Hampshire County Council: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Edition 54

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Government press conferences - 22 - 25 May


On Monday 25 May, the press conference was chaired by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. The Government confirmed that on Thursday 28 May, the three-weekly review will take place, during which, a formal assessment of the five tests will be outlined. Confidence was given for the UK to move into step 2 on Monday 1 June, along with notice of the anticipated changes. It is the Government’s intention to allow outdoor markets to reopen from 1 June, subject to all premises being made Covid-secure, as well as car showrooms. From 15 June, the Government intend to allow all other non-essential retail to reopen.

On Sunday 24 May, the press conference was chaired by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. It was announced that it is the Government’s intention to begin the phased reopening of schools to certain pupils on Monday 1 June. From 15 June, the intention is for secondary schools to provide contact for Year 10 and Year 12 students to help them prepare for exams next year. The final decision will be made on Thursday 28 May as part of the formal review of the lockdown measures. The Government outlined the range of safety measures that will be put into place within schools to keep staff, children, and their families safe.

On Saturday 23 May, the press conference was chaired by the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, who confirmed the measures being taken to support the recovery of the transport sector. The Government announced a new investment of £283 million to help buses, trams and light-rail networks return to service. The public were reminded that public transport should only be used if essential and where there is no alternative. The Government also outlined other initiatives such as the reversal of Beeching rail cuts (to include: passenger services on the Totton-Fawley (Waterside) and reinstatement of branch lines on the Isle of Wight); the repurposing parking outside town centres and; the bicycle maintenance voucher scheme.

On Friday 22 May, the press conference was chaired by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Priti Patel. The Government announced temporary public health restrictions at UK borders. The restrictions require international arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days, except those on the list of exemptions. The measures will be introduced from 8 June and will be reviewed every three weeks.

The press conference slides and datasets are available to view online: 22 May, 23 May, 24 May and 25 May.

As of 5pm on 25 May, the total number of lab-confirmed cases was 261,184. The daily number of lab-confirmed cases was 1,625. The total number of Covid-19 associated deaths was 36,914, with 121 new deaths reported on the day. The data is available to view online.


National context


Support for rough sleepers

The Government has announced plans to provide long-term, safe, homes for vulnerable rough sleepers, backed by £433 million funding. 3,300 homes are to be made available in next 12 months.


Rough sleeping taskforce

The head of the Covid-19 rough sleeping taskforce, Dame Louise Casey, is urging communities, businesses, charities and faith groups, to join forces with Government, councils and charities during the Covid-19 pandemic to help house rough sleepers and turn their lives around.


Reopening High Streets Safely Fund

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced a new £50 million fund for councils to prepare for the safe reopening of high streets and other retail spaces. The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will support practical measures such as new signage, street marking and barriers.


Attendance in education settings

The Department for Education has updated the data on attendance in education and early years settings up to 22 May.



The Department for Education has updated the planning guides for school leaders to help them prepare to open their schools for more pupils. In addition, the guidance and advice about Covid-19 in educational settings for staff, parents and carers, pupils and students has been updated.


Online educational resources

The Department for Education has updated the list of online resources, organised by key stage.


Citizens advice

A funding boost was announced of up to £15 million for Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland to help them deal with increased demand for advice and information from the public. This is part of the £750 million announced by the Chancellor to help frontline charities.


Voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations

The Government has updated the guidance on financial support for VCSE organisations.


Green spaces

Updated guidance on accessing green spaces safely has been provided to include the latest advice on ticketed garden venues.


Searching for archaeological finds

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has issued guidance for members of the public searching for archaeological finds during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Reallocating road space

The Department for Transport has updated the guidance for local authorities on managing their road networks in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to include details of amended legislation to speed up making Traffic Orders.


Border control

The Government has issued guidance on entering the UK from 8 June. The new rules will apply to both returning UK residents and visitors.


Providing home care

The Department of Health and Social Care has published information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home.



The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that the anti-viral drug, remdesivir, will be made available to patients meeting certain clinical criteria to support their recovery in hospital. The drug is currently undergoing clinical trials around the world, including in the UK, with early data showing it can shorten the time to recovery by about four days.


Social distancing guidance for young people

The Cabinet Office has issued new guidance for young people about social distancing and what they can do to stay alert and safe.


Working safely

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has updated the working safely guidance for shops to reflect industry feedback and to expand coverage of non-essential retail categories ahead of planned re-opening.


Covid-19 planning and coordination

The Government has published the letters exchanged between the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.


Coronavirus sick pay scheme

The Treasury has confirmed that the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, which was announced at the Budget, opened for applications this morning (26 May). The service can be accessed here.


Elite sport

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has issued ‘stage two’ of its elite sport ‘return to training’ guidance.


Local context


Scam awareness - Members asked to be extra vigilant

There have been a significant number of reports nationally about criminals exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to target individuals and organisations. The County Council is working closely with partners, including law enforcement, to ensure that Members, officers and the public are as well-equipped as possible to spot and fight online threats.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of new community and voluntary organisations have been created – the majority of these organisations are legitimate, and the County Council is grateful for the work they are doing. Some such groups and organisations are able to apply to their local Councillor for a grant through the Member Grants Scheme.

As these organisations may be currently unknown to the County Council, Members are asked to remain particularly vigilant to the legitimacy of the organisation. The application process is designed to carefully gather a proportionate amount of information so that Members can make an informed decision as to whether a grant application is in line with the criteria before awarding money. Spot checks are also carried out by officers to ensure that all necessary information has been provided and the criteria are met. Advice and support on the application process and grant criteria is available online and via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Hampshire County Council has also published information on grant funding related to the coronavirus pandemic which includes information and links to the range of funding sources available and further advice for the charity sector.

Follow the Government’s advice on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cybercrime and always Stop, Challenge and Protect. Other useful information and advice is available from Hampshire County Council Trading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre.


Gosport Ferry

Hampshire County Council, along with Gosport Borough Council and Portsmouth City Council have agreed a £90,000 package to help keep the Gosport ferry running. Following discussions with Gosport Ferry and the Department for Transport, Gosport, Portsmouth, and Hampshire councils will each give the ferry company £30,000 to ensure it can maintain a service for the next two months.

Gosport Ferry has experienced a 90% drop in passenger numbers since the lockdown and furloughed half of its 36 staff. One of the two vessels is still running providing a vital link for communities on either side of Portsmouth Harbour and for a significant number of key workers.


Country parks

Hampshire County Council’s country park car parks remain open to local visitors over the half-term holiday. All country parks (excluding Staunton Farm and Manor Farm attractions) are operating normal opening hours and normal parking rates. Toilets are open but cafés, shops, visitor centres and play areas remain closed until further notice and in line with current government guidance.

The County Council was pleased to see that most visitors to Hampshire’s country parks this bank holiday weekend acted responsibly. However, a small number of people parked on double yellow lines causing obstructions. Rangers had to seek the support of Police to resolve the situation.



Hampshire County Council continues to engage with and inform residents through social media platforms on Covid-19 related topics. The household waste recycling centre (HWRC) re-opening information campaign concluded yesterday (25 May), having started on 11 May. An informative animation was promoted across Twitter and Facebook and in total had 174,713 impressions (number of times advert is shown).

The “staying well at home” campaign which is targeted at residents aged 60 years and over has also been well received. The animation has been played 69,605 times.


Additional links


Bookings Diary

Clift Meadow

Village Hall

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