Hospitality; tourism and leisure; as well as close contact businesses and venues are currently being asked to download their personalised QR code poster to display, so that people can scan it on the app as they walk in. We have been sharing this information with our local communities and businesses, to help make sure that they are aware and prepared.

The app allows people to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals that may have coronavirus. The app will help the NHS understand if the virus is spreading in a particular area, so local authorities can respond quickly to stop it spreading further and save lives. The app does this, while protecting a user's anonymity. Nobody, including the government, will know who or where a particular user is. Instead, your postcode district (the first part of your postcode) helps the app work out where the virus is spreading.

The app helps trace app users who have spent time near other app users, who they may not personally know, and who later test positive for coronavirus. The 'Check-in' feature supports this functionality by anonymously alerting users who have been at the same venue at the same time.

Without a vaccine or treatment, we all need to do all we can to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The new app is an important part of the Government's programme. By downloading and using the app, you'll be helping to protect those around you - friends, family, colleagues and local communities. The Government will be issuing lots more information about this over the coming days, so please watch out for this.

The Test and Trace Service is also asking people to only request a test for coronavirus if they have symptoms. A recent survey at testing centres found that a quarter of people turning up did not have symptoms. There is a very high demand for tests and it is vital that those with symptoms are tested to help stop the spread of the virus and so it is really important that you follow this advice. You can find out more at Gov.uk - Coronavirus .

We share the very latest information and guidance on our website at ; on our social media sites; and through our coronavirus email newsletter, which you can sign up to on our news alerts page I really would urge you to sign up for our email newsletter if you haven't already done so because this provides you with the latest local information.

At the time of writing this column, coronavirus cases are still low in our area - but this could change very quickly and so it is vital we are all continuing to wash our hands, wear face coverings where advised and follow social distancing rules. We also need to follow the 'rule of six'. This means that people can only meet in social groups of six both indoors and outdoors - except in work and education. It's worth looking at the Government's coronavirus FAQ page for further guidance. It is vital that we all play our part to keep everyone safe.

Last week, we joined the social media platform 'Next Door'. Many of you will already be familiar with this, because it enables local neighbourhoods to communicate with and support one another. We are not able to see the conversations you are having in your local community, but we are now able to communicate with you through this platform. We have had a huge response since joining - so thank you to all of those who have got in touch and those who have joined up to our Let's Talk Panel.

What you can be assured of, is that we are all continuing to work very hard to deliver our coronavirus recovery plan; support you; and carry out our normal day to day services. We have been continuing to issue community and business grants; providing advice and support; making sure that those who need our help the most are receiving it; and working closely with our partners in the fight against coronavirus.

I also want to thank you for the role that you are continuing to play in your communities by looking out for one another. We are lucky to have such caring and considerate residents and businesses within our district.

Best Wishes

 

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council