Hampshire County Council: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Edition 20

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National context


Government's daily press conference

The conference was hosted by Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, and Professor Yvonne Doyle from Public Health England. 

The Secretary of State provided an update on the steps the Government are taking to slow the spread of coronavirus and to expand the NHS care available for patients. Mr Sharma confirmed that 2,352 people who tested positive for the virus have died in UK hospitals, a rise of 563 on yesterday’s figure. A total of 152,979 people have been tested for the virus, of whom 29,474 returned a positive result. 

Mr Sharma said that the Government recognises the extreme disruption caused by the virus and he thanked everyone for the collective effort they have made to tackle the pandemic. He paid particular tribute to the businesses which have supported life-saving work, as well as to businesses who are supporting their staff by providing the necessary adjustments to work policies. 

Mr Sharma reiterated that the Government would do all it can to support UK businesses. He warned banks that it would be "completely unacceptable" for them to refuse financial assistance to firms in need and referenced the bailout the banks received from the taxpayer following the 2008 financial crisis. 

The COBR slides were today presented by Prof Yvonne Doyle, she highlighted that there has been an increase in car use and an increase in new UK hospital admissions. 

Press conference slides and datasets used in the daily coronavirus press conference on 1 April 2020.


Changes to the Care Act 2014

The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance on temporary changes to the Care Act 2014 to help local authorities prioritise care and support for those who need it most during the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance is intended to be read alongside the ethical framework for adult social care.


Business support grant funding

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published guidance for businesses setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund and Retail, Hospitality and the Leisure Grant Fund. Guidance has also been published for local authorities about the operation and delivery of the two grants.


Sport England support challenge

Sport England has announced a support package of up to £195 million to help the community sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing crisis.


New advice for safe funerals

Public Health England has published new guidance to ensure funerals are conducted safely and are consistent with the social distancing principles.


School closure guidance

The Department for Education has updated its guidance for schools about temporary closure, with new information about social distancing and school ‘hubs’-which is the term being used for a group of schools joining up to operate from one site.


Newly qualified teachers

The Department for Education has issued newly qualified teacher guidance about induction during the coronavirus public health emergency. It updates and replaces the statutory guidance which accompanied the Education (Induction Arrangements for School Teachers) (England) Regulations 2008.


Online safety

The Department for Education has updated the guidance on the closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers to include a section on keeping children safe online.


Local context


Supporting vulnerable residents

The County Council’s Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable – is now fully operational, coordinating support to Hampshire’s most vulnerable residents who do not have others they can call upon. Key information on how to access support will be promoted on social media via a short animation, tomorrow.


Hampshire County Council coronavirus webpage

The County Council has refreshed its webpage which brings together the latest updates and guidance on coronavirus for Hampshire residents. The information is also currently highlighted on the County Council’s homepage. Services which have been altered due to coronavirus are highlighted in an easy access summary.


Support for Hampshire bus operators

The County Council has confirmed it will support Hampshire’s bus operators during the coronavirus outbreak by continuing bus subsidy, concessionary fares, and home to school transport payments where students use bus services. 

In addition, in response to supermarkets offering priority opening hours for senior citizens, the County Council recently relaxed all restrictions on the Concessionary Travel scheme so that older people can travel by bus using their free pass before the usual 9.30 am threshold. Press release available here.


Penalty Charge Notices

Penalty Charge Notices for on-street parking violations across Hampshire will temporarily only be issued for obstructive or dangerous parking that jeopardises road safety or restricts essential access for emergency services, disabled drivers and key workers, or the delivery of food and essential supplies.


South Western Railway (SWR)

The Managing Director of SWR has confirmed that further adjustments have been made to their revised timetable, with extra early morning and later evening trains to better meet key workers’ travel patterns. SWR’s priority is to keep trains running for essential workers, while keeping everyone safe and helping prevent the spread of the virus. They have also adapted their cleaning regime to focus on disinfecting trains.


Additional links


Bookings Diary

Clift Meadow

Village Hall

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