On this page you can find the latest guidance and details about how to find out more information.

The latest Government position:

The Prime Minister announced on 23 March that everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:

 

 

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

Gatherings of more than two people in public are banned, unless they are members of your own household, and social events, weddings and baptisms cannot go ahead - but funerals can.

Full advice for staying at home and away from others can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

The Government also announced that most non-essential shops are closed however there are some exceptions where businesses can open. For a full list, please see the Coronavirus guidance note - further businesses and premises to close

If you would like to report a business that is continuing to operate, which according to the guidance should be closed, please report it to: healthprotection@chichester.gov.uk along with:

  • your details (name, address, telephone number)
  • details of the business alleged to be trading in contravention to the regulations (name, address, contact details), and
  • details of when and how the business is/was operating.

For an update on the status of all of our council services, please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus

 

Council service status

 

Council services
Please click on the following link for an update on the status of all council services: www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus
 

Council meetings

We are monitoring the situation very closely and are reviewing council meetings on a case by case basis based on the latest Government guidance. 

The following meeting has been cancelled:

  • 7 April - Cabinet meeting - Cancelled

 

What can I and can't I do during the outbreak?

The Cabinet Office has published frequently asked questions and answers on what the public can and can't do during the coronavirus outbreak.

You can find this here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

What to do if you have symptoms or at high risk

The Government has updated staying at home Coronavirus - advice for households with possible coronavirus infection .

Do not leave your home if you have either:

  • a high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
     

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.

How long to stay at home:

  • if you live alone and have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms

Full advice from the NHS, including information on the symptoms and how to prevent the spread of coronavirus, is available on the NHS website.

The Government has also issued  Coronavirus - advice for people at high risk

What is self isolation and how do I do this?

It is very important that individuals with symptoms that may be due to coronavirus and their household members stay at home. Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community, and particularly the most vulnerable.

The Government has also issued guidance for people about how to self isolate. .

What is social distancing and how do I do this?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is especially important for:

  • people with long-term health conditions (check the government guidance on social distancing for a full list)
  • people who are 70 or over
  • people who are pregnant
  • people who have a weakened immune system

The Government has issued advice on social distancing as well as specific advice to help protect older people and vulnerable adults, which can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

 

What to do to help prevent the virus speading

The Prime Minister announced on 23 March that everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

Gatherings of more than two people in public are banned, unless they are members of your own household, and social events, weddings and baptisms cannot go ahead - but funerals can.

The Government has issued  Coronavirus - advice for people at high risk

We are reminding everyone to follow this advice from Public Health England:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Full advice from the NHS, including information on symptoms and how to prevent the spreading of coronavirus, is available on the NHS website.

The Government has also issued advice for care homes, vulnerable and older people, which can be found  on the adult social care guidance page of the Government's website. .

A message about travel

We are reminding people that they must follow the Government's message to stay home, protect the NHS, save lives. We are discouraging people from coming to our area for a holiday, a day out, or to visit their second homes in the district, during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Government has closed lots of non-essential businesses and these include caravans, B&Bs and hotels. However, there are some exemptions, including when people are unable to travel home, or they have no other permanent home. What's really important is that people don't consider travelling into the district unless it is in-line with the Governments advice on essential travel. It's vital we all play our part to protect our NHS and help to save lives.

For more information about the importance of staying at home, please see: www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

Mental health and wellbeing

Guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing

Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-advice-to-support-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

Advice and support for businesses

Social distancing

Please read the Coronavirus - social distancing for businesses  from the Government which details which businesses have been asked to close to help reduce the spread of the virus.

The Government has also issued advice on social distancing

Health advice

The Government has issued guidance to assist employers and businesses  in providing advice to staff about coronavirus.

Government support

The Government has announced new measures to support businesses during this challenging time. These include:

  • an increase the Retail Rates Discount
  • the reintroduction of Pubs Relief, and
  • grants for businesses that recieve Small Business Rate Relief, Rural Rate Relief, and for businesses operating in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries in small premises

Please find more information on our Council Tax and Benefits Frequently Asked Questions page: www.chichester.gov.uk/taxandbenefitsfaq or visit  Coronavirus - support for businesses

You can also find more information about business supoort at: www.chichester.gov.uk/businesssupportfaqs or visit  the Government's website.

