Let’s keep going – Tier 2 restrictions explained
The good news is the national lockdown had a positive impact on infection rates which have fallen across our area. The risk is as we now start to mix socially again that we end up allowing the virus to surge once more.
Worcestershire is now in Tier 2 of the local coronavirus restrictions.
Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire, has held a Q&A to answer your queries about Tier 2 restrictions.
We also had the good news this week that the first Covid-19 vaccine had been approved and is ready for use.
The independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have decided the priority order for who will get the vaccine first.
The message from the NHS is you will be contacted when it is your turn to have the vaccine. Please do not seek to get the vaccine before you are contacted.
When you are called for vaccination please act on your invitation and attend your appointments.
Thank you from the Council Leader
A message from Cllr Bradley Thomas, Leader of Wychavon District Council.
“Residents and businesses across Wychavon have sacrificed so much already to get our infection rate down and I thank everyone for their efforts. We’re doing everything we can to support people through this challenging time.
“There is hope on the horizon with mass vaccination set to start in the new year. Let’s not throw away the progress we have made and allow the virus to resurge now when we are close to the end of this pandemic. If we stick together, all play our part by following the rules, we will get through this and we will come back stronger.”
Forming a Christmas bubble
Between 23 and 27 December you may choose to form a Christmas bubble of up to three households.
We know how important it is to meet up with family at this time of year but please consider the rules carefully and what you do as a result of them.
It is still advisable to avoid a large family gathering indoors as the virus spreads more easily. Consider using virtual games and technology to connect with each other or meet up outside and go for a Christmas walk.
There are also many festive themed outdoor attractions for you to enjoy. Try searching online.
You can start by taking on our Christmas Shop Window Trails which will be launching next week. Visit www.wychavon.gov.uk/keepitlocal for more information.
Shop locally and safely with free parking on offer
Our local traders have been through a lot this year. They have made a massive effort to make their businesses Covid-19 Secure so you can shop safely and with confidence. Now they need the gift of your custom this Christmas.
If you are not comfortable heading out to your local high street then you can take advantage of their online, click and collect and delivery services.
If you are shopping in person then here are some top tips to help keep you safe:
- Shop local – supporting your local traders means you can avoid travelling into an area where the virus is spreading more rapidly.
- Respect the rules on household mixing.
- Shop at different times – if possible, try and avoid the peak times and days when shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes are likely to be busy. If you get somewhere and it is too crowded, then go somewhere else and come back later. We are allowing shops to open as long as they like Monday to Saturday without permission.
- Wear a face covering – wear a face covering in shops and other indoor spaces to help protect you and others.
- Keep your distance – keep a safe distance from anyone outside your household or support bubble. This includes when queuing on the street. If you cannot imagine a bath or sofa between you and the other person, then you are probably too close.
- Sanitise and wash your hands regularly – businesses have hand sanitiser available and we have put public hand sanitiser points in our town centres. Our public toilets are open.
- Pay by contactless if you can – this will help reduce the potential for the virus to spread by surface contact. Businesses are still happy to accept money if you need to pay that way.
Parking is also free in all Wychavon District Council pay and display car parks until 3 January 2021.
Christmas and New Year bin collection changes
We are having to make changes to our waste and recycling collections over the festive period.
We have also produced some top tips to help you recycle right at Christmas and reduce your waste.
Help us to help them
We have helped many people off the streets since the start of this pandemic. But sadly, we still have people who are sleeping rough.
We are doing everything we can to support them but their needs are often complex and sometimes they do not want to accept our help to start with. We never give up and will continue to reach out to people until they are ready to accept support.
You can help by telling us when you see someone sleeping rough.
You can let us know by telling our partner Street Link by using their online alert service at www.streetlink.org.uk.
This allows you to tell us if you believe someone is sleeping rough, to upload a description and to pin point where you saw them on a map. There is also an app you can download to your smartphone or device
When an alert is received someone will go out as soon as possible to try and find the person and begin to work with them.
The sooner we know, the sooner we can start to help.
Help carry out the Census 2021
On 21 March next year households across the district will be asked to take part in the nationwide survey of housing and the population. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.
For the first time the Census will be carried out mainly online.
Information from the digital-first Census will help decide how services are planned and funded in your local area. This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, housing or new bus routes.
Households will receive a letter with a unique access code in the post, allowing them to complete their questionnaire online. Paper questionnaires will be available on request.
A number of temporary jobs are available to help carry out the Census.