To Help with Inspiration and keep Spirits up.

To help with inspiration and to keep spirits up, here is some digitally accessible culture from Bristol City Council

Bristol Museums, A dose of culture from home
Watch theatre, music and dance shows at home during the COVID-19 pandemic (ongoing list) Culture to your couch: arts you can experience at home
How to explore the British Museum from home
Take a virtual tour of the National Gallery
Tate online displays
see Bansky’s street art, virtually

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Latest Government Guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19): health, care and volunteer workers parking pass and concessions

Published 3 April 2020

Contents

–   How to use the pass

–   COVID-19 parking concessions – general guidance

–   What to do in the event of enforcement action

This pass provides evidence of entitlement to free parking for those on duty as an NHS staff member, health or social care worker, or NHS Volunteer Responder.  This is to enable them to access parking concessions in local authority-owned off-street car parks and on-street bays during the COVID-19 emergency response period.

The pass does not replace any existing permit that has been issued by a local authority for COVID-19 parking concessions, which you should continue to use.  You can also continue to use any other evidence of entitlement to these parking concessions that has previously been accepted by your local authority.

Everyone who is entitled to COVID-19 parking concessions, as well as local authority parking enforcement, should read the following general guidance.

How to use the pass

Passes will be made available through NHS Trusts, local authorities and the Royal Voluntary Service.  If you are a Direct Payments’ employer and need a pass for your PAs, contact We Are Bristol on 0800 694 0184 (currently operating 8:30am-5:00pm Mon-Fri and 10:00am-2.00pm Sat-Sun) or email: coronavirus@bristol.gov.uk

and request one.

  1. You should clearly write your registration number and name of your employer where indicated. For NHS Volunteer Responders please put Royal Voluntary Service as your employer.
  2. Display your pass on the dashboard where it can be clearly seen through a windscreen with the printed side facing up.
  3. If the detail on the pass becomes illegible you should print and complete a new one.

When the pass is clearly displayed and used in accordance with these guidance notes, pass users will not usually receive PCNs and should not be towed away, unless they are parked causing a serious obstruction.

COVID-19 parking concessions – general guidance

  • Parking concessions for COVID-19 can only be used when on official duty as an NHS staff member, health and social care worker or NHS Volunteer Responder.  Local authorities, NHS Trusts and the Royal Voluntary Service will be distributing the pass to those they deem to be eligible within this definition.  NOTE: Personal Assistants count as health and social care workers.
  • Please check carefully whether a car park is council or privately owned or operated before parking.  This COVID-19 parking concession is available in council owned and operated off-street car parks, on the public highway and on council maintained housing estates only.
  • Similar concessions may be available in some private car parks during the COVID-19 emergency response, but you should check with operators locally as to where these apply and whether any additional information is required.  For example, you may need to register your vehicle registration with the operator to gain a concession before parking.  Car parks which use Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology (ANPR) may issue a Penalty Charge Notice even if a vehicle is temporarily parked, whilst terms and conditions are being read.
  • Pass users, whilst on official duty, can park in on-street dedicated parking bays such as; pay to park bays and residents’ bays without having to pay.
  • If there are no alternative parking spaces available, users can park on single yellow lines, with the exception of:
  • those where additional loading restrictions apply (look for kerb markings and loading restriction times shown on upright signs), or
  • those that are within 10 metres of a junction.
  • Concession users are advised to park considerately and safely.  They must always ensure that they do not cause an obstruction or endanger other road users and must not stay in a parking place for any longer than is necessary.
  • If the pass or other previously agreed permit/evidence is not displayed correctly, a Civil Enforcement Officer may not be able to establish that you are on duty and may issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
  • This scheme will last for as long as government deems necessary, as part of its COVID-19 response. The end of the scheme will be publicly communicated. COVID-19 parking concessions must not be used beyond the date upon which you are advised that they have ceased.
  • Concessions do not apply on-street in the following places:
  • parking at your normal place of residence or other locations whilst not at work or volunteering
  • on double yellow lines
  • on single yellow lines within 10 metres of a junction
  • where loading and unloading restrictions (kerb markings) are in operation
  • zig zag lines at pedestrian crossings
  • keep clear markings outside a school, a hospital or fire, police or ambulance station
  • dropped kerbs
  • bus stops
  • suspended bays
  • Disabled bays
  • police bays
  • ambulance bays
  • car club bays
  • electric vehicles bays
  • red routes.

