Community Connectors 8 April 2021
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Further easing of restrictions from Monday

Earlier this week (5 April), the Prime Minister confirmed the Government’s four tests for easing COVID-19 restrictions have been met allowing further restrictions to be lifted eased his Monday 12 April.
This includes the reopening of outdoor hospitality, gyms, non-essential retail, hairdressers and salons and outdoor attractions. From the same date, the number of care home visitors will also increase to two per resident, all children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity, parent and child groups of up to 15 people can restart indoors and weddings will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees.
Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to six people or two households, and people must not socialise indoors with anyone they do not live with or have not formed a support bubble with. People should continue to work from home and minimise domestic travel where they can.
View the latest Coronavirus guidance

Supporting our town centres

We have just launched a new campaign to encourage visitors to safely support their town centres when restrictions are further eased from this Monday.
The campaign, funded by the EU High Streets Safely Fund, celebrates the incredible businesses that make up our four town centres.
Traders from Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Swanley and Westerham are taking part in a special video campaign – Shop, Eat, Drink, Breathe Local, that will show locals and visitors what they do best.
Running on YouTube and shared across our social media channels from Monday, local traders will take part in a series of videos demonstrating their skills, talking about products and services in fun and inventive ways, and encouraging people to visit the high street and support local, safely. Among these will be a tour of Swanley Pet Centre, an update from Schmidt Sevenoaks on how they’ve adapted throughout the pandemic and an interview with the team at Entre Nous in Westerham.
The first phase of the campaign focusses on non-essential retail from 12 April, and a second phase focusses on hospitality businesses as they prepare to reopen from 17 May.

Vaccination news

A total of 59,006 people across the Sevenoaks District were vaccinated between 8 December 2020 and 4 April 2021.
Across Kent and Medway, 1,042455 doses of the vaccine were given up to 4 April 2021.

COVID-19 infection data

The latest data we have from the Government and Public Health England is dated 1 April. In the past week rates have fallen in most areas in the county, with a marginal increase being seen in Sevenoaks. However, this is by 6 cases only, and given the significant increase in testing available within schools and their staff and students’ parents, this is not unduly worrying.
The case rate in the Sevenoaks District to 24 March was 17.4, up slightly from 15.7 per 100,000 the previous week. This is significantly lower than that of the England rate, at 40.0, which is continuing to fall each week. 
There are currently 32 active cases in the District, compared to 26 cases recorded at 25 March. According to KCC, the cases are associated with household clusters and single cases within residential dwellings.

Visit the NHS website for local and national vaccination data.

Twice-weekly rapid tests for everyone in England

On Monday (5 April), the Government announced that everyone in England, including those without symptoms, will be able to take a free, COVID-19 lateral flow test twice a week.
The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:

  • A home ordering service
  • Workplace testing on-site or at home
  • Community testing
  • Collection at a local test site
  • Testing on-site at schools and colleges
  • A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should continue to book a test online or by calling 119.
Further details of the scheme will be posted on our website as soon as they’re available.

Working safely during the Coronavirus

Last week, the Government updated the guidance on working safely during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The updates include additional information for different sectors on ventilation, tests, and how Coronavirus restrictions will be eased.
Specific updates have also been made to test and trace requirements for hospitality, tourism, leisure, and close contact services. There are also updates regarding operating fitting rooms safely for shops and branches.
Find out more about working safely during Coronavirus.

Safer public places

As restrictions continue to be lifted, the Government has updated its safer public places guidance, aimed at owners and operators of urban centres and green spaces.
View the latest public space guidance.

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