Hampshire County Council: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Edition 57

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Government press conference - 28 May


The Press Conference was chaired by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.


The Government confirmed that the five tests for changing the current restrictions are currently being met. Therefore, it was announced they will move forward with ‘limited and cautious’ changes to the lockdown measures. It was confirmed that from Monday 1 June, schools will reopen to more children including early years, reception, Year 1 and Year 6. From 15 June, secondary schools will begin to provide face to face contact for Years 10 and 12.


From Monday 1 June, outdoor retail and car showrooms will be permitted to open, with other non-essential retail to follow on 15 June provided they are able to enforce the correct social distancing measures. The Government also announced that from Monday 1 June groups of up to six people will be permitted to meet outside, including in private gardens and outdoor spaces, provided people from separate households stay two metres apart.


It was confirmed that people who have been asked to shield should continue to do so. The Government stated that with future local outbreaks, some measures will need to be re-imposed.


The press conference slides and datasets are available to view online.


As of 4pm on 28 May, the total number of lab-confirmed cases was 269,127. The daily number of lab-confirmed cases was 1,887. The total number of Covid-19 associated deaths was 37,837, with 377 new deaths reported on the day. The data is available to view online.


National context


Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published guidance on the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund which supports small and micro businesses that are not eligible for other grant schemes.



The Department for Education has updated the guidance for FE colleges and providers to provide further information to plan for wider opening, including clarification on the total proportion of learners from eligible cohorts that should be in education settings at any one time.


Free school meals

Guidance has been updated for schools and local authorities on free school meals arrangements during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Early years

Advice for parents and carers of early years children has been updated to include information on mental health and wellbeing.


Schools forums

The Department for Education has amended the Schools Forums (England) Regulations 2012 to clarify that schools forums are able to continue to meet remotely. This change ensures that schools forums can continue to play their role uninterrupted during this year’s funding cycle. The schools forum operational and good practice guide will be updated.


Emergency active travel fund

The Department for Transport has published the indicative funding allocations for the local transport authorities of the emergency active travel fund. The funding supports local transport authorities with producing cycling and walking facilities. The funding will be awarded in two tranches (Hampshire’s total allocation is £4,316,000).


Social impacts

The Office for National Statistics has published indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 21 May to 24 May, which aimed to understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people, households and communities.


Mental capacity

The Department of Health and Social Care has updated the guidance for health and social care staff who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks relevant mental capacity. Updates have been made to the 'emergency public health powers' section.


Coronavirus Act Report

The first two-monthly report on which powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020 are currently active, as required by the Act, has been published.


Financial support for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced £5 million additional funding for community projects supporting people with their mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The Government has updated the list of funding announced for VCSE organisations to include funding granted to support to modern slavery charities.


High streets

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced that the Government is working with leading businesses and trade associations to publish a code of practice to support high street businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic.


Covid-19 High Performance Computing consortium

The Government has announced that the UK has become the first country outside the US to join the Covid-19 High-Performance Computing consortium. The consortium should help accelerate Covid-19 research, helping further treatments, knowledge and understanding.


EU and GB drivers' hours rules

The Department for Transport has updated the guidance on the temporary relaxation of the EU and GB drivers’ hours rules for drivers carrying goods by road.


Advice for smokers and vapers

Public Health England has issued advice for people who smoke or vape during the Covid-19 outbreak.



The Home Office has updated the guidance for Tier 4 sponsors, migrants and short-term students on temporary concessions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Information has been added on the extension of concessions from 31 May to 31 July, updated list of NHS professions in which Tier 4 students can work full-time, as well as other extensions and concessions.


Local context


Wider re-opening of schools on 1 June

Hampshire’s pre-schools, nurseries and primary schools are ready to welcome more children back to school from Monday 1 June. All educational settings will have undertaken a thorough health and safety risk assessment to identify the required measures to reduce the risk of spreading infection – and will have their own approach, based on the amount of space and the number of staff available.


Parents and carers are advised to follow the information they receive about the arrangements, including those for the home to school journey. As announced by Government, secondary schools are now planning for some part-time face-to-face contact with young people in Year 10 from 15 June 2020. A press release is published on the County Council’s website.


Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

Following government guidance, Hampshire County Council is reopening Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey to members from Monday 8 June as part of a phased re-opening.  Initially, the Gardens will not be open to the general public, but capacity will be increased as the Government eases restrictions further.  


The Gardens’ team will be contacting members with an explanation of what the safety measures will be. These include a pre-booking system to help avoid long queues, no payment transactions, and reduced accessible parking. Some toilets will be open but the visitor pavilion, café, restaurant, gift shop, exhibition gallery and play areas remain closed until further notice. Press release to be issued on the County Council website.


High fire risk in the New Forest

Forestry England has issued an alert to warn residents and visitors that there is a high fire risk in the New Forest. Subsequently, fires of any kind, including BBQs or disposal of cigarettes, are currently not allowed anywhere in the Forest.


Hampshire CVS Network

The Hampshire CVS Network has issued the latest edition of their newsletter, Nexus. The newsletter includes Covid-19 updates from Community First, Basingstoke Voluntary Action, Rushmoor Voluntary Services, Unity, Gosport Voluntary Action and One Community.


Supermarket update

Rushmoor Borough Council and Rushmoor Voluntary Services have issued a weekly supermarket update which contains information on current opening times, priority shopper and general shopper information, and availability updates for online shopping slots.


Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Support Services Grants

The Police and Crime Commissioner is urging charities and other eligible groups that work locally with victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence to submit a bid for funding by Friday 5 June. Further information on how to apply, including the grant criteria, details of the grant process and contact information can be found within the ‘Guide to applying for the Extraordinary funding for victims of Domestic and Sexual Abuse’.


Rail Services

South Western Railway has been running a reduced train service since March, in line with the Government’s programme of urging all but essential travel on public transport. From Monday 1 June, they will re-introduce services on several routes including:

  • An hourly service between Guildford and Farnham
  • An hourly service between Ascot and Aldershot
  • A full service on the Salisbury to Romsey via Southampton Central & Eastleigh service
  • A full service on the Island Line

Additional links


Bookings Diary

Clift Meadow

Village Hall

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