I am writing to you as promised with a more detailed update on the new rules. Forgive me if this is a longer message than usual, but there is a lot to pass on to you.
The lockdown began this morning and lasts until Wednesday 2nd December. The rules are a little less restrictive than they were in the spring, when it was not permitted to see anyone outside your household and more businesses are remaining open.
As before, everyone is being asked to stay at home, except for the following purposes:
Where it is reasonably necessary in order…
- To buy goods or obtains services from relevant open businesses for your own household, for a vulnerable person, or for someone in the same household as a vulnerable person
- To obtain or deposit money to/from a relevant financial services provider
- To exercise or visit a public outdoor place for recreation or exercise (alone, in your household or support/childcare bubble, or with one other person)
- To attend a place of worship ( You are allowed private prayer but church services are not now permitted)
- To attend a permitted Remembrance Sunday event, or specified Armistice day event in Westminster Abbey
- Activities related to the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property (or associated activities including visiting estate agents, viewing properties, preparing properties to move in)
- To meet or visit someone in your support bubble
- To collect ordered food and drink ordered from a business
- To visit waste disposal or recycling centres
Work and other obligations;
- Where necessary for the purposes of work or voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible to work or provide these services from home
- To access voluntary and charitable services, such as food banks
- For the purposes of education or training
- To provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
- To provide emergency assistance to any person
- To fulfil a legal obligation e.g. attending court, satisfying bail conditions, or participating in legal proceedings
- To access critical public services, such as social services, services provided by the DWP, services provided to victims (would also include e.g. registering a birth).
- To participate in an elite sport event or training if you are an elite sports person, a coach, or a parent if the sports person is under 18
For a medical need
- To seek medical assistance, including to take a test or to be vaccinated
- To donate blood or attend medical trials
- To avoid illness, injury or to escape a risk of harm
- to attend a person giving birth at their request
- to visit a person in hospital/hospice/care home, or to accompany someone to a medical appointment as a family or friend of that person
For support and respite
- To attend a support group
- for the purposes of respite care for a vulnerable person, a person with a disability, or a short break in respect of a looked after child
- To visit someone reasonably believed to be dying where that person is a member of the household, close family, or friend.
- To attend a funeral (but there are tight limits on the numbers attending)
- A commemorative event celebrating the life of a person who has died (though again, there are limits on numbers)
- To visit a burial ground or remembrance garden to pay respect to a member of that person’s household, family or friend
Marriage and civil partnerships
- To attend a deathbed wedding
- To continue existing arrangements for access to and contact between parents and children where they live apart
- To arrange contact between siblings where they don’t live together and one or more sibling is in formal care
- To meet prospective adopters if relevant
- To access educational facilities, or to accompany a child to those facilities as a parent/carer
- To access Ofsted registered childcare or supervised activities for children to enable a parent to work/undertake education or training/seek work
- For the purposes of informal childcare provided within a childcare bubble
- To attend veterinary services to seek advice about the health or welfare of a pet or other animal in care of that person, or to seek treatment
- to attend to the care or exercise of a pet or other animal cared for by that person
- Where reasonably necessary to return home if you were on holiday immediately before the regulations came into force
- To visit someone living in criminal justice accommodation if you are a friend or family member
You are allowed to meet one other person from another household, but only outside your home. You are also still allowed to have a support bubble with another single person household. An explanation of the rules is here.
Retail Shops Permitted to Stay Open
This is a list of the retail businesses that are remaining open to customers over the coming month.
- Food retailers (food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, and corner shops)
- Off-licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries)
- Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists
- Building merchants and building services
- Garden centres
- Hardware stores
- Petrol stations
- Car repair and MOT services
- Bicycle shops
- Taxi or vehicle hire businesses
- Banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers and cash points
- Money transfer businesses and currency exchange offices and savings clubs
- Post offices
- Funeral directors
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners
- Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths, and other medical services including services relating to mental health
- Veterinary surgeons and pet shops
- Animal rescue centres and boarding facilities
- Agricultural supplies shops
- Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop-off or collection points, where the facilities are in the premises
- Car parks
- Public toilets
- Outdoor market stalls that sell essential retail (in addition to outdoor stalls that sell food and livestock).
For others, there are some exemptions – so for example cafés, pubs and restaurants are allowed to do takeaway services again. If you run a business affected and have any questions please let me know. The list of exemptions is too long even for this bulletin.
And please do, as so many of you did in the spring, buy takeaways from our local cafés and restaurants so we can help them through the current difficult period.
For those of you with a business that is affected by the new restrictions, here is a link to the support that is available for you.
Surrey County Council has just provided me with an update about the services that will remain open during the next month.
- Library services – we will be running a Click and Collect service from the doorstep of our libraries across the county in addition to a Home Library service. We will also be offering computer access on an appointment only basis for those residents who need it for essential services such as Universal Credit applications. We have an extensive on-line offer that will be publicised to our residents including digital events, e-books, e-newspapers, e-magazines all for free and residents can join on-line and start borrowing straight away.
- Our arts servicewill continue to be delivered both online and through our adult learning centres and in schools.
- Civil registration services – will continue to operate as they do now, but no weddings will be allowed unless exceptional circumstances.
- Customer Services/ Contact Centre – remaining open
- Frontline services in Children’s and Adult Social Care we recognise that much of the essential work that the council has to do, particularly to support vulnerable residents, cannot be done from home. For those working on the front line, for example social workers in adult social care, or in children’s services, arrangements will remain the same for the time being. Support staff in frontline services may also be asked to go in, as required, to maintain capacity to enable staff to carry out their roles.
- Adult Social Care –the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) will be fully operational during the lockdown period, as will the MASH (multi-agency safeguarding hub). Day Centres are expected to be closed (although they are not run by the council).
- Care homes – are for now asked to follow the existing guidance for visiting i.e. no visiting if the home is located within a Tier 2/ high alert area, e.g. in Elmbridge but we are expecting a further update tomorrow.
- Children’s Services – will continue seeing children face to face out of preference, but based on risk factors can also carry out these visits virtually if needed. Waiting for further clarity on Youth Services and Family Centres.
- Schools, education settings and nurseries- will remain open, including our three Surrey outdoor learning sites for schools
- After school clubs – must close if they operate purely for extra-curricular activities; can remain open if they are needed for after school childcare. Waiting for further detail.
- Waste – we think that these will remain open but are waiting on further guidance. Re-use recycling & upcycling shops – will close during lockdown period.
- Countryside sites and car parks- will remain open
- Contstruction and highways works- will continue
- All the following remain fully operational: Surrey Fire & Rescue Service; Coroner’s Court, Trading Standards, Health & Safety, IT & Digital, Planning and all other corporate, democratic and support services.
For any of you in need of help during the coming month:
Surrey County Council’s helpline, which is the best point of contact to get volunteer help if you need, for example, help with shopping, is 0300 200 1008
If you are over retirement age, you can also get help from the local branches of Age Concern.
Age Concern Epsom & Ewell – 01372 732456
Age Concern Mole Valley – 01306 899104
Age Concern Banstead – 01737 352156
Please feel free to contact me if you have any particular problems and I will try to help.
Finally, my apologies to anyone over the age of 60 who was surprised in my last bulletin to find that they were clinically vulnerable. There was a mistake in the initial documentation that came out over last weekend.
The current definitions of those who are thought to be most vulnerable to the virus are here.
I will provide further updates in due course.