If you have a Blue Badge, the Blue Badge rules apply.

  • Any parking outside of the concessions guidance may result in the receipt of a PCN.

What to do in the event of enforcement action

  • If you do receive a PCN please contact the issuing local authority and explain that you were on official duties.
  • If a vehicle showing the pass or other previously accepted evidence or permit needs to be relocated due to it causing an obstruction, every effort will be made to find the user before any action is taken.  Wherever possible the vehicle will be relocated to the nearest safe on-street location.
  • If you receive a parking ticket (often called a Parking Charge Notice) from a private parking company, then you will have to contact the company directly.  These concessions are not valid for all privately owned or managed car parks.  You must check first before parking or entering a car park.
  • The pass is valid in all local authority areas across England. However, local policy within certain areas may apply should a PCN be issued.  Check your local authorities’ website for further details.
  • You should clearly write your registration number and the employer’s name where indicated.  For NHS Volunteer Responders please put Royal Voluntary Service as your employer.
  • Display your pass on the dashboard where it can be clearly seen through a windscreen with the printed side facing up.
  • If the detail on the pass becomes illegible you should print and complete a new one.

When the pass is clearly displayed and used in accordance with these guidance notes, pass users will not usually receive PCNs and should not be towed away, unless they are parked causing a serious obstruction.

COVID-19 parking concessions – general guidance

  1. Parking concessions for COVID-19 can only be used when on official duty as an NHS staff member, health and social care worker or NHS Volunteer Responder.  Local authorities, NHS Trusts and the Royal Voluntary Service will be distributing the pass to those they deem to be eligible within this definition.
  • Please check carefully whether a car park is council or privately owned or operated before parking.  This COVID-19 parking concession is available in council owned and operated off-street car parks, on the public highway and on council maintained housing estates only.
  • Similar concessions may be available in some private car parks during the COVID-19 emergency response, but you should check with operators locally as to where these apply and whether any additional information is required.  For example, you may need to register your vehicle registration with the operator to gain a concession before parking.  Car parks which use Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology (ANPR) may issue a Penalty Charge Notice even if a vehicle is temporarily parked, whilst terms and conditions are being read.
  • Pass users, whilst on official duty, can park in on-street dedicated parking bays such as: pay to park bays and residents’ bays without having to pay.
  • If there are no alternative parking spaces available, users can park on single yellow lines, with the exception of:
  • those where additional loading restrictions apply (look for kerb markings and loading restriction times shown on upright signs), or
  • those that are within 10 metres of a junction.
  • Concession users are advised to park considerately and safely.  They must always ensure that they do not cause an obstruction or endanger other road users and must not stay in a parking place for any longer than is necessary.
  • If the pass or other previously agreed permit/evidence is not displayed correctly, a Civil Enforcement Officer may not be able to establish that you are on duty and may issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).
  • This scheme will last for as long as government deems necessary, as part of its COVID-19 response.  The end of the scheme will be publicly communicated. COVID-19 parking concessions must not be used beyond the date upon which you are advised that they have ceased.
  1. Concessions do not apply on-street in the following places:
  • parking at your normal place of residence or other locations whilst not at work or volunteering
    • on double yellow lines
    • on single yellow lines within 10 metres of a junction

where loading and unloading restrictions (kerb markings) are in operation

  • zig zag lines at pedestrian crossings
    • keep clear markings outside a school, a hospital or fire, police or ambulance station
    • dropped kerbs
    • bus stops
    • suspended bays
    • Disabled parking bays
    • police bays
    • ambulance bays
    • car club bays
    • electric vehicles bays
    • red routes
  • Any parking outside of the concessions guidance may result in the receipt of a PCN.