Help for those in the sport and arts sector

Sport England have announced that funding is now available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the coronavirus crisis. This includes the opportunity for local clubs and community organisations can bid for grants of between £300 and £10,000 through the Community Emergency Fund, as well as a range of other support measures. For more information, please visit: https://www.sportengland.org/news/195-million-package-help-sport-and-physical-activity-through-coronavirus

Arts Council England are offering financial support to individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector during the coronavirus crisis. Funding is available for National Portfolio Holders, as well as organisations that are not in receipt of regular Arts Council funding, and freelancers. For more information on this, and other support being offered to the cultural sector, please visit: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19
 

Our role and latest updates

We are working closely with our partners, including Public Health England, which is leading the national response to the coronavirus outbreak.


Different services and government agencies are responsible for leading different parts of our response:

  • Department for Health & Social Care (DHSC): the Chief Medical Officer for England confirms each incident

  • Public Health England (PHE): co-ordinate the response, information and advice on the Coronavirus (Covid-19)

  • NHS: local and national NHS services are working on the front line to test individuals, and provide advice through calls to NHS 111

  • West Sussex County Council: provides local public health leadership by working in partnership to safeguard the county.  They are working with system partners via the LHRP (Local Health Resilience Partnership) and LRF (Local Resilience Forum) to ensure appropriate application of the Sussex pandemic Plan.


Latest Update from Chichester District Council

Thursday 2 April 2020

www.twitter.com/ChichesterDC

www.facebook.com/ChichesterDistrictCouncil

This briefing is to keep you updated on the evolving situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) and the actions being taken in the district.


Who does it affect?

  • Residents and businesses within the district
  • Chichester District Council staff and councillors
  • Parish councils
  • Community groups and charitable organisations


In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Community hub is open
  • Coast to Capital small business grants
  • Support for businesses
  • Accommodation, food and support for rough sleepers
  • Advice on waste disposal
  • Hardship fund
  • Council tax help
  • Customer Services
  • Local Plan
  • Sports England funding
  • Arts Council England funding
  • Please do not visit the district


Latest update

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma MP, last night spoke about the support that was available for local businesses.  He also provided more information about increases in testing.

Professor Yvonne Doyle also said that there had been a rise in motor vehicle traffic that was 'concerning' and again urged people to stay at home.

The emphasis continues to be on the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. These actions slow the opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person and this saves lives.

Everyone should:

  • stay at home
  • only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus. The advice is to stay home and save lives.
 

Service status

Please visit www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus for the latest information.


Community hub is open

As a council, we are working in partnership with West Sussex County Council, which has developed a Community Hub to support the most vulnerable residents in our communities. You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help, or if you want to volunteer your services in these difficult times. This will be available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. The team will be contacting the most vulnerable to tell them how to get help. The best way to contact the hub is online; if you have access go to www.westsussex.gov.uk/covid19communityhub. A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 033 022 27980. We are trying to keep the resources available through the hub for those who are most vulnerable, so if you do have support in place already, such as from family or friends, then please continue to use their support.


Community guide to be launched next week

We have produced a community guide, which offers advice to community groups and residents. We hope that this will be available next week.


Coast to Capital small business grants

Coast to Capital has set up a Backing Business Grants Fund of £2 million to help small businesses and social enterprises in the region. If you have a business in the district with a workforce of between five and 50 and have been trading for more than two years with a turnover of under £10 million you may be eligible for a grant of between £5,000 to £25,000. More information on how to apply can be found here https://www.coast2capital.org.uk/backing-business-grants


Support for businesses

Our Economic Development Team has spoken to over 350 businesses offering support and guidance. We've also been sending details out about the business rate relief and grant schemes, as well as directing people to all of the other Government business support that is available. Our Revenue and Benefits team has also sent communications out to all of those who are eligible for business rate relief.


Accommodation, food and support for rough sleepers

We want to assure you that we are also doing everything we can to help rough sleepers during the current crisis. We are especially conscious that rough sleepers face particular health risks and so we have offered accommodation to all known rough sleepers.  The majority have taken up the council's offer and are now in accommodation. However, there are a small number of long term rough sleepers who continue to refuse all help. In these cases we provide advice and guidance around the need for self-isolation and signpost to the support that is available.

