Please keep playing your part during the national lockdown
We're urging you all to adhere to the latest COVID-19 restrictions and keep playing your part.
Positive COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Wiltshire and we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and each other safe.
Guidance on shielding
If you are clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
The government is advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to begin shielding again, and letters will be sent out by Central Government to individuals with advice on what this means for them.
Wiltshire COVID-19 public update - Live!
If you joined us for the live COVID-19 Public Update on Wednesday evening (6 January), thank you and we hope you found the webinar informative.
If you were unable to make it, you can watch it back in full on our Youtube channel.
The online broadcast featured Wiltshire Council Leader, Cllr Philip Whitehead, Chief Executive, Terence Herbert and Director of Public Health, Kate Blackburn.
They gave an update on the Government’s National lockdown: Stay at Home restrictions announced by the Prime Minister earlier this week, our services and our work to continue to support residents and businesses at this time.
Wiltshire libraries will be here to support you during lockdown
We are pleased to be able to offer an order and collect service, with bookable computers, at a number of libraries across the county.
The exact opening days and times of each library will depend on when the library is next open, which you can find at Library locations and opening times.
Please use your local, nearest library to reduce unnecessary travel. Safety remains the priority at all of the our libraries, and customers will be asked to wear a face covering and use sanitiser before using a computer.
More details on our order and collect service and bookable computers
It's vital that in order to help stop the spread of coronavirus, we all wear face masks/coverings, where required to do so.
A face covering should:
•cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
•fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
•be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
•be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
•ideally include at least 2 layers of fabric (the World Health Organization recommends 3, depending on the fabric used)
•unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged
New Year sees arrival of more vaccination sites
This month will see more eligible people across Wiltshire receive the lifesaving coronavirus vaccine as additional community-based vaccination sites begin to open.
More new sites are expected to open their doors to patients from now until Friday 15 January, with some now offering the newly-approved vaccine developed at Oxford University.
Areas of Wiltshire that have seen a coronavirus vaccine site open this week include Trowbridge, Calne, Wilton, Tidworth, and Malmesbury.
The rapid rollout of a vaccine against COVID-19 represents the best and fastest way of life returning to normal.
Vaccines are safe and effective at limiting severe illness. We urge anyone contacted by their GP in regard to getting a vaccination to stick to their appointment.
Mandatory COVID-19 testing introduced to bolster border measures
From next week (Monday 11 January), passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally.
Inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in, to help protect against the new strains of coronavirus such as those seen in Denmark and South Africa.
Wiltshire Council to spend £1.1m on digital devices so struggling families can access remote education
We are allocating £1.1m of government COVID-19 funding to buy laptops and digital devices for disadvantaged pupils who currently can't join classmates learning from home.
The decision to allocate the funding to buy around 2,500 devices means these children will be able to access their school lessons from home rather than have to attend school to do so.
Currently pupils who do not have a laptop can attend school alongside children of key workers and vulnerable students. The new approach will help manage school spaces and continue to help prevent transmission.
More details here
Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub still providing support to those who need it and now available on Saturdays too
With national lockdown measures now in place, our Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub is still available to anyone who is struggling during this difficult time - and will now be available on Saturdays.
The hub can help and provide support to those who perhaps don't have a network around them, and also signpost them to where additional help is available in their local area. Hundreds of community groups, run by volunteers, are still set up across the county, providing invaluable assistance to those who need it.
Anyone can access the hub, particularly people who are self-isolating, people who do not have others to support them, and have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and are shielding.
Beware of COVID cons
Local partners working together to provide support during the pandemic, are warning residents and businesses not to fall victim to any COVID-19-related scams.
Organisations across Wiltshire and Swindon are asking you to be extra vigilant as criminals look to take advantage at a time when many people are vulnerable.
In recent weeks a number of attempted scams have emerged across the country, including: •people receiving text messages informing they are ‘eligible’ to apply for a vaccine and then asking them to provide bank details
•people receiving text messages that claim to be from the HMRC inviting them to claim for a ‘grant’
•scammers looking to take advantage of businesses applying for business grants
You are urged not to provide your bank details in response to any email, phone call or text from anyone claiming to be part of the NHS vaccine programme. Bank details, passwords and pin numbers will never be requested as the COVID-19 vaccine is free and this should be an automatic red flag.
Any suspected fraud should be reported to Action Fraud. More details can be found online.
'An Hour to Skill'
The Department for Education are launching a new campaign for The Skills Toolkit called ‘An Hour to Skill’.
The campaign aims to inspire the nation to spend one hour a week learning online with The Skills Toolkit by highlighting the ease and benefits of accessing free, high-quality online courses.
By setting aside one hour a week for online learning, you can learn skills that employers are looking for, boost your job prospects and keep your mind active.
Sign up for Wiltshire Local Plan review online events
Join our Local Plan engagement sessions and have your say on where future developments such as housing, infrastructure and land for employment, should be built, and how we look to tackle climate change through planning.
The online engagement sessions are being held instead of face-to-face meetings because of COVID restrictions.
Each event relates to a particular settlement, and there are also two events for rural areas, which include all other Wiltshire villages and settlements that are not covered in the other 15 events. The online events will be held from 7pm-8pm.