This briefing focuses on local issues and updates from the County Council including Notices of Election, a Solent LEP business event and local claimant counts.
The briefing also provides an update on national guidance and announcements and the latest national data on vaccinations, cases and deaths.
Please note that during the pre-election period of restricted activity, the Covid-19 briefings will only report Covid-19 council business and factual national information regarding the pandemic. The briefings will continue to follow the usual pattern (Mon, Wed and Fri) but may not be issued if there is insufficient new information to report.
Members are kindly reminded to direct any coronavirus related queries and comments to the dedicated inbox - firstname.lastname@example.org
Solent LEP event
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), in partnership with Federation of Small Business, is working to deliver an event for business to navigate the way ahead in a post-Covid era. On Friday 26 March they are hosting a free webinar on ‘how reopening may impact on you and your people’. The virtual business support session will aim to help business owners to take stock of the last year and look ahead as the economy starts to open again. More information is available online.
Notices of election
On Monday (22 March), the statutory Notices of Election were published, ahead of the Hampshire County Council elections on Thursday 6 May. The published Notices of Election can be viewed on the County Council’s public notices webpage.
The County Council is reminding residents who plan to vote in person on 6 May, that polling stations will be Covid-safe places. The Authority has been working closely with government, members of the electoral community and Public Health Hampshire to ensure the most up to date public health guidance is in place. Covid-safe measures at polling stations will include hand sanitiser at the entrances and floor markings to remind people of the importance of keeping a safe distance. Voters will be asked to wear a face covering and bring their own pen or pencil, and should not attend the polling station if they have symptoms of Covid-19, or have been asked to self-isolate. Those that would rather not attend a polling station on 6 May, are reminded that they can vote by post or proxy.
National Covid-19 cases, deaths and vaccines data
The Covid-19 vaccination daily data shows that up to 22 March, a total of 28,327,873 people have received the 1st dose and a total of 2,363,684 people have received the 2nd dose.
As of 4pm on 23 March, the total number of people tested positive for Covid-19 was 4,307,304 and daily number of lab-confirmed cases was 5,379. The total number of Covid-19 associated deaths within 28 days of a positive test was 126,284 with 112 deaths reported on the day. The data is available to view online.
The R number range for the UK is 0.6 – 0.9 and the growth rate range -6% to -3% per day as of 19 March.
New ‘roadmap regulations’
The new Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 has published. The regulations, which effectively put the Government’s roadmap into law, will be voted on by MPs on Thursday and will come into law from Monday 29 March.
Coronavirus Act one-year report: March 2021
The Department of Health and Social Care has published the statutory one-year report on the Coronavirus Act.
Marriages and civil partnerships
The guidance for people planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England has been updated to reflect the roadmap out of the current lockdown.
Stay at home guidance
The guidance on what you can and cannot do has been updated to include a summary of changes to the rules from 29 March and new translations.
Testing for foster carers
The Department for Education has updated the guidance for children’s social care services to reflect the extension of the asymptomatic testing programme to foster carers and staff of open residential children’s homes.
Children’s Commissioner survey
The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, has started a major review of the future of childhood. The review begins with ‘The Big Ask’: a survey of children, to gather children’s views on what the Government should prioritise in planning the recovery from the Covid-19 outbreak.
Adults’ social care and public health
Test and Trace support payment
The guidance on claiming financial support via the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme has been updated to reflect that claims can be made up to 42 days after the first day of the self-isolation period, and that the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme has been extended to parents and guardians who need to take time off work to care for a child who is self-isolating.
Environment, transport and travel
Guidance outlining which jobs qualify for exemptions from quarantine, the passenger locator form, or Covid-19 testing requirements has been updated with new details about exemptions for essential and emergency work.
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