What to do in the event of enforcement action

  1. If you do receive a PCN please contact the issuing local authority and explain that you were on official duties.
  • If a vehicle showing the pass or other previously accepted evidence or permit needs to be relocated due to it causing an obstruction, every effort will be made to find the user before any action is taken.  Wherever possible the vehicle will be relocated to the nearest safe on-street location.
  • If you receive a parking ticket (often called a Parking Charge Notice) from a private parking company, then you will have to contact the company directly.  These concessions are not valid for all privately owned or managed car parks.  You must check first before parking or entering a car park.
  • The pass is valid in all local authority areas across England. However, local policy within certain areas may apply should a PCN be issued. Check your local authorities’ website for further details.
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Bristol City Council Services

We have some changes to services:

  • waste services: garden waste and bulky waste collections suspended, household waste recycling centres closed
  • school closures closed until further notice, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children
  • Free School Meals: some schools are providing Free School Meal vouchers

If you need help using our services or need access to a computer to contact us, you can visit the Citizen Service Point.

From 18 March 2020 the Citizen Service Point (CSP) will only be handling emergency cases until further notice.

The decision has been taken to promote social distancing and to ensure some protection for frontline staff who serve hundreds of citizens on a daily basis. Services which will temporarily be unavailable in the CSP are all available either online or by telephone.

Essential services that will continue:

  • Local Crisis Prevention Fund
  • homelessness: if citizens are not homeless on the day a triage can be undertaken on the phone
  • antisocial behaviour (severe cases)
  • keys for end of tenancy
  • licencing will be provided by licensing service but will be limited
  • scan coin machines for payments
  • self-serve computers will be available (spaced out)

Non-essential services that will not be available at the CSP for a short period:

  • assistance to complete Home Choice Bristol forms – (online or phone)
  • assistance on other application forms (Housing Benefit, Council Tax etc.) – (online support available by phone)
  • providing supporting documents for applications – (online)
  • EU Settlement applications – (online or a rearranged appointment at a later date)
  • Travel Card and Blue Badges – (online or phone)
  • notifying tenancy changes – (online)
  • Council Tax Reduction – (online or phone)
  • Universal Credit (except in an emergency) – can contact DWP and CAB for advice
  • applying for white goods – (online or phone)
     

Online services

Many people find what they need online. You can:

The Citizen Service Point has computers that you can use to get council services.

You can also get advice from staff in person. If we think you’ll need more help, we’ll book a one to one appointment for you.

Location

100 Temple Street, Bristol, BS1 6AG Opening hours

Monday9am to 5pm
Tuesday9am to 5pm
Wednesday10am to 5pm
Thursday9am to 5pm
Friday9am to 5pm
  • Blaise Nursery retail outlet
  • Bristol City Council run park cafes and kiosks at Ashton Court, Blaise Estate, Oldbury Court Estate, Canford Park, St George Park and Hengrove Play Park
  • toilets on all sites
  • Hengrove Play Park play equipment
  • Cabot Tower
  • all parks car park: Ashton Court Estate, Blaise Estate, Oldbury Court Estate, Snuff Mills, Eastville Park, Redcatch Park and Netham Park
  • St Andrews Park paddling pool
  • Netham pavilion
  • Ashton Court miniature railway 
  • bowling greens as well as removal of goalposts and ‘last man standing’ cricket
  • the golf hub at Ashton Court
  • children’s play areas in parks
  • wheels parks and multi-use games areas 
  • park shelters
  • sport facilities for formal or informal sports

Don’t go to a park if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Stay at home and self-isolate.

  • St Nicholas Markets: closed until further notice
  • Bidding on Bristol Council property is suspended

Local council, Mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections due to take place in May 2020 have been postponed for a year.

Call Bristol Care Direct on 0117 922 2700 if your Personal Assistant can’t support you or meet your care needs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and you don’t have any other support network which means you have no care today or tonight.

