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
Face coverings are mandatory in shops from tomorrow
The wearing of face coverings will become mandatory in enclosed public spaces including shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, indoor transport hubs, banks, building societies and post offices from tomorrow, 24th July.
The Government has released more detailed guidance, both for the public and for businesses today.
The new requirements mean face coverings must also be worn in indoor railway stations, airports, maritime ports, and indoor bus and coach stations or terminals, such as Rotherham Interchange.
And you’ll need to wear one if you’re collecting food from a takeaway – but not if you’re eating in.
Evidence suggests that face coverings may reduce the chances of someone with the infection passing it on to others, particularly if they are asymptomatic and don’t know they are carrying the virus.
In Rotherham, we’re urging you to please adhere to the new guidance to help protect your loved ones and Keep Rotherham Open.
The Police and British Transport Police can issue fines of £100 can be issued for non-compliance but the Government says that ultuimately, the responsibility for wearing a face covering – and playing our part to reduce the spread of the virus – sits with us all, as individuals.
Face coverings are not mandatory for:
- anyone under the age of 11
- those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering
Public Health England is warning parents not to buy coverings for babies and young children because of the risk of choking or suffocation.
Wearing a face covering is not mandatory in other venues that have measures in place to protect staff and the public from COVID-19, including eat-in restaurants and pubs, hairdressers and salons, gyms and leisure centres, cinemas, concert halls and theatres
Rotherham’s Director of Public Health explains how the Intelligence-led testing strategy is helping us hone in on the local areas where infection rates are highest.
Teresa Roche has praised the phenomenal response of local people, which has seen more than 10,000 people tested for Covid-19 in the borough and said that the emphasis is now shifting to people with symptoms, however mild and those who think they may have come into contact with someone who has the virus.
She said; “The data we collect from testing will help us to find any pockets of concern so that we can be more targeted with our response.
“We are now asking that anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are very mild, or anyone who has cause for concern that they have been in contact with someone with the virus, to get tested.”
You must book an appointment to get tested. Booking is essential to ensure there are enough testing kits available for those that need them.
To book a test, you can visit the NHS website. You can only use the 119 telephone number to book a test if you have symptoms.
To Keep Rotherham open, it’s essential that we continue to:
- Keep two metres apart from other people whenever possible
- Wash your hands regularly
- Wear a face covering when advised
- Get tested if you start to show symptoms
Elections canvass is underway – please respond
The annual elections canvass has started this week.
The Government has introduced some changes to the way the canvass works this year, so you will only need to respond if you’re asked to do so in the letter or email you receive.
The initial batch of letters, sent this week, will be to households who must respond. The letter will be addressed to ‘The householder’.
If we hold a verified email address for somebody registered to vote at a property, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org – giving you the chance to provide details securely online. If you provide your information this way we won’t need to bother you with a follow-up letter.
For those households that only need to respond if there are any changes to the information we have, letter will be issued in mid-August.
Further information about the canvass is available from our website:
The 2021 national Census will now include a question to provide information on whether someone has served in HM Armed Forces, following a campaign by the Royal British Legion, backed by Rotherham Council.
The ‘Count Them In’ campaign is part of the Legion’s ongoing work to champion the interests, welfare, and contributions of the Armed Forces Community.
The decision to include the question on the 2021 census will provide the Legion, Councils, other military charities and public bodies with valuable information to ensure they can best meet the needs of serving personnel, veterans and their families.
It has been estimated that there are 2.4 million veterans currently living in Great Britain but little is currently known about the exact numbers, location and needs of this significant group.
Further information about Rotherham’s Armed Forces covenant and services available for the forces community in the borough is available from the Council’s website:
TV Licenses for over-75s – reminder
If you are aged 75 or over and hold a free TV Licence which has expired or is due to expire on the 31st July 2020, you don’t need to do anything to stay licensed until you are contacted by TV Licensing.
The BBC has announced that free licences for all but some of the most vulnerable over-75s will be scrapped from next month. The change was initially delayed by two months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but is now set to come into force.
TV Licensing will write to all over 75 licence holders starting in August abnout what they should do. There’s no need to do anythign until you receice a letter.
To be eligible for the new BBC scheme:
- The licence holder must be 75 years or older
- you, or your partner living at the same address, must receive Pension Credit
This also applies if you currently have a free over 75 TV Licence that is due to expire at the end of July.
To claim pension credit, you must be 65 or over and be on a low income.
You can find out if you are eligible for Pension Credit by clicking on the link below and visiting the Government website or by calling 0800 99 1234