The government’s Roadmap to March 2021 announced
The Prime Minister has today set out an updated Roadmap to 2021 outlining plans to prepare the NHS for the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 in the winter and for the remainder of the economy and society to return to life “as normal as possible, as fast and fairly as possible, and as safely as possible”. The key points of the speech were:
Support for the NHS
· Increasing the amount of testing capacity to half a million antigen tests per day.
· Launching the biggest flu vaccination programme in history.
· £3bn additional funding for the NHS for winter preparation.
· Using the independent sector to increase resource and maintain the Nightingale hospitals as fully operational until March.
Local powers to deal with local lockdowns
· A framework will be published today on how local areas should deal with local lockdowns.
· Councils will be given powers from tomorrow to take action in their areas, for example, to close outdoor spaces and cancel events.
· Draft regulations will be laid for ministers to be able to close local premises, issue stay at home orders, restrict travel, and prevent people from entering or leaving areas.
Easing Covid-19 restrictions
· Effective from now people are encouraged to use public transport if they need to although they should consider alternatives if available.
· From 25 July, as previously planned, indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and swimming pools can open.
· From 1 August, bowling alleys, skating rinks, and personal beauty services can open. Nightclubs and soft play centres must remain closed for now.
· From 1 August, employers will have the discretion to make decisions about how to get back to work safely – this could mean some people continuing to work from home, for some people this may be coming back into work settings.
· From 1 August, indoor performances can take place. Wider audience attendance at sports event in stadia will be piloted with the aim to bring back audiences in stadia in October. Weddings of up to 30 people will be permitted from August.
· From November at the earliest there will be a review on whether to relax social distancing measures and signal a complete return to normal.
· The Government’s formal shielding programme is due to end on 31 July. Shielding will be stood up again at any point if required.
Further guidance is expected on each of these different stages and we expect a further Government update on 1 August.
Don’t just dump it if you want to donate’ message about textile banks
Basingstoke and Deane residents wanting to donate their clothing and textiles at the borough council’s recycling sites are being urged to check if their chosen charity has resumed collections before taking items to the recycling banks.
Many charities stopped collecting donations of clothing or textiles during the pandemic and have only just resumed this. Residents have continued to bring items to the council-owned sites creating a build-up at some sites, which is not only classed as fly-tipping but also presents a fire risk.
As a result, the sites are having to be cleared by the council’s waste crew rather than benefitting the charities they were intended for. To ensure the charities benefit from these donations, residents are being asked to hold on to items if the banks are full and not to leave bags on the ground beside them.
There are 59 textile bins at the council’s recycling sites across the borough. Find out more about the sites and where they are located at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/recycling-sites