Wecil and People Plus will continue to administer payroll by usual email or telephone

People Plus 0330 123 2815

Wecil  01179 479 933

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Supermarket opening times in Bristol area

Supermarket opening times in Bristol area

Aldi 8am -8pm

(8am – 9am  for most vulnerable)

Asda 8am – 9pm

(8am – 9am  for most vulnerable)

                       Co-op 7am – 8pm (petrol stores till 11pm)

(8am – 9am  for most vulnerable Mo – Sat; 11am on Sundays)

Costco 10am – 8.30pm

Iceland 8am – 6pm

(8am – 10am on Wednesdays for most vulnerable)

Lidl 8am -8pm

(some individual stores have changed from this)

M& S foodhalls 8am – 8pm

Morrisons 9am -8pm

(9am – 10am  for most vulnerable)

Sainsburys  8am – 8pm

(Mon, Wed, Fri 8am-9am for most vulnerable)

Waitrose open as usual

Other essential places open are:

Pharmacies

Newsagents

Petrol stations

Bicycle shops

Home and Hardware shops

Laundrettes

Dry cleaners

Pet shops

Post offices

Banks

GP surgeries and Dentists – please phone for their latest information.  Help is available for online appointments on request.

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Coronavirus – A more Detailed Explanation About the Virus

This item has been provided by the Forum Co-Chair, Gordon Richardson, who thought this might be of interest.  It explains about the virus, why some precautions work better than others and why some don’t work at all, and includes some simple but practical advice.

The following is from Irene Ken physician, whose daughter is an Assistant Professor in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University.

a.      The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of fat (lipid), which, when absorbed by the cells of the natural mucous in our eyes, nose or mouth/throat, changes their genetic code i.e. they mutate and are converted into aggressor and multiplier cells.

b.      Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own.  The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.

c.      The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin
outer layer of fat.  That is why any soap or detergent is the best
remedy
, because the foam cuts through the fat (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam).

By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule is scattered and breaks down on its own.

d.      Heat melts fat – this is why it is so good to use water above 77
degrees Fahrenheit for washing hands, clothes and everything.  In
addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful.

e.      Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% dissolves any fat, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.

f.       Any mix of one part bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaking it down from the inside.  But, make sure you are wearing household cleaning gloves to protect your skin.

g.      Oxygenated water helps long after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein, but you have to use it pure and it hurts your skin.

h.      No bacteria killer or antibiotic works.  The virus is not a living
organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive.

i.        NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or cloth.  While it is glued to a porous surface, it is very inactive and disintegrates in roughly:

  • 3 hours (fabric and porous),
  • 4 hours (copper and wood)
  • 24 hours (cardboard),
  • 42 hours (metal) and
  • 72 hours (plastic).

But if you shake it, or use a feather duster, the virus molecules float
in the air for up to 3 hours, and can lodge in your nose.

j.        The virus molecules remain very stable in external cold, or artificial environments such as air conditioners in houses and cars.

They also need moisture to stay stable, and especially darkness.  Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will cause it to die faster.

k.       UV LIGHT on any object that may contain it breaks down the virus protein.  For example, used properly UV light is perfect for disinfecting and re-using a mask.  Be careful not to expose your skin to the light as it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin.

l.        The virus cannot go through healthy skin.

m.     Vinegar is not useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.

n.      No spirits, nor vodka work.  The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol, and you need at least 65%.

o.      If you are stuck, Listerine is a better solution!  It is 65% alcohol.

p.      Confined spaces are likely to have a higher concentration of the virus than open or naturally ventilated place.

q.      You have to wash your hands before and after touching mucous, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. – and when using the bathroom.

r.       You need to moisturize more often as so much washing makes your hands much drier.  You don’t want this to happen because the molecules can hide in the tiny cracks in dry skin.  The thicker the moisturizer, the better.

s.       Also keep your nails short so that the virus does not hide there.

* With many thanks to Johns Hopkins Hospital

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We are Bristol Support phoneline

The We Are Bristol support phone number – 0117 352 3011 – went live yesterday, and will offer support to residents across the city.

Call handlers will be available initially during office hours (8.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday) to provide support for people with a wide range of needs, including obtaining food supplies, other essential items and medication. They can also help arrange follow-up support with different organisations.

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Coronavirus Articles by John Pring

By John Pring on 19th March 2020                Listen

The government is facing accusations that its emergency planning for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic has “abandoned” Disabled people who use direct payments to employ their own personal assistants (PAs).

