Despite all we have done to maintain Tier 3 in West Dorset, rates of infection have continued to rise across the country and we are now in a period of national lockdown; which is a tough but very necessary measure and carries a strong message to 'Stay at Home'.
On 15th December I challenged the Business Secretary in the House of Commons on what support would be available to West Dorset’s small and micro-sized businesses should sustained restrictions be necessary. In response the Chancellor announced substantial new financial support on Tuesday which will help protect jobs – in particular for our hardest-hit retail, hospitality and leisure sectors - through the next challenging few months.
The new financial support package for businesses forced to close includes one-off grants of up to £9,000 along with a discretionary fund to be administered by Dorset Council. This is in addition to the current Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme, an extension of the furlough scheme until April and a third round of funding for the self-employed. For more information on business support available visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support
Please remember to support those local businesses offering delivery services and takeaways in coming weeks and to shop safely whenever you shop in person.
This has also been a difficult time for education and I would have preferred that schools did not have to close. I’ve been in continual dialogue with most local schools in the last week to make sure the Government knows our position and I’m grateful to parents and others who have shared their views with me. I am especially grateful to teachers for doing all they can to work with the latest challenges and restrictions and for continuing to care for and teach the children of key workers and those who are more vulnerable.
We now need to focus our efforts on pushing down our local infection rate again; as we did so successfully just a few weeks ago. Personal responsibility remains key and, with vaccines offering us a light at the end of the tunnel, I am hopeful this can be achieved.
Above all, please keep protecting eachother by remembering the basics of Hands, Face, Space.
CHRIS LODER MP
[Latest update 5th January 2021]
SUMMARY: what you can and cannot do during the national lockdown
You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work
You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).
You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.
Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.
SHOPS & BUSINESSES
Here is a breakdown of the new restrictions businesses must follow during the latest lockdown:
• Only essential retail such as supermarkets, pharmacies and garden centres are permitted to remain open selling everyday provisions.
• All pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes must close. However, takeaway services for food and drink can remain open until 23:00. The main change being that take away alcohol cannot be sold.
• Indoor and outdoor entertainment venues must close immediately this includes indoor and outdoor gyms, leisure centres, sports facilities and golf courses.
• Transport and delivery services can continue to operate as normal.
It is expected that this new lockdown in England will remain in place until at least mid-February.
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
- The Chancellor has announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring
- £594 million discretionary fund also made available via local Councils to support other impacted businesses
- Comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of the furlough scheme
This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement that these businesses will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the virus, and, together with the wide range of existing support measures, offers some certainty through the Spring period.
The support is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions.
For further information on financial support for businesses visit:
For more information and detailed guidance on the national lockdown restrictions visit: gov.uk/coronavirus
Download or print the full guidance
For NHS advice on the coronavirus vaccine programme, visit:
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SEE IMPORTANT LOCAL INFORMATION
MORE ON VOLUNTEERING IN DORSET
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LOCAL INFO AND CONTACTS IF YOU NEED HELP
FINANCIAL SUPPORT BUSINESSES & HOUSEHOLDS
DORSET COUNCIL DEDICATED HELPLINE: 01305 221022
If you are self-isolating or know people who are in need of help, call Dorset Council's dedicated helpline, open 8am-8pm 7 days a week.
Dorset Council Coronavirus Coordinated Community Response:
UK Government information and advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
UK Government news bulletins: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Dorset Council, Volunteering and getting support: https://news.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/2020/03/21/volunteering-and-getting-support-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
Public Health England latest: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance
NHS 111 Online patient advice questionnaire: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
NHS Advice for clinicians and healthcare professionals: https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/eprr/coronavirus/
NHS Latest news: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
NHS Advice for travellers: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
NHS Common questions on Coronavirus: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/common-questions/
Foreign Office travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
World Health Organisation latest: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
Schools/Educational updates: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687
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