We will continue to support rough sleepers once they are in accommodation by ensuring that they have a phone, food supplies and are in regular contact with a key worker. Support will also be available through Stonepillow day centres in Chichester and Bognor, which are providing food and access to other services. It is worth noting that in order to meet social distancing guidance; the centres are limited to a certain number of people at any one time. We are supporting this work by providing staff to assist Stonepillow at the Chichester Hub. Sainsburys has kindly donated food to Stonepillow, Four Streets and Heart, all of whom are continuing to provide fantastic support to those who need it the most at this difficult time.

This week, our staff have been helping Stonepillow to make up food parcels and deliver these to rough sleepers in our district. In one day, they collected 500 loaves of bread and a ton of cheese! Thank you to our colleagues Sarah, Ralph, and Trudie, and to the whole team at Stonepillow. Great work!

 

Advice on waste disposal

The government has published advice on waste disposal for people with possible or confirmed coronavirus. Personal waste, such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.  These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.  Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

We are doing all we can to continue to collect your waste and recycling as usual, but there may be times where this may be affected. If this is the case, please place your bin out on your next fortnightly collection day. At the moment, our priority is to collect household rubbish and household recycling. Please also follow our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on all of our services.

Thank you to everyone who has been sending their messages of thanks and support to our refuse crews on our social media pages. We've received over 120 messages of support so far and they really have put a smile on our refuse workers faces. We've been sending your messages of support each day to the screens in their cabs.

Read more about our waste and recycling services here www.chichester.gov.uk/wasteandrecyclingfaqs


Hardship fund

The government has announced a Hardship Fund to support those residents who are financially struggling. Residents who are eligible for the support will have their award automatically credited to their Council Tax bill. Residents do not need to contact us to receive this payment because we have all of the relevant details. The benefits team will be processing these payments as quickly as possible and currently estimates that this will be done during April.


Council Tax help 

www.chichester.gov.uk/taxandbenefitsfaq

If anyone is concerned about being able to pay council tax bills due to the impact of the coronavirus, please let us know as soon as possible. The best way is to visit www.chichester.gov.uk/counciltax, or contact by email revenues@chichester.gov.uk. If you do not have online access, please call us on 01243 785166. Please note that due to high call volumes we recommend using our online services in the first instance wherever possible.


Customer services

Staff are working hard to improve the customer service options available both online and through the council switchboard.

Teams are currently dealing with high call volumes and so we are encouraging people to use our online services or contact us by email in the first instance if they have online access.This will keep essential lines free for those with an urgent need or those without access to the internet. For those who need to contact us by phone, they should call 01243 785166.


Local Plan

Cllr Eileen Lintill, Leader of Chichester District Council and Cllr Susan Taylor, Deputy Leader of Chichester District Council, have written to the Secretary of State to ask for a delay to the Local Plan. It is important that our focus is supporting our local communities right now and we hope that they will take this into consideration. In the meantime, work is continuing.

 

Sport England funding

Sport England is making up to £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. The package is made up of: 

  • a £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid into. Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available.
  • a £5 million pot for existing partners to bid into if they're facing specific financial difficulty
  • an additional £55 million to support our sector during an ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and, when the period of restrictions is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment 
  • a £115 million rollover of current funding into 2021/22 to give long term certainty to over 100 well established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England. 

Alongside this, due to cash flow concerns in the sector, Sport England have also agreed to consider requests to release six months of the coming year's funding (50% of awards) to partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner. Further details can be found at the following link: www.sportengland.org/news/195-million-package-help-sport-and-physical-activity-through-coronavirus
 

Arts Council England funding

Arts Council England will offer individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector new financial support during this crisis, totalling £160m.  They have repurposed all of their investment strands to be able to offer this support.

They will be making £90m available to National Portfolio Organisations to reboot their creative work but also understand it may be required to alleviate financial pressures on these organisations.

£50m will be made available to organisations that are not in receipt of regular funding from the Arts Council. They can apply for up to £35,000 to support business resilience as well as enable cultural organisations to develop new public facing activity during the Covid-19 emergency, for example, organisations who have new ideas to harness the power of digital in sharing creativity at the moment.

