Tuesday 23 June 2020
Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we will now be providing regular email updates for residents to let you know about the latest information we have and any changes to local services that may be affected.
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You can check the latest information on our website at any time by going to https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus
UK Alert Level is reduced
The Government has announced that the official Covid-19 alert level has been reduced from Level 4 (Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation).
This follows a recommendation from the Joint Biosecurity Centre, which was supported by the Chief Medical Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after a review of the evidence.
Whilst this means there has been a continued, steady decrease in cases across the UK, it does not mean the pandemic is over and there is a likelihood that localised outbreaks will still occur.
PM announces more lockdown relaxations from 4th July
Today the Prime Minister has announced the further relaxation of more of the things that closed during lockdown.
From 4th July, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants will be able to open while adhering to strict guidance around social distancing.
In his statement, the Prime Minister also said that libraries, museums and some sporting activities could restart from 4 July and that weddings with a maximum of 30 people would be allowed.
The Council is carefully considering all new guidance as it is made available and how that relates to the delivery of our services. We will be taking great care to resume services gradually and carefully. We will not immediately be going back to the way things were. Instead, we will be following the guidance, promoting public health messages and doing everything we can to provide the best service we can as safely as possible.
We will continue to keep you informed of any changes to the services that you use.
In the meantime, we urge people to maintain social distancing, to wash their hands regularly, to follow the guidance and remain alert.
Changes to ‘shielding’ arrangements for most vulnerable
For now, the guidance remains the same – stay at home and only go outside to exercise or to spend time outdoors with a member of your household, or with one other person from another household if you live alone, respecting 2 metre social distancing at all times.
Around 13,000 Rotherham residents were advised to stay at home as lockdown began, because they were identified as being at particularly high risk of needing hospital treatment for coronavirus symptoms.
People on the shielding list include solid organ transplant recipients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, pregnant women with heart disease and people with severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and severe asthma.
Shielding and other advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable has been and remains advisory. Those affected by the changes will recieve a letter from the Department of Health.
What are the proposed changes?
From 6th July, the guidance will change so those shielding can meet in groups of up to six people from outside their household – outdoors with social distancing. For example, this could be a summer BBQ outside at a friend’s house, but remember it is still important to maintain social distancing and people should not share items such as cups and plates.
For those that live alone (or are a lone adult with dependent children under 18), they will be able to form a support bubble with another household.
From 1st August, people will no longer need to shield, and the advice will be that they can visit shops, places of worship and go to work if they can do safely and if they can continue to maintain rigorous social distancing.
Waleswood preparing for 4th July re-opening
Waleswood Caravan and Camping site, based at picturesque Rother Valley Country Park, is working towards re-opening on 4th July.
As expected, the Government confirmed today that caravan and campsites are amongst the attractions that will be allowed to reopen from Saturday 4th July.
For Waleswood to re-open safely, the capacity for both caravans and camping is being reduced to allow for a wider distance between visitors.
The use of communal facilities such as public toilets and showers will also be carefully managed with reduced opening times and a queue management system to limit the number of people using the facilities at any one time.
There will also be reduced opening times for the reception, coffee shop and shop with a limited menu takeaway service in place initially.
Bookings are being taken now at the website:
Active at Home guide
Public Health England have released their new Active at Home booklet which has been developed to support older people and those who are shielded to be active and healthy at home.
The booklet also includes handy exercises home workers can do at their desk and tips on how to stay healthy
Beware fraudsters trying to exploit Test & Trace service
Criminals are trying to exploit the new NHS Test and Trace service by extorting money from people for tests.
Fraudsters are pretending to be from the NHS Test and Trace Service and wrongly telling people they have been in contact with someone that has tested positive for coronavirus. They then demand money to cover the cost of a testing kit.
Testing is free and should only be arranged directly with the NHS by people displaying symptoms.
Research shows that more than one in three people in the UK have been targeted in scams since lockdown began.
If you suspect you’ve been targetted by scammers, please report it. Details are available on the Council’s website:
Temperatures could hit 30°c in Rotherham this week
Rotherham residents are being urged to prepare as temperatures are forecasted to soar above 30 degrees Celsius this week.
The Met Office has forecast an 80 per cent probability of hot and very hot temperatures across South Yorkshire.
Temperatures are expected to begin building today (Tuesday) with the hot weather peaking on Wednesday and lasting through to Friday. There is a chance of thunderstorms later in the week.
Conditions will stay very warm and humid at night which could lead to uncomfortable sleeping conditions.
Public Health England (PHE) advises people to keep safe in the sun, seek shade to cool down and keep hydrated with plenty of cool fluids.
However tempting it may be during periods of hot weather, members of the public are reminded not to go swimming in open water in reservoirs, rivers or canals, even if the water looks calm. There could be strong hidden currents or rubbish and debris under the water line as well as very cold temperatures which can hinder your swimming abilities.
Vulnerable groups, such as older people, can feel the acute effects of heat more than others. Residents are asked to be kind to elderly neighbours and those who may be shielding by checking on them where possible.
Top advice for being sun safe:
- Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
- Wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection, and wear a hat. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should minimise the risk of sunburn.
- Drink lots of cool drinks
- Look out for others, especially vulnerable groups such as the older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
Getting in touch…
During this challenging time please, where possible and appropriate, use our online services rather than calling via telephone. We’re receiving a high level of calls daily and want to ensure we’re able to answer urgent calls regarding vulnerable residents and our front line services.