place.
  • All holiday accommodation, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs, can reopen and be used by groups of up to six people or two households of any size.
  • Up to 30 people will be able to attend significant life events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, christenings, receptions, and wakes, depending on the capacity of the venue.
  • Funeral attendance is no longer be limited to 30 people but will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing.
  • The Government is also allowing people to attend some larger performances and sporting events indoor and outdoor, with restricted numbers.
  • Care home residents will be allowed up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.
  • There will no longer be a legal restriction on travelling abroad, but a traffic light system with strict testing and quarantine rules depending on whether you return to England from a red, amber or green list country Red, amber and green list rules for entering England – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • You should continue to work from home if you can. When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance.

Please check the Government’s website to find out more about what you can and can’t do.

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Caution is the watchword

While everyone is delighted that restrictions are easing, please remember Covid is still with us and among us. It’s really important to take up the vaccine when it’s offered and to self-test twice a week.

If you do have to to self-isolate please complete the full isolation period, this means staying home and not going out to work, to the shops or to exercise. By doing this you are helping to protect others.

You may be eligible to access the test and trace support payment scheme, which provides a £500 payment to help during your isolation. More information about this scheme can be found via your local District Council. If you do not meet eligibility criteria for the test and trace support payment, then we work with local organisation such as the Village Agents, who will explore what other support options are available based on your individual needs.

Our coronavirus helpline (details below) is there to offer support and assistance. You can also find information about support where you live: Get help (somerset.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.

Guidance for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions, celebrations, and funerals

The Government has published guidance for couples planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England, as well as managers of venues that host ceremonies and receptions.

The guidance is designed to help people and venues to prepare for these events in in line with the relevant law.

The Government also updated the guidance for arranging or attending a funeral, related to a death from any cause, during the Covid-19 outbreak.

This has been developed to ensure that bereaved people are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect and that funerals can continue to take place while minimising the risk of infection.

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