Friday 9 April 2021
Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are providing regular email updates to let you know about the latest information we have on local and national measures to contain the virus, any changes to local services and support that’s available.
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Further information is available from www.rotherham.gov.uk/coronavirus
It is with great sadness that we hear of the death of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh today.
The Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Jenny Andrews has expressed extreme sadness at the announcement, on behalf of both the Council and the people of Rotherham.
You can read the Mayor’s full statement here.
Official flags are being flown at half-mast today at Rotherham Town Hall and at the main council building, Riverside House and will remain so until the day after the funeral.
As a further mark of respect and in line with national mourning, the Town Hall will be illuminated this evening.
If you wish to pay your own personal tribute, you can do so by signing a Book of Condolence on the Council’s website and on the Royal website.
Keep Rotherham open
From Monday 12 April, further easing of the lockdown restrictions will come into effect.
While many people will want to make the most out of the easing of the restrictions, the Council is reminding residents that COVID-19 cases in Rotherham are still high and that they must continue to follow the guidelines if we are to reduce the rate further and prevent more people becoming seriously ill.
From next week, the Council will be launching its Let’s Get Rotherham Moving campaign. You will see posters, signs and various other activity throughout Rotherham. Residents are being encouraged to:
- Follow the hands, face, space guidelines
- Get tested regularly
- Self-isolate if you test positive
Get involved with the campaign on social media and share how you’re helping by using #LetsGetRotherhamMoving.
What restrictions are in place from 12 April
You can meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible).
You must not meet indoors with anybody you do not live with, unless they are part of your support bubble.
‘Non-essential’ shops and hairdressers will be allowed to re-open, although covid safety measures will remain place. You will be able to visit pubs and restaurants but only outdoors and with table service.
Some public buildings will also re-open, including libraries and leisure centres.
You should continue to work from home if you can and minimise the number of journeys you make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.
Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.
Full details about the change to restrictions from 12 April is available from the Government website.
Nine of the Council’s libraries will be re-opening on Monday 12 April. They are Aston · Brinsworth · Kimberworth · Kiveton · Maltby · Mowbray Gardens · Rawmarsh · Swinton · Thurcroft
However, the libraries at Wath, Thorpe Hesley, Wickersley, Dinnington and Greasbrough will remain closed due to ongoing refurbishment works.
Riverside Library will also not be reopening as it continues to operate as a Lateral Flow Testing Centre (LFT).
There will be a few changes to how the libraries will operate due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please be aware of these changes when visiting your local library:
- Sites will open 30 minutes later and will close at 5:30pm
- All sites will close for one hour over lunch time
- There will be limits on the amount of people in the library at any one time
- The use of the hand sanitiser at the entrance is encouraged and a face mask must be worn upon entry (unless exempt)
- Libraries will be operating a track and trace system
- A one-way system will be in operation and two-metre social distancing must be observed
- There will be no seating or table areas for use
- There will be a limited service available to begin with to ensure the risk of cross contamination and help minimise the spread of Covid-19
- Limited use of PCs and will require a two hour maximum pre-booked slot (this can be booked on the self-serve machine or contacting the library to book a PC)
- Returned items must be dropped in the relevant box or at the self-service machine
There are no fines for the late return of books.
- No events or activities
- No printing or photocopying
- No one to one digital support
- No customer service appointments
- No payment facilities
Customers who may still feel nervous entering a library can still use the Order and Collect Service at Riverside House and all other open sites until the 30 June 2021.
Remember there will be no fines for items returned.
Leisure Centres across Rotherham will be re-opening from Monday 12 April 2021. They will be open for individual exercise or exercise with your household or support bubble only.
Indoor gyms and other sports facilities will remain closed.
You must not meet indoors for sport, except for:
- disability sport
- supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s (including those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020), this should be limited to 15 participants
Further information about opening times can be found here:
From today, all residents over the age of 18 can access free twice weekly rapid lateral-flow covid tests from the NHS to use at home.
Many people are already taking the tests through their workplace or school, but they are now available to everyone.
The tests can be collected from a local test site, selected pharmacies or delivered to your home and are for people that do not currently have Covid symptoms.
About 1 in 3 people who are carrying the Covid virus do not have symptoms but can still infect others. Getting regular tests is the only way to know for sure if you have the virus.
Further information about how to get the test kits is available from the NHS website.
If people test positive and self-isolate, it helps stop the virus spreading.
Remember, if you have Covid symptoms you should self-isolate and book an appointment to get tested immediately.
Workplace testing deadline has been extended
Businesses have just a few days to apply for workplace testing kits for those who are not able to work from home.
If you have 10 or more employees, from early April you’ll be able to order tests for your employees to collect from their workplace and use at home twice a week. You can do this if you cannot provide testing in the workplace.
You must register by 11:59pm on Monday 12 April 2021. If your business is closed or you cannot provide tests now, you should still register so you can order tests in the future.
We know that many of our residents will be celebrating Ramadan which will begin in the evening of Monday 12 April.
The British Islamic Medical Association are encouraging everyone who is offered the COVID-19 vaccination to get their jab during Ramadan.
The vaccination will not invalidate your fast but if you have any concerns or questions, speak to your local GP or Imam.
Likewise, if you’re in a public facing job such as working in a shop, in health and social care, or as a taxi driver, you should continue to get regular Lateral Flow tests part of the national testing offer.
Further information is available on the British Islamic Medical Association website
Over the past week, the number of COVID-19 cases in Rotherham have dropped significantly, however our infection remains as one of the highest in England.
With the new easing of restrictions on Monday 12 April, it is really important that everyone follows the social distancing guidelines, wears a face covering when in a public space, and washes their hands regularly to keep case numbers down.
The borough’s COVID-19 figures for this week are:
- Infection rate for today (7-day all age positive case rate relating to 3rd April) 91.9 cases per 100,000 population (nearly halved from 171.1 for 7 days to 27th Mar)
- Infection rate for today for people aged 60 years and over (7-day 60+ rate relating to 3rd Apr) 45.4 cases per 100,000 population (down from 52.7 for 7 days to 27th Mar)
- Covid-19 cases for the latest 7 days (28th Mar – 3rd Apr) 244, down from 454 for the week.
The Hospital’s regular weekly update on Wednesday reported that there were 17 inpatients in Rotherham Hospital who have tested positive for Covid, a reduction from 24 last week.
Three Covid patients were in critical care, which is an increase from last week’s figure.
This brings the total number of people to be treated in hospital for Covid since the start of the pandemic to 2,542.