The council will be publishing Covid-19 case statistics for Wiltshire every week through its channels. This week’s statistics (as at 22 October) are attached to this newsletter.
COVID-19 Play Your Part
Medium Local COVID Alert Level
COVID -19 Poster Polish version
See download below
COVID 19 Poster Arabic version
See download below
COVID-19 Business and Employees Tool Kit
See download below
COVID-19 Self-isolation guidance poster
All the latest guidance and advice published by Government can also be sent directly to you by clicking the following link: GOV.UK COVID-19 updates.
COVID-19 Schools update
Precautionary COVID-19 measures taken at schools in Wiltshire
Following advice from public health professionals, 25 education settings, including independent and boarding schools in Wiltshire are currently taking precautionary COVID-19 measures due to positive cases being confirmed in their settings. This information is correct as at 9.00am on 23 October.
Whilst the number of positive cases are very low in each setting, a total of 1,610 pupils are currently being asked to self-isolate to ensure any risk of transmission is kept as low as possible. The self-isolation of the pupils is very precautionary to minimise any risk to others and to reduce onward transmission of the virus.
All schools are working closely with the Public Health team at Wiltshire Council to ensure all the necessary measures are in place.
The Chancellor has announced the following increased support for businesses:
Job Support Scheme
The original scheme, starting on 1 November 2020, saw employers paying a third of their employees’ wages for hours not worked and required employees to be working 33% of their normal hours. Yesterday’s announcement means the employer contribution to those unworked hours has been reduced to 5% and the minimum hours requirements reduced to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible.
Employers will continue to receive the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus for each employee retained until February 2021.
The Job Support Scheme Closed which supports those businesses legally required to close remains unchanged.
More information can be found in the Job Support Scheme Open Factsheet
The amounts of profit covered by the two forthcoming self-employed grants has been increased from 20% to 40%, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021. The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April 2021.
Cash grants of up to £2,100 per month will be available, primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector that may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert areas. Businesses in Very High alert level areas may qualify for up to £3,000 per month.
More information can be found in the Business Grants Factsheet:
Read the Chancellor’s announcement in full here
COVID-19 Wiltshire Business and Employee Tool Kit
The council has produced a COVID-19 Business and Employee Tool Kit to help provide useful advice and guidance to support. Within it you’ll find a range of resources including symptoms step-by-step guides, advice on car sharing, guidance on staying safe outside of work, and a lot more.
A copy of the tool kit is attached to this newsletter and is available to download here.
Self-isolation £500 payment for people on low income who cannot work from home
A £500 payment is available for people who have to self-isolate, on a low income and will lose money because they cannot work from home.
If they are self-isolating because they’ve come home from another country this does not mean they are eligible, they must have a unique Test and Trace number provided by the NHS to qualify.
To be eligible a person must:
· have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace after Monday, 28 September 2020 and have a unique Test and Trace number provided by the NHS
· are employed or self-employed
· have lost income by being unable to work from home while self-isolating
They must also be receiving at least one of the following benefits:
· Universal Credit
· Pension Credit
· Housing Benefit
· Income Support
· income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
· income-based Employment Support Allowance
· Working Tax Credit
The council is in the process of finalising a system to allow people to claim for this payment as quickly and easily as possible, and this will be live next week. People who are eligible for this payment will be able to make a backdated claim to 28 September 2020.
More information on how to apply locally will be available on the council’s council tax and benefits pages next week. In the meantime, more information can also be found on the government website.
The council is encouraging families to have a fun but safe Halloween this year.
Wiltshire is currently the Medium tier of the government’s local COVID alert levels, but with cases rising locally, the council is asking people to avoid trick or treating, not hold gatherings for more than six people, and instead take part in fun Halloween household activities.
Wiltshire Council has produced a Halloween themed information pack with some useful advice and guidance and some fun activities for youngsters. It can be found at https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-coronavirus.
Wiltshire Libraries have a series of online Halloween themed activities. They are running a Facebook Halloween quiz to test people’s knowledge of all things spooky. The quiz will be published at 7pm on Thursday 29 October, with answers published 24 hours later.
People can take part at https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/libraries-contact-us.