They are also supporting artists, creative practitioners and freelancers with £20m of financial support available to individuals so they can better sustain themselves and their work in the coming months. Further details can be found at the following link: www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19

 

Please do not visit the district

We have published the below messages on social media to anyone who is thinking of visiting our district this weekend.

"We are used to welcoming people and sharing the beauty of our district with everyone, but now is not the time to visit the Chichester District. We need you to stay at home and keep safe. Social distancing is vital and we all need to play our part in supporting our NHS workers battle this virus. We can't wait to welcome you back when this crisis is over. Thank you for your understanding."

 

Waste and recycling collections

Due to staff shortages, we are prioritising domestic waste (black bins) and recycling (burgundy bins). 

Please put the relevant bin out for collection on your normal day and, with exception of customers that receive an assisted collection, place them at the roadside for ease of collection. This requirement extends to owners of isolated properties and those with private drives.

In all cases, please leave your bin out for collection all day as our crews may be arriving later than usual. We will do all we can to collect your waste but if this is not possible please keep hold of it and present it on your next normal collection day.  We recognise this isn't ideal but your support and cooperation is greatly appreciated at this challenging time.

Due to the scale of this unprecedented problem we are unable receive reports of missed bins either online or by phone. If your bin has been missed, please leave it out for collection on your next normal collection day and keep an eye out for updates on this page.

For updates on our waste and recycling service and for Frequently Asked Questions about this service, please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/wasteandrecyclingfaqs

Community services and volunteering advice

Volunteering

The volunteer hub, which is being managed by West Sussex County Council, is now up and running. This will co-ordinate support for vulnerable people without any support networks and those wanting to volunteer. West Sussex County Council  have created an electronic form on their website www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure-recreation-and-community/supporting-local-communities/community-hub-covid-19/#overview or people can call 033022 27980. Only those that need support should register. Those who have support networks in place - such as friends, family and neighbours should continue using the support they have. This means that we can focus our efforts on those most in need.

Our district is renowned for its generosity and its incredible volunteer groups. The role of volunteers at this time is invaluable. We are working with West Sussex County Council and Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester. If you wish to get involved in voluntary activities, please contact Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester by contacting www.vaac.org.uk. More information on further initiatives will follow soon.


EU Settlement Scheme Applications: Important Message About COVID-19 from the Home Office

While EU Settled Status applications continue to be processed, during this challenging time they will take longer than usual. In addition, in line with the latest Public Health England advice some of our support services and application routes have temporarily changed. Please find an outline of these changes below:

  • The Settlement Resolution Centre will no longer be answering telephone calls.  It will, however, continue to respond to email enquiries and provide a call back function when required. Email enquiries can be made via the online contact form: https://eu-settled-status-enquiries.service.gov.uk/start. Emails from support organisations will be prioritised where possible.  

  • ID document scanner locations are following all the latest Public Health England advice to protect staff and the decision has been made to suspend them at this time.  

  • The postal route for submitting Identity evidence is currently suspended. Documents cannot be accepted by post at this time, but all documents already sent will be returned as quickly as possible. Applications can still be madeonline using the EU Exit ID Document check app.

  • 57 grant funded voluntary and community sector organisations — some services have been suspended but organisations are seeking to provide support in other ways, in line with social distancing guidance, for example via telephone and online. Please check individual organisations for further details: www.gov.uk/help-eu-settlement-scheme

For the latest information on the scheme please visit www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
 

For updates on our community services and for Frequently Asked Questions about this service, along with volunteering advice, please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/communitiesfaqs
 

Housing services and homelessness support

For updates and Frequently Asked Questions about our Housing services and homelessness support, please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/housingfaqs

Council tax and benefits

For updates and Frequently Asked Questions about our Council Tax and Benefits services, please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/taxandbenefitsfaq

Updates from other organisations

Here are some useful links to updates and information from other organisations

Where can I find more information?

The latest Department of Health & Social Care and Public Health England information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available to read on the Government website.

Information about the number of cases, countries and specified areas affected by COVID-19 is also available on the Government website