Although the government finally produced guidance for the social care sector on 13 March, that guidance is aimed at  service-providers in the residential care, supported living and home care sectors, and not at individual Disabled people who employ their own care staff.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has so far failed to produce any guidance for Disabled people on what they should do if they or their PAs become ill with coronavirus, or suspected coronavirus, or how to plan for such an eventuality.

And it had failed to ease those concerns …… despite attempts by Disability News Service (DNS) to clarify its position.

There are also concerns over how Disabled people employing their own PAs can secure supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, aprons and masks.

It came as the UN’s special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities warned that little had been done to protect the rights of Disabled people across the world during the pandemic (see separate storyhere ).

Among those who have raised concerns about DHSC’s failure to provide guidance is Baroness [Jane] Campbell, a crossbench peer and independent living campaigner, who relies on PAs for her personal care.

She has written to care minister Helen Whateley, pointing out the “urgent need for greater information and planning” for Disabled people who employ PAs.

She told the minister that she and other Disabled employers of PAs were “feeling particularly vulnerable at this time, without any detailed information on our particular circumstances.

“As we are deemed to be in the highest risk group, I feel there is an urgent need for greater information and planning for this cohort.”

Another Disabled campaigner who uses direct payments and PAs, who has asked to remain anonymous, expressed similar concerns.

She began showing flu-like symptoms this week and said she was originally advised by NHS 111 to “self-isolate”, after she described her symptoms over the phone.

But when she explained that she relied on care workers visiting her twice daily, she was put on hold by the telephone advisor, before eventually being told that it was OK for her care workers to come in as usual, as long as appropriate hygiene measures were taken.

She ignored this advice and is instead attempting to self-isolate without any support from care workers.

She said the information she received could mean that other Disabled people could be receiving care from a care worker who has come “directly from houses of people in self-isolation, on direct instructions from 111.”

She said that Disabled people on direct payments were “having to make a choice between your health and your care, the lack of which will impact on your health anyway”.

She added: “People all over are asking what happens if they need to self-isolate.

“There appears to be no official answer, support or plan of action. I’m in that situation and have had no joy from 111, social services or my GP.”

Anne Pridmore, director of Being the Boss, a user-led organisation which supports Disabled people who employ PAs, and who employs PAs herself, wrote to the director of social services at her local authority, Leicestershire County Council, asking what arrangements were in place for people who employ their own PAs through direct payments.

She received only a standard letter referring her to the government guidance, which says nothing about Disabled people on direct payments.

She said: “It feels to me like this government are just allowing Disabled people and elderly people to die.”

Pridmore has posted a video on social media, in which she explains her concerns.

She told DNS: “It needs to be said. There are a lot of us in this situation.”

She has now been told by the council that if her care arrangements break down, she will be placed in a residential home.

But she said she would “rather be dead with the virus” than live in a care home, while she thought it was unlikely that any home would accept someone in her position anyway because of the risks of infection.

She said: “I just think it’s shocking. We have been abandoned.”

Leicestershire County Council has also failed to comment.

By John Pring on 19th March 2020                Listen

Little has been done across the world to provide Disabled people with the support and guidance needed to protect them during the coronavirus pandemic, despite many of them being in a high-risk group, a UN human rights expert has warned.

Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the UN’s special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, said Disabled people feel as though they have been “left behind”.

She said: “Containment measures, such as social distancing and self-isolation, may be impossible for those who rely on the support of others to eat, dress and bath.

“This support is basic for their survival, and States must take additional social protection measures to guarantee the continuity of support in a safe manner throughout the crisis.”

She called on governments to take reasonable measures to ensure Disabled people can reduce contact with others and cut the risk of contamination.

This should include allowing them to work from home, or providing access to financial aid.

She said: “Many people with disabilities depend on services that have been suspended and may not have enough money to stockpile food and medicine, or afford the extra cost of home deliveries.”

Devandas Aguilar also warned that the situation of Disabled people in institutions, including mental health units and prisons, was “particularly grave” because of the high risk of contamination and the lack of external oversight which could be aggravated by the use of emergency powers introduced to deal with the health crisis.

