You will be aware that the Government has announced a number of significant changes during the past week or so. From 4 July, many more businesses are to reopen and other restrictions eased – you can read FAQs about what you can and can’t do from 4 July here. From 6 July, updated guidance for people who have been shielding will come into effect – please see more below about this.
Despite this sense that more people will be returning to more of their normal activities, there is still a huge amount of support our communities need at this time, and the work of community groups will continue to be vitally important. We simply could not have supported people in the way we have without your efforts, and I want to thank you once again: thank you.
Shielding to be relaxed from 6 July
You will know that guidance for shielding people is to be relaxed from 6 July. From that date, anyone shielding will be able to spend more time outdoors, meeting up to six other people. Social distancing will not be needed with other members of their own household and people shielding who live alone can join a support bubble with another household. They can also be in each other’s homes.
From 1 August, people will be advised that they no longer need to shield. This group will then be able to visit shops or other public places, and return to work if they can’t work from home. However, they still need to follow social distancing. Government food parcels will also end, on 31 July, but supermarkets will continue priority online slots beyond that date. It might be helpful to be aware of Age UK’s shopping service for people aged 65+ or vulnerable people who need help to get their weekly groceries.
Letters will begin to go out to people shielding from the virus over the next few days and information will also be included in food parcels. The Government will also retain a list in case there is a need for shielding to be reintroduced in the future.
SCDC Food Hub
We have been running an emergency out of hours hub to fulfil residents’ emergency food/baby supplies requirements. We have reduced the hours the hub is open, so the team will now be checking for messages between 9am and 5pm, 7 days a week. We were operating until 8pm each day but demand over the last few weeks has dropped considerably. We will continue to monitor demand for the service and consider whether weekends are needed in a few more weeks.
Test and Trace
A document attached describes the NHS Test and Trace model Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are adopting to help control and contain Coronavirus.
Positive Difference Fund
The first half of Anglian Water’s £1 million Positive Difference Fund is available now to provide emergency funds for community organisations supporting people who are isolated, considered high risk and in need of practical support during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Eligible organisations will be able to apply through their local Community Foundation branch for grants from between £1,000 and £5,000. Organisations like food banks, outreach programmes and those helping the most vulnerable can ask for support to help those shielding or suffering from financial hardship, homelessness, loneliness and isolation. Anglian Water also offers support to customers through Extra Care Support, a service which helps customers to manage payments and debt through a range of tariffs and payment arrangements.
Psychological first aid
Staff and volunteers at the forefront of the national Coronavirus response across England are now able to access a new Psychological First Aid training course. The course has been developed by Public Health England and will be available to frontline workers and volunteers dealing with the public during the Coronavirus pandemic. It will enable responders to develop their skills and confidence in providing key psychological support to people affected by Coronavirus, including on issues such as job worries, bereavement or isolation as they carry out their vital work as part of the ongoing coronavirus response.
It will also help to develop understanding of how emergencies like the Coronavirus pandemic can affect us all, how to recognise people who may be at increased risk of distress, and how to offer practical and emotional support. You can sign up for the course here.
Booking system for HRCs extended
Cambridgeshire County Council has announced that all visitors to Milton and Thriplow Household Recycling Centres will need to book a slot to access the sites from next week. This is in addition to a booking system for all sites that was recently introduced for vans and trailers requiring e-permits. From Monday (29 June) you will only be able to visit the HRCs if you have pre-booked a slot. The booking system opened on 23 June. Please visit the County Council’s website for further information.
Leader South Cambridgeshire District Council