Easing of coronavirus restrictions resumes

The Government has announced it will resume the easing of lockdown restrictions from tomorrow (Saturday 15 August).

The following businesses and services will now be allowed to reopen, as long as they can follow Covid-19 secure guidelines:

  • casinos
  • skating rinks
  • bowling alleys
  • indoor play areas, including soft play areas
  • indoor performances
  • remaining close contact services, including any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application
  • wedding receptions and celebrations for up to 30 people, in the form of a sit-down meal

Read the latest Coronavirus outbreak FAQs to find out more about what you currently can and cannot do.

Advice on travelling in vehicles

With more people returning to work and school or visiting destinations, the number of journeys being made by car is increasing.

Ideally the Government would like you not to share a car with people outside of your household or support bubble, but they know this may prove difficult.

They have issued the guidance below which you are asked to follow when sharing a car with someone outside of your household:

  • Share your vehicle with the same people every time
  • Open windows for ventilation
  • Wear a face covering during the journey
  • Maximise distance between people in the vehicle – e.g. leave some seats free
  • Clean your vehicle between journeys including door handles and other areas that people may touch

This guidance only applies to private vehicles. There is separate guidance for taxis.

Follow the rules so we can get back to normal

The Government has set an ambition to scale back social distancing restrictions from November. To allow this to happen we need to continue to drive down the number of infections.

You can play your part in helping us all get back to normal, by following social distancing rules:

Hands – wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitiser if that is not possible

Face – wear a face covering in shops and other enclosed public spaces where social distancing is difficult, and you will be mixing with people you would not normally meet.

Space – keep a safe distance from those outside of your household or support bubble, at least 1 metre

If you have symptoms you should self-isolate immediately and book a free test online or call 119.

You should also self-isolate if you are asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

Read the guidance on how to self-isolate with a possible coronavirus infection

Read our guide on how to use face coverings safely

Some people do not have to wear face coverings by law. If this applies to you then the Government has made exemption cards available which you can print off.

Download face covering exemption cards

Be aware of those who have finished shielding

Shielding for those at increased risk from coronavirus due to certain health conditions, ended on 1 August. We know many people remain nervous or worried about going out and shopping or returning to normal life.

The Distance Aware scheme provides optional badges people can wear to show other people they may have difficulties or concerns maintaining social distancing, and to ask them to give them space.

Download give me space badges

We ask everyone to be mindful of the fact that others may not be as comfortable as you may be with the easing of lockdown restrictions, and to be courteous and considerate to each other.

Join the nation for a silent tribute to the fallen on VJ Day

Tomorrow (Saturday 15 August) marks 75 years since victory over Japan in the Second World War, or VJ Day as it has come to be known.

There will be a day of commemorations to mark this event including:

  • A two minute silence at 11am led by HRH The Prince of Wales
  • A powerful re-telling of the story of Victory Over Japan will be broadcast on BBC One with tributes led by His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge
  • Veterans of the Far East campaign will be present at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to remember fallen comrades
  • The Red Arrows will take to the skies for a stunning UK-wide flypast

You can get involved in the following ways:

  • Join in the national two minute silence at 11am
  • Share your family’s stories on social media with the hashtag #VJDay75
  • Find out more about VJ Day by downloading the activity sheets and resources on the official VJ Day website

Many of those who fought in the Far East during the Second World War, came home to find their country had moved on without them.

Please don’t let them be forgotten again tomorrow.

Shop local and support your high street

This week we have been highlighting the many wonderful local traders we are blessed with in our district as part of Shop Local Week.

You can view the campaign on our Facebook page.

Here are 8 reasons why you should shop local:

Help the high street and support the local economy

Shopping at local businesses pumps money into the local economy, and by spending money in their local shop, restaurant, café or pub, shoppers can do their bit to aid our national recovery across the country.

Save jobs – and create even more

Supporting our high streets creates jobs in local communities, supporting often young and disadvantaged people to find employment. Helping to grow the number of jobs in our local areas makes for a better place to live and work, which then creates a healthy economy for the community.

Great deals

People might be surprised to see just how competitive the prices are in your local shops. Independent retailers often reward regular customers, while others often provide great deals that can’t be found in major outlets – meaning people save money as they spend. Consumers can also save money eating out – the Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme is being provided by the Government, saving diners up to £10 per head on eat-in meals on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in one of the 73,000 participating businesses. There are more than 100 taking part in Wychavon. Use the online restaurant finder.

A safe way to shop

Businesses across the district have been following government guidance and implementing a range of measures to ensure people are safe while they shop, such as customer limits inside the store, plastic partitions at tills and hand sanitising stations.

We have also introduced our S.A.F.E code to help people follow the rules and look after each other while shopping locally. Public hand sanitiser units are now installed in high streets across our district.

Working with Worcestershire County Council, we have also granted pavement licences to many businesses to allow outside dining.

Preserving the heart of the community

A thriving high street is key to boosting the potential of a village or town where people can socialise as well as shop. Local businesses also generate revenue to support council services such as libraries, parks and roads that benefit communities across the UK.

Spoilt for choice

Small and local businesses often stock items which are made locally and aren’t available elsewhere else, providing a great range of choice and unique products that bring much-needed originality and variety into communities – including rare finds and items that aren’t mass produced.

A better shopping experience

Small businesses are often run by people who live nearby. As the UK continues to recover from the pandemic, the experience of buying locally from a friendly face offers a dose of normality that many people may have missed.

Help the environment

Local shops often source their goods locally, helping to reduce their carbon footprint. When shopping local, people are also more likely to walk or cycle to get there – doing their bit to reduce air pollution, reduce traffic and improve the quality of the nation’s high streets.

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