As things stand, our district is currently on 'medium' alert. This means that we all still need to continue to wash our hands, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and stay at least 2 metres apart - or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions. We must also continue to follow the rule of six - limiting any social gathering to six people indoors and outdoors. Infection rates are rising across the country and so it is vital that we all play our part to protect ourselves and others and avoid further restrictions. You can find out more at Gov.uk - Coronavirus or on our pages at .

If you haven't already done so, please also consider downloading the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app. It's the fastest way of knowing when you are at risk of coronavirus. The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones, and your community. The more people that sign up to the app, the better we can control coronavirus. The app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

This week, we have also introduced the test and trace self-isolation support scheme. Chichester District residents on a low income, who have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace since 28 September, and who meet the eligibility criteria, will qualify for a standard support payment of £500. You can check the criteria at Gov.uk - Coronavirus and then if you believe that you qualify you can apply online at Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme .

To continue to protect our loves ones, it's critically important that anyone who has coronavirus symptoms; those who have tested positive; or, those who have been notified that they are a close contact of someone with coronavirus, to self-isolate straight away. Applications need to be made within 14 days of receiving the notification from Test and Trace, and claims can be back dated to 28 September.

I also want to let you know that in response to the current coronavirus pandemic, we are assisting the NHS Test and Trace service by providing them with a section of our Northgate car park in Chichester for a new walk-through coronavirus test site. This service will be available by appointment only and we expect the site to be operational very soon. The majority of the car park will remain open for commuters, residents and visitors as usual.

Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing site will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, including: adhering to social distancing; not travelling in a taxi or on public transport; wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the testing centre); and washing their hands thoroughly before leaving for their appointment. This approach has been agreed with expert clinical oversight.

Testing is proving an effective way to contain the virus and so this facility will play an important role in keeping our residents safe. Testing is available to anyone with coronavirus symptoms and can be booked by visiting NHS - Coronavirus or by calling 119. Our priority is to work with our partners to respond to the current pandemic. Due to this, unfortunately the Sloe Fair will be unable to take place at Northgate car park this year. However, you can be assured that we are working closely with the organisers to make sure they maintain the right to hold the Sloe Fair in future years.

As the weather starts to get colder, please also check on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours. We are going to have some challenging months ahead and so it is more important than ever that we pull together to support those who need our help the most.

Please take care and stay safe.

Best Wishes

 

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council