Coronavirus over Christmas and New Year

We are asking communities across Bristol to make sure they have a safe and careful festive period over Christmas and the New Year.

Last weekend the Government announced changes to the rules over the festive period.

This means: 
⦁ A maximum of three households can create a Christmas bubble for one day only on 25 December.

⦁ Households should not stay over on Christmas Day and you should try to keep visits short.

⦁ You may only form one Christmas bubble, and once it has been formed, you cannot change it.

⦁ Keep your bubbles as small as possible, three households (including your own) should be the maximum, but you should avoid creating a Christmas bubble if at all possible.

⦁ Try to only form bubbles within your local area – you may not form a bubble with anyone in a tier 4 area. It is also safest to avoid forming a bubble with anyone living in a tier 3 area.

⦁ Limit social contact with anyone outside of your household for at least five days before and after forming a bubble.

From 26 December, we will have to go back to Bristol’s local restrictions. On 30 December the government will decide whether Bristol stays in tier 2 or moves to tier 3 or 4. This will depend on how many people catch Coronavirus over the two weeks leading up to 30 December.

Bristol is in tier 2 at the moment, which means that for New Year’s Eve, people must not mix socially indoors with people not in their household and hospitality venues will close at 11pm.

However, we would strongly recommend that Disabled people do not go to hospitality venues for Christmas or New Year celebrations. The
re-opening of these venues was a big factor in the big rise in people catching Coronavirus over late summer and early autumn.
 
Please do the most you can over the festive period to protect our city and keep infection rates down and ensure that 2021 is as coronavirus-safe as it can be.

Are you heading out to celebrate this Christmas?

If you are planning to go out one evening this week to celebrate Christmas please remember that Bristol is still in tier 2 and there is guidance you must follow if you’re visiting any hospitality venue.

⦁ Wear a face covering at all times, unless exempt, apart from when seated at a table.

⦁ Scan the QR code to use the COVID-19 app.

⦁ You can only sit inside a venue with those from your own household or support bubble. 

⦁ The rule of six must be followed outside a venue and social distancing should be followed.

⦁ You can only order alcohol with a substantial meal.

⦁ You must leave the venue by 11pm.
 
When you have left the venue it is important that you go straight home and do not stand around in groups outside.

This guidance is in place to protect you and your loved ones and to make sure we all have a safe Christmas.

We know this is the time of year you want to celebrate, but would ask you to keep in mind that hospitality venues e.g. pubs, restaurants, bars etc. are places where there is a high risk of catching coronavirus.

Hospitality venues are places like pubs, bars, restaurants, or almost anywhere you might usually go to when you want drink or eat (or both) with friends or family.
Household. A household is a home where one or more people live. It can be a flat, a house, a group home or shared student accommodation.

Bristol’s COVID-19 testing sites will be open through Christmas

Coronavirus testing sites will be open over the Christmas and New Year period, including on Christmas Day, but will be operating at slightly reduced hours.

Visit the Gov.UK website to find out more.
 
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus over the holiday period, including a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, it is essential that you get tested.
 
We have four testing sites in Bristol. They are:
 
• Brislington Park and Ride (note a 2.1m height restriction)
• Hengrove Leisure Park
• Netham Park
• Rear of Victoria Rooms, Clifton
 
If you do have symptoms or you test positive you must
self-isolate in order to protect your loved ones and keep the city safe. 

New Lockdown, Says the Prime Minister

On Saturday 31st October the Prime Minister said he is going to ask members of parliament (MPs) to agree to another England-wide Lockdown, for one month from Thursday 5th November.

MPs will vote on the Prime Minister’s proposals on Wednesday (4th). If the majority do support the proposals, the Lockdown will begin at 00:01 GMT on Thursday 5th November and stay in place until Wednesday 2nd December.

Some scared and selfish people are already buying much more food than they need from the shops. Please remember that this buying in a panic was the cause of shortages that caused some of those most at risk to have to go without food. Once people stopped panic buying we got back to everyone being able to buy what they needed on a week by week basis.

So, please think of others and only buy what you need until the next time you will go shopping for essentials.

What are the proposals for a new lockdown in England?

These are the Prime Minister’s Lockdown proposals:

  1. People will be told to stay at home and only travel when it is essential. Essential travel includes travel to go to school or university, work that can’t be done from home, medical reasons, shopping for food and other essentials, or to care for others. People can go out for exercise and recreation but it is expected that you will have to do in places near your home.
  1. All pubs and restaurants will have to close (takeaways and deliveries can continue).
  1. All non-essential shops will have to close (supermarkets can sell non-essential goods).
  1. Households will not be allowed to mix with others indoors, or in private gardens.
  1. Individuals can meet one person from outside their household in an outside public space.
  1. Support bubbles for people who live alone and households made up of single parents and children can continue.
  1. Children will be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.
  1. Schools, colleges and universities will remain open.
  1. Workplaces will be asked to stay open if people cannot work from home – including construction and manufacturing.