She said: “Restrictions should be narrowly tailored, and use the least intrusive means to protect public health.

“Limiting their contact with loved ones leaves people with disabilities totally unprotected from any form of abuse or neglect in institutions.”

She said governments should be reassuring Disabled people that their survival is a priority, and establishing “clear protocols” to ensure that access to healthcare does not discriminate against Disabled people.

And she said it was crucial that information on how to prevent and contain coronavirus was accessible to everyone through sign language, and the use of plain language, accessible digital technology, captioning, relay services, text messages, and easy-read formats.

She also said that organisations run and controlled by Disabled people should be consulted and involved at all stages of the COVID-19 response.

[With very many thanks to John Pring and Disability News Service, www.disabilitynewsservice.com ]

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Update as of 31st March 2020

All NHS staff and care workers in Bristol can now park for free anywhere in the city, in addition to Trenchard Street car park and Horfield Leisure Centre car park.

 Feeding Bristol and various food banks across the city are working with the Council to support those struggling to buy food.

The Council are sending an email to Bristol residents giving them information and advice about coronavirus and any service changes which may impact them.  Please share the newsletter with anyone you think would benefit from it.  There will be an unsubscribe option on each email, and the Council will also publicise on other channels how people can join the mailing list.

 The Council have said they will be launching a public telephone number today, for anyone who is vulnerable, feels isolated and needs support.  The number will be shared widely, both online and through offline communications so that they reach as many people who need the support as possible.  People can also email coronavirus@bristol.gov.uk for support.

Bristol City Council have said they are working closely with health partners to implement national requirements for hospital discharge through a ‘discharge to assess’ model, ensuring that hospital beds are freed up to respond to additional demand. 

They are setting up an Integrated Care Centre in Bristol where social care, Sirona and the voluntary sector will work together to ensure patients are discharged safely to appropriate support.

They have said they are prioritising:

  • Their Rehabilitation Centres, for those needing 24hr care for up to 42 days, when they first leave hospital (Home First);
  • Reablement, short term care support (up to 42 days) and/or adaptations, so you can go straight home; and
  • Home care capacity (the companies the Council has contracts with, to provide care support to people in their own home. 

This means all those who need short term support and want to return home, shouldn’t need to be put in a care home.

If you already get social care support, through and agency, a Direct Payment or a Personal Health Care Budget, your usual support will continue when you return home.

If you and the care provider agree you need more ongoing support than you were getting before going into hospital, you will need to be given a Care Assessment.  If this doesn’t happen before your short term support ends, remind them that you will need that support you to be extended until you have a care package in place.

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Latest changes as of 24th March 2020

The number of UK cases of the virus can be viewed on this dashboard.

The Government have announced further measures to stop the disease spreading between households [link]. People will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently 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, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home

The police will have the powers to enforce these measures, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

To ensure compliance with the Government’s instruction to stay at home, the Government has:

  • closed all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship
  • stopped all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with
  • stopped all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals

Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed. The full list of businesses and premises expected to close is available here [link].

The Government has said it will look again at these measures in 3 weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.  Updated guidance on staying at home and away from others has been published alongside this announcement [link].

The Foreign Secretary has also advised all British tourists and short-stay travellers currently abroad to return to the UK where commercial flight options are still available [link].

For businesses, the Government has announced additional measures in the emergency Coronavirus Bill to protect commercial tenants from eviction who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus. The measures will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next 3 months. As commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent after this period, the Government is monitoring the impact on commercial landlords’ cash flow and continues to be in dialogue with them.  [link].

The legislation also includes new measures to support Business Improvement  Districts (BID)  – to ensure no area loses its BID during this period, the legislation will allow a delay to ballots between now and 31 December 2020 until March 2021.

