As of 27th March, there have been 37 confirmed cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) in South Gloucestershire. Given the current testing regime, the actual number is expected to be significantly higher than this. In order to help combat this, the Council is urging you to:
- Only go outside for food, health reasons, work (but only if you cannot work from home), or one exercise session per day. Do not go outside if you have been contacted by the NHS and given ‘shielding’ advice.
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home.
In response to the continued Coronavirus crisis, the Government has now past the Coronavirus Act 2020, which includes the postponement of all elections. You can find more information about the act and what it means for you here.
Some of the additional measure that have been put in place include:
- The government is giving financial backing for free car parking at trusts and in council car parks.
- All vehicle owners will be granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing from 30 March 2020, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.
- Public Health England has published new guidance on how to help people safely. This is aimed at people who are providing essential support to friends, family and neighbours who are in isolation.
A new Whatsapp service has been set up to provide trustworthy information and advice about coronavirus. Simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts then send the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
During this time, mental health and well-being is important, for more information on this, please visit this page .
When it comes to a response at a council level, we’re working to ensure that the people who the government has asked to shield for 12 weeks have the provisions and medication they need. We should receive emergency food supplies shortly which staff will package into food parcels for delivery in the coming days.
These supplies are being provided so that we can deliver immediate support to those who have been asked to shield themselves at home and who do not have access to friends, family, neighbours or other local support networks to go shopping for them, etc.
Over time, food will be provided direct by the suppliers and medication by community pharmacies. We will continue to support in providing any wrap around social care required.
Our HR team is working with managers to redeploy staff who are unable to perform their normal roles, matching their skills to bolster our essential services. Staff who usually work in school catering, finance, IT and HR have joined the community meals team to help ensure our most vulnerable residents continue to receive healthy, hot meals during the coronavirus outbreak.
Some office-based staff from our StreetCare team have been retrained and redeployed to work on the waste and recycling vehicles and help with essential household waste collections.
The government has provided the council with additional emergency funding to support our response to this emergency.
More work is ongoing nationally to identify what future levels of funding local government will need over the remainder of this year. The government has already paid the council most of next year’s grants to aid cashflow.
This is an ever-changing situation as we follow government guidance and deal with staff shortages.
Our service disruption page will be kept up to date with all changes to our services. The council website now features information for residents, businesses and carers during the coronavirus outbreak. We are adding a webform to take enquiries where answers cannot be found on the website.
We are working with schools to maintain access to education for vulnerable children, children with education, health and care plans (EHCPs) and also key workers’ children. However, the overriding message we need to stress to all parents is the importance of social distancing at this time and the very clear government guidance in relation to this.
This is the letter we sent to all schools (maintained and academies) to pass on to parents: Letter to parents 20 March 2020
Parents and carers are telling us that they feel unprepared and overwhelmed at this time. They have also provided positive feedback about the council’s engagement and support to them to date. We recognise that their role is to reassure their child as best they can and to support their child’s and their own wellbeing. We are encouraging parents and carers to visit our Find information for adults, children and families website, which includes a ministerial open letter, a local message of support and signposting to resources.
We have prepared information and learning packages for parents, carers and teachers to use with children at home or in school. You can find these on the home learning website.
We have issued a range of information and guidance materials to support the increasing number of community groups that are springing up in neighbourhoods across the district.
The Community Aid South Glos pack is available online at:
We have gone live with the Small Business Grant and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund.
Letters are in the post to over 3,000 potential claimants, information is on our social media channels and we are emailing our business contacts.
We have re-billed the first tranche of businesses to apply the new government discounts, more will follow once the national software is upgraded.
For our current welfare support options, including information on the new hardship fund visit www.southglos.gov.uk/
Adult social care – Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Access to PPE for our care staff and that of our care providers is one of our most urgent issues currently.
This week, both Cllr Toby Savage, the Leader of the Council and Dave Perry, Chief Executive, have escalated this issue at every opportunity. The Secretary of State for Housing and Local Government has assured us that the army is now assisting in getting PPE delivered. This will continue to be top priority for the council’s senior leadership team.