10. Outdoor exercise and recreation will be allowed, but gyms will have to close.

  1. Clinically vulnerable advised not to go to work if they are unable to work from home.

However, government will not be promoting ‘shielding’ for people at very high risk of dying if they catch Coronavirus (also called COVID-19), during this Lockdown.

The Prime Minister hopes that after 2nd December, we will be able to relax the Lockdown rules. But, many think that the Lockdown may need to last longer than this.

The government also announced that it will pay 80% of the wages of anyone who can’t work because of the Lockdown rules (furlough) –the same scheme as we had during the last Lockdown. Workers on furlough will mostly be those who work for businesses that have been forced to close until the Lockdown ends, including workers in restaurants, cafes, shops selling things other than food or medicines, etc.

The government has said it will give us more information about its plans over the next few days, including what other support there will be for people who can’t work and businesses.

You can now help fight the spread of Coronavirus by downloading the free NHS Test and Trace App onto your smartphone .

The new NHS Covid-19 app for Apple and Android devices has launched today and can be downloaded from your app store. The app is free and is part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England and Wales.

The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in via QR codes.

The Thomas Poklinton Trust have been involved in ensuring that the app is as accessible as possible for blind and partially sighted people.

If you need access to information about the app in large print, braille or another format, you can request it by emailing nhscovid-19accessibilityissue@nhsba.nhs.uk .

The link below takes you to a BBC news story with more information.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54270334

New Covid -19 information films in multiple community languages are now available

Covid-19 information videos in community languages including English http://ow.ly/tQF350BezGf

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG), with Community Access Support Service (CASS) in partnership with community groups and volunteers, has made two videos in more than ten community languages about Covid-19 and the lockdown.

These were made to address the need for information for non-English-speaking people in the community who did not have access to reliable information about the outbreak in their own languages.

The videos are:

• Protecting others – with a number of key messages about social distancing, gatherings, where you can go and so on

• Mental health – about looking after your mental health and wellbeing at this time.

The languages are:

Pashto, Kurdish Sorani, Arabic, Farsi, Albanian, Urdu, Bengali, Tigrinya, Somali, Punjabi, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Turkish [please note the videos in Albanian and Trigrinya are not available yet, so any help to find volunteers in both languages would be appreciated].

We hope these videos are helpful and that you will share them with relevant members of the community.

CASS has been working closely with @BNSSG_CCG and local volunteers to help create 2 Covid19 videos, each in Bristol’s key community languages including English. One is on Protecting Yourself, and one on Looking after Mental Health. 

Please watch and share more widely  http://ow.ly/tQF350BezGf

Translated text used for the videos will be available shortly, please get in touch via info@cassbristol.org to request hard copy printed materials for distribution out into the community.

Coronavirus Update’s: New Coronavirus information videos in multiple languages & Free counseling from Bristol Mind are now available.

Coronavirus News 5th September 2020

1. Coronavirus information in community languages

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) – which is responsible for spending our local NHS funding – has created coronavirus information videos in a range of community languages, such as Arabic, Bengali and Cantonese. You can find them on its YouTube channel by clicking on this: coronavirus information in community languages to find a video in your language – including English. One is about how to Protecting Yourself, and one is about Looking after Mental Health.

Translations of the text used for the videos will be available soon. If you would like please get in touch viainfo@cassbristol.orgto request hard copy printed materials for distribution out into the community.

2. Free counselling from Bristol Mind

Free counselling is available to people who are shielding as a result of the pandemic, particularly those who are:

older or Disabled people;

part of a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic community; or

living in Avonmouth, Barton Hill, East Hillfields, Filwood, Hartcliffe & Withywood, Knowle West, Lawrence Hill, Lawrence Weston, Lockleaze, Southmead, St. Pauls, or Whitchurch Park.

The service is available from September to December 2020. You can self-refer, or be referred by a family member or an organisation you are in touch with. Email counselling@bristolmind.org.uk, or telephone 01179 800 370, to be sent a registration form. 

For more information on this service, go to: http://bristolmind.org.uk/

Coronavirus Update: Social gatherings of more than six people will be banned from Monday 14 September


Stop Press Social gatherings of more than six people will be banned from Monday 14 September

Limits on the number of people you can see socially are changing.  From Monday 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with you must not meet in a group of more than 6 indoors or outdoors.