Further guidance has also been issued on:

  • Guidance for local authorities on eligibility and delivery of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) [link]
  • Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of COVID-19 [link]
  • Operational guidance for further education (FE) providers on maintaining education and skills training provision [link]
  • As of today, reviews and reassessments for disability benefits are being suspended for the next three months

 Bristol Cases

  • As of 12.00pm on 24/03/20 there have been 28 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bristol.
  • Please note, the Government has decided not to test people with mild symptoms who do not require hospitalisation
  • The figures do not reflect the extent of spread within the community, which is now assumed to be widespread.  It is this widespread community transmission which makes the current social distancing measures so vitally important, and why the message for people to self-isolate needs to be continued to be conveyed by Members and Stakeholders
  • Local authority numbers of confirmed cases are reported on this dashboard and updated each afternoon

 Bristol City Council

  • We are advising staff to observe the latest government advice about working from home where they can, although we need to continue delivering essential front line services to our communities.
  • To help manage maintain these services, HR colleagues are working with managers of services that are currently closed to identify colleagues that can be reassigned to work in other parts of the organisation.

Public Communication Updates

  • Mayor Marvin Rees, Jacqui Jensen (Executive Director of People, Bristol City Council) and Sandra (CEO, Voscur) showed a short video last from 6:30pm on the key messages surrounding Can Do Bristol and offering help as a volunteer in an organised way. Jacqui and Sandra then followed up from the video with a live Q+A session on the BCC Facebook page, answering questions from the public. There were almost 100 comments on the video with plenty of questions from keen volunteers looking to get stuck into helping out in their local communities as quickly as possible: https://www.facebook.com/BristolCouncil/videos/583573612243951/
  • Mayor Marvin Rees released another bulletin video, announcing: a call out for 450 places for homeless and rough sleepers, that all parks facilities are now shut, and that NHS staff will be able to use Trenchard Street car park for free: https://www.facebook.com/BristolCouncil/videos/210671416703326/
  • A further statement from the Mayor was released to clarify the closure of parks facilities – we are not able to close parklands: https://www.facebook.com/BristolCouncil/photos/a.533536933346377/3145840972115947/?type=3&theater
  • A press release was issued to reinforce the call out for homeless spaces from Airbnb’s, shelters, hotels, and student accommodation providers. People were encouraged to email covid19.accommodation@bristol.gov.uk if they could help: https://news.bristol.gov.uk/news/bristol-city-council-calls-on
  • Mayor Marvin Rees shared his blog platform with Cllr Steve Pearce to share thanks and gratitude to all of the Bristol Waste staff who do their utmost to keep our city clean and tiday: https://thebristolmayor.com/2020/03/23/big-tidy/
  • Bristol 24/7 have continued their live updates on the Coronavirus situation in Bristol, supporting BCC and Mayoral messages: https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/coronavirus-live-updates-march-24-2020-uk-goes-into-lockdown
  • Allotments: we know allotments are a good way for many people to exercise, so Bristol City Council are continuing to keep them open for now, although some facilities an site (e.g. toilets) will now be closed.
  • Bristol food businesses still operating: Environmental Health have been in regular contact with businesses and a letter is being sent from our Director of Public Health to give clear advice for businesses that are looking to make provision for takeaways and deliveries.

Bristol Volunteering  

  • The following short-link should be used to direct citizens to helping others and volunteering information: www.bristol.gov.uk/wearebristol
  • Videos about volunteering safely are now available in Arabic, Bengali, Kurdish, Polish, Punjabi, Somali and Urdu at the link above. Please do share them.
  • Questions and answers from Sandra and Jacqui’s Q&A on Facebook last night can be viewed here in comments below the video which is pinned to the top of our page: www.facebook.com/bristolcouncil
  • We are updating ourguidance for volunteering page in light of new guidance from government
  • We are supporting the Communities and Neighbourhoods team to improve functionality of the Can Do Bristol website to make it more accessible and easy to use

Bristol Education Sector

  • Last night’s additional information and advice, in relation to social-distancing, will inevitably create increased pressure for head teachers 
  • The current ask of schools and settings to provide childcare for keyworkers and vulnerable children has not changed and, where possible, continue with the same arrangements as yesterday
  • We do not know if we will receive any further information today, specifically for schools and settings
  • We contacted many head teachers yesterday to discuss individual positions and we will continue with those calls today; their feedback was extremely useful and there were a number of common questions and concerns. We are working on circulating a bulletin to all schools by the end of the day today.
  • The communications team are also working with a number of service leads to co-ordinate key messages to parents.

