Hampshire County Council: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Edition 45

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Government press conferences over the weekend (8 - 9 May) and Sunday 10 May - Prime Minister's address to the nation




Stay Alert to Control the Virus and Save Lives

In an address to the nation, the Prime Minister announced that a Covid Alert System would be run by a new Joint Biosecurity Centre. The Covid Alert Level, of which there are five, will be determined primarily by R and the number of coronavirus cases.

The Prime Minister announced three steps that will be taken in the coming days and weeks to ease the lockdown. >From today (11 May) anyone who cannot work from home should be actively encouraged to return to work in a safe way and to avoid the use of public transport if possible. First step - from Wednesday (13 May) people will be allowed to spend unlimited time outdoors for leisure, not just exercise purposes, if they maintain social distancing. People are also allowed to drive to other destinations for leisure purposes.

The second step, by 1 June at the earliest, will see the phased reopening of shops. Primary pupils will return to school in phases, beginning with year R, year 1 and year 6. The ambition is also for secondary school pupils with exams next year to return before summer holidays. Detailed guidance will soon be released.

The third step, by July at the earliest, will see some of the hospitality sector and other public places reopen, provided they can do so safely and comply with social distancing. The Government also served notice that people who arrive in the UK from abroad will be placed in quarantine.




Saturday 9 May

The press conference was chaired by the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps. A programme was outlined to help prepare the transport network as the UK starts to enter the next phase in the strategy to tackle Covid-19.

People are being urged to use active methods of travel when they return to work, in a bid to prevent the public transport system becoming overloaded. The Government announced a £2 billion cycling and walking package and confirmed that the national cycling plan will be brought forward for publication in June. New statutory guidance, effective immediately, was announced, requiring councils to cater for significantly increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. Trials of e-scooters is being fast-tracked and will be extended to any region in the country that wants to take part. In addition, the Government announced £10 million of additional support for on-street car-charging points.

The slides and datasets from the conference are available to view online.




Friday 8 May

The press conference was chaired by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice. The Government commemorated the 75th anniversary of VE day and highlighted the efforts of men and women who contributed to the war effort in a non-military way. The work being undertaken to help those who are vulnerable to obtain food was reported, including by supermarkets, charities, and the NHS responder volunteer programme. A new £16 million fund to support frontline food charities was announced.

The slides and datasets from the conference are available to view online.

As of 4pm on 10 May, the total number of lab-confirmed cases was 219,183. The daily number of lab-confirmed cases was 3,923. The total number of Covid-19 associated deaths was 31,855, with 269 new deaths reported on the day. The data is available to view online.




National context




The Government's Covid-19 recovery strategy

The Government has published the UK’s Covid-19 recovery strategy which sets out the aims, approach, roadmap and supporting programmes.




Staying alert and safe (social distancing)

New social distancing guidance has been issued for the general public who are fit and well. People who are clinically vulnerable should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to continue shielding measures to keep themselves safe.




Staying safe outside the home

The Government has published new guidance on staying safe outside the home. Instructions include: keeping a distance from others, maintaining good hygiene, continuing to work from home if possible, avoiding crowds and wearing a face covering in some situations.




Face coverings

Guidance has been issued on how to wear and make a cloth face covering - and advising people to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. It is highlighted that face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing and regular handwashing.




Frequently asked questions

The Government has updated the Covid-19 outbreak FAQs on what you can and can’t do, to bring them in line with the latest announcements.




Driving theory tests

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has changed the theory test suspension date from 8 May to 31 May.





HMRC has updated the guidance for businesses affected by Covid-19 by adding new YouTube videos about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and on helping employers support employees.




Resumption of jury trials

The Lord Chancellor has issued a statement confirming that the courts are now in a position to take the first steps towards the resumption of jury trials.




Countering online child abuse

The Minister of State for Security, James Brokenshire, has written to partners in the technology sector on countering online child sexual exploitation and abuse during the pandemic.




Armed Forces

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the UK Armed Forces continue to support the national response to Covid-19 both at home and overseas – around 4,000 troops have been deployed as part of the Covid Support Force.




Domestic abuse funding

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has confirmed that charities can now bid for a share of £10 million funding to support victims of domestic abuse.




Food charities grant fund

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is inviting front-line food aid charities to apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to enable them to continue to provide food to vulnerable people during the pandemic.




Intellectual Property Office (IPO)

The IPO has announced that they reviewed interrupted days on 7 May and decided to continue with the period of interruption. They will review again on 28 May and will give customers advance notice to plan prior to the end of interrupted days.




Further education

The Department for Education has updated the guidance for further education providers to include new sections on high needs funding for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and traineeship flexibilities. It also includes updates on functional skills flexibility in apprenticeships and acceptance of confirmation emails for qualification achievement from awarding organisations.




SEND risk assessments

The Department for Education has updated the guidance for settings supporting children with complex special educational needs and disability (SEND) to reflect regulation changes.




Testing in care homes

The Minister of State for Care, Helen Whatley, has written to those involved in social care to provide further information on Covid-19 testing in care homes. The letter also pays tribute to the local and regional efforts over recent weeks to ensure that testing has been available to staff and residents.




Local context




Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)

Hampshire County Council has today (11 May) reopened all 24 HWRCs, alongside the City Depot site in Southampton and the Paulsgrove facility in Portsmouth for people who cannot store waste safely at home. Several new measures are in place to ensure the safety of staff and the public including: revised opening hours; restrictions on the number of vehicles permitted to access the site at any one time; security staff and; new parking arrangements.

It is reported that most HWRCs have experienced heavy queuing. Therefore, the County Council is urging residents to consider if their trip is necessary – and is promoting an informative video on social media platforms about the reopening and the new safety measures that are in place.




Road safety

Following national and local reports of dangerous driving and speeding during lockdown, the County Council identified an opportunity to sponsor travel updated on Capital FM South Coast radio. The radio road safety campaign will reach a significant number of people quickly and frequently – an estimated 250,000 in the morning and again in the evening.




Hampshire Highways

The County Council has confirmed that it is looking to resume construction work on its main infrastructure schemes. Contractors will follow national guidelines on social distancing and there is no reason to anticipate any contact with members of the public. The press release contains details of schemes which will shortly resume.




Volunteer guidance

Hampshire County Council has issued new guidance on how to volunteer safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidance, which was developed with partners including the Hampshire CVS Network, HIOW CCG and Community Pharmacy South Central, contains information for volunteers on hygiene, reporting wellbeing and safeguarding concerns, as well as practical advice on handling money and dog walking.





The stay at home campaign which was produced by the County Council on behalf of the Local Resilience Forum and was narrated by a 6-year-old had an overwhelmingly positive response. The campaign, which ended today, targeted students and parents - and exceeded engagement targets with both audiences.




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