From 14 September – when the new rules apply – it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than 6 (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble).  The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines.

There will be exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, including: – where everyone lives together or is in the same support bubble, or to continue existing arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parent;- at work, and voluntary or charitable services;

  1. – in education, training, or registered childcare;
  2. – a wide range of formal, organised activities.

Please visit this website for more details of when the new rule does, and doesn’t apply: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing
The government will be providing more information on the changes on Monday 14th September.
However, please do not get too anxious about the rise in the number of cases.  For now, the new cases are mostly among young people and those who have travelled, with the number of deaths still low.

Shaping Our Lives: New Covid19 survey

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A second survey request from Shaping Our Lives, this time about using technology during the pandemic.

Shaping Our Lives has been given some money from the National Lottery Community Fund to do research about the impacts of the Covid19 pandemic. This, their second survey, is about using technology for keeping in touch, having meetings and appointments during the Covid19 pandemic and lockdown.

During the Covid19 pandemic many appointments, meetings and leisure activities have taken place remotely. Shaping Our Lives want to find out if remote communication technology is a good way for you to take part or receive a service. Or, if remote ways of communicating are difficult or impossible for you to use.

Shaping Our Lives would be very grateful if you answer a short survey. This survey is only for d/Deaf and Disabled people. Disabled people are people with sensory, cognitive, neurodevelopmental conditions, learning disabilities or physical impairments, mental health issues and people with long term health conditions.

You will not be asked to give your name and all answers will be kept anonymous. What you and other people tell Shaping Our Lives will then be used to tell people in national and local government the support d/Deaf and Disabled people need to use remote communication technology and if it is suitable all the time.

To complete the survey you can either:

  1. Use this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Technology_Survey-Shaping_Our_Lives-Covid19 to complete your answers online.
  2. Send an email to: information @shapingourlives.org.uk and we can send a Word version of the survey for you to complete.
  3. Call Becki on 07956 424511 and do the survey over the telephone or by Zoom.

The survey will take about 15 minutes. There is no involvement payment offered for completing this survey. This is a different survey to the one Shaping Our Lives recently launched about the impact of Covid19 on Independent Living and we would like people to complete both surveys if possible.

Thank you for taking part and contributing to this research.

The Law on Face Coverings Changes, Again

On Friday 24th July it became law that people (shoppers, etc) must wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth – for example, a fabric covering, scarf or bandanna – in a lot more indoor places.

This is as well as washing our hands and being careful to social distance.

  1. Where Do We Have to Wear a Face Covering?

Face Coverings must now be worn in:

  1. shops,
  2. supermarkets,
  3. shopping centres,
  4. when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops, and
  5. public transport hubs e.g. indoor train stations and terminals, airports, sea and river ports, and indoor bus and coach stations or terminals.

We must also keep on wearing face coverings in hospitals and when we are travelling on public transport: trains, buses and coaches.

2. Where Don’t We Have to Wear a Face Covering?

You won’t have to wear a face covering in the following venues that have measures in place to protect staff and the public from COVID-19. These include:

  1. hairdressers and close-contact services,
  2. eat-in restaurants, cafes and pubs (but you will in cafes or take-away restaurants when you aren’t going to eating there),
  3. entertainment venues, including cinemas, concert halls and theatres,
  4. visitor attractions (such as heritage sites, art galleries or museums),
  5. gyms and leisure centres,
  6. dentists or opticians (but you do need to wear them in hospitals).

3. Who Doesn’t Have to Wear a Face Covering?

The new law doesn’t apply to children under the age of 11 or anyone who can prove their health or impairment[s] means they cannot wear a face covering. This includes people:

  1. with impairments or health conditions that make it really difficult to breathe, or other conditions seriously affecting heart or lungs,
  2. who can’t put on a face covering due to conditions affecting their ability to use their hands/arms (dexterity),
  3. with a condition or impairment that means wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress,
  4. with cognitive impairments, including learning difficulties and dementia, if they would not understand or remember the need to wear a face covering,
  5. with vision impairments that include a restricted field of vision, that means they can only see at the lower edge of the normal field of view,
  6. with any other impairments which would make it difficult to put on or take off a face covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain,
  7. travelling with, or being a support worker or carer to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.

But, people are going to get quite confused because the new law also doesn’t apply to shop or supermarket staff. The government do strongly recommend that employers think seriously about making their staff wear face coverings but the law doesn’t say they must.