Bristol Social Care Sector

  • The majority of frontline Social Work/Occupational Therapy teams are now working from home and only undertaking essential visits.  We are prioritising resources to respond to urgent need – and supporting the demand in hospitals and ‘front door’ provision.  We are no longer undertaking any non-urgent Deprivation of Liberty Assessments (DOLS) as most care homes are closed.
  • There is a dedicated response set up for Direct Payment users, to ensure they have enough support and can access Protective Personal Equipment (packs are being made available). We have also raised this nationally for advice.
  • Care services are now operating with increasing staff absence due to self-isolation or sickness (25% or more) – we are deploying care staff across all services to keep services running.  We have requested urgent redeployment of staff and are working with HR on recruitment drive through Proud to Care.
  • The Commissioning team is working closely with all care providers to ensure they are operating safely, managing and sharing resources and supporting individual homes where there are several residents with Covid-19 (currently 2).
  • We are working closely with health partners to implement the national requirements for hospital discharge.
  • Additional Government funding is available for Local Authorities for emergency response – a proposal has been prepared for internal BCC sign-off.

Bristol Children’s Services Sector

  • The Children’s Services team are reviewing all risk assessments and adjusting the way in which we see/work with children and families with statutory intervention changing to virtual and telephone contact where possible.
  • PPE is in place where face to face visits are still required and COVID-19 symptoms are present.
  • A reduced capacity across the service means that the Early Help Offer is currently limited.
  • We are pushing information out through local networks and the local offer website for parents and practitioners.
  • Dynamic assessment and reprioritisation is being carried out daily.
  • Assessment and reprioritisation with partners is taking place twice – three times each week.
  • Significant concerns are being raised re: food distribution, costs to families of keeping children home (utility, rent and other bills), inability of poorer families to stay in touch as access to things like free Wi-Fi through communal settings is limited/non-existent.
  • We are attending to contextual risks for young people through reviewed risk assessment and multiagency safety plans – community safety measures are being reviewed (including risk of domestic violence and impact on children).

Bristol Business Sector and Economy

  • The City Office is working with the Economic Development Team, One City Economy Board and Business West to establish mechanisms for city partner organisations to strategically support the city’s economic recovery
  • A current priority for Bristol City Council is to cancel the payments due to be called by direct debit in April for businesses entitled to 100% relief. Discounts will apply as per following guidance: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/business-rates/budget-2020-new-rate-discounts
  • The council is looking to process small business grants (£25k) ASAP. We know that we have circa 5k business who could benefit from this based on those paying business rates. However only 400 have actively requested this so far. Where possible we want to make this available to all ASAP. All we require are business rate account number and bank details for payment by BACs. Please do highlight via your networks to ensure all businesses can benefit. As a council we will promote via our networks and social channels
  • Support can be found at WECA’s Growth Hub which has has set up key information and contacts here https://www.wearegrowth.co.uk
  • We are working with local networks and awaiting further guidance to address key sectors and areas such as the self-employed and help available beyond universal credit and income tax / VAT relief

Bristol Travel Sector

  • Effective from 30th March – First West of England will introduce an emergency timetable to apply on Monday to Saturday. This is a reduction in frequencies to all services, mostly to half hourly or hourly frequency. These frequencies could reduce further in the evenings.
  • We are awaiting schedules for full details and will summarise the picture when we receive them.
  • It is envisaged that an emergency timetable for Sundays / Public Holidays will be introduced for Sunday 5 April 2020.
  • The service changes planned for 5 April have been suspended, including the proposed introduction of service 2A.
  • Travelwest is the main source of information for bus service updates – Real Time Information screens are not predicting and are referring passengers to Travelwest for up to date information. Travelwest will be updated as service levels change.
  • Should we have stability of timetable we will review how best to utilise the RTI screens.
  • To be aware – an issue raised recently about handwashing facilities at Bristol bus station has now been resolved.
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