Vaccination centre update from the NHS

From today, and for a trial period of seven days, the NHS will be offering walk-in appointments for residents eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination at four large-scale vaccination centres across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Walk-in appointments will be offered seven days a week, between 12.30pm and 3.30pm, at Solent NHS Trust run centres including Basingstoke Fire Station, St James’s Hospital in Portsmouth, The Riverside Centre in Newport on the Isle of Wight and the NHS Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group Offices at Oakley Road in Millbrook, Southampton.

The walk-in service is being offered to people in line with recommendations from the JCVI:

  • people age 64 and over
  • people who have received a letter from the government saying they are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • adults in receipt of Carer’s Allowance

To use the walk-in vaccine service, people will need to arrive at one of the four large-scale centres between 12.30pm and 3.30pm and bring proof of eligibility (for example, a shielding letter from the government, photo identification including date of birth, or Department of Work and Pensions letter for eligible carers, specifying in receipt of Carer’s Allowance). There may be a short wait for people to receive their vaccine.

David Noyes, Chief Operating Officer at Solent NHS Trust, said: “We know that the vaccination programme is our way out of this pandemic. Opening the walk-in appointments at the four large-scale vaccination centres for this group of people will help us to vaccinate even more people with the highest need quicker. We are delighted to be able to offer this service for a trial period.”

Eligible people can now choose to either walk-in, or pre-book appointments by visiting www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination, where they can choose a time slot and location that suits them, or they can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week.

People who are carers known to their local authority, or a local care organisation, but not in receipt of carers allowance, can be assured that they will also receive a vaccination. Local authorities will be contacting these individuals to arrange a vaccine appointment for them, please bear with them as they work through this process, they will be in contact as soon as possible.

Whilst visiting the centres, people are asked to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives –following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance.

 

Roadmap out of lockdown announced

Today, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the government’s roadmap out of lockdown for England. The plan will be implemented in four steps, with a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the scientific data to reflect the changes in restrictions and to be analysed; followed by one week’s advance notice of the restrictions that will be eased.

The national lockdown guidance on what you can and cannot do has been updated to include the changes ahead from Monday 8 March.  Until that point England is still in a national lockdown so people must stay at home, leaving only where permitted by law, and follow the rules.

At each step, the restrictions will be lifted across the whole of England at the same time:

Step 1 (8 March and 29 March)

8 March:

  • All pupils to return to schools and further education colleges for all years. Wraparound childcare, such as after-school clubs, can reopen. Childcare and children’s supervised activities can also resume where necessary to enable parents to work or engage in similar activities. Twice-weekly rapid testing for secondary and college pupils – in addition to regular testing for all teachers – to reduce the chance of the virus spreading in schools.
  • Higher Education students at English universities on practical courses can also return from 8 March.
  • Care home residents can have one named visitor indoors who must take a rapid COVID test that is negative and wear appropriate PPE.
  • Outdoor recreation, such as a picnic, is allowed, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

29 March:

  • Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either six people (the rule of six) or two households will also be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
  • The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place:
    • people should continue to work from home where they can;
    • people should minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes
    • travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme.

Step 2 (no earlier than 12 April)

  • Opening of non-essential retail.
  • Outdoor hospitality can open. Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors at Step 2 and there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’).
  • Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons can open.
  • Public buildings, including libraries and community centres can open.
  • Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will also reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups).
  • Most outdoor attractions and settings including venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas.
  • Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
  • Funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners, and the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15.

Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May)

The government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances and allowing households to mix indoors. This means that from Step 3:

  • Most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.
  • Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply.
  • By no later than Step 3, the advice on social distancing between friends and family will be updated, including hugging. But until this point, people should continue to keep their distance from anyone not in their household or support bubble.
  • Most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and businesses may not cater for groups bigger than the legal limits.
  • Indoor hospitality will reopen – and as in Step 2, venues will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and there will be no curfew. Customers will, however, have to order, eat and drink while seated.
  • Other indoor locations to open in Step 3 including:
    • indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas;
    • the rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs;
    • indoor adult group sports and exercise classes;
    • some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number), and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number);
    • in the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower);
    • up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals and other life event ceremonies.

Step 4 (no earlier than 21 June)

  • Remaining premises will reopen, including nightclubs; and
  • restrictions will be eased on large events and performances that apply in Step 3. This will be subject to the results of a scientific Events Research Programme to test the outcome of certain pilot events through the spring and summer, where we will trial the use of testing and other techniques to cut the risk of infection. The same Events Research Programme will guide decisions on whether all limits can be removed on weddings and other life events.

M3 Northbound Junction 6 – 5 Resurfacing

From Highways England:

We will carry out this work from Friday 5 March 2021 to Thursday 18 March 2021, Monday to Friday working only. To minimise disruption to our customers, we’ll work overnight from 9pm to 6am when there are fewer vehicles on the road. 

For the safety of our workforce and customers, the M3 northbound will be closed between junctions 6-5 including the northbound on slip at junction 6 during the above dates and times. 

During the closure, we’ll put a diversion route in place via, A30 London Road and A278. Access for Emergency Vehicles will be maintained throughout the closure. 

Please note that these works are subject to change due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances. We’ll advertise the closures on yellow signs placed in advance at the junction/alongside the road. 

I would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience or disruption you may experience during this work. 

If you have any questions, or if you would like to know about our work, please contact us on 0300 123 5000 or email info@highwaysengland.co.uk. Or you can visit our website at https://highwaysengland.co.uk/travel-updates/daily-closure-report/ where you can find a weekly report of all full closures across the network.

Census 2021 is on its way

Households across Basingstoke and Deane are being urged to take part in Census 2021 next month.

The census, which is run by the Office for National Statistics, is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

Taking place on Sunday 21 March 2021, the survey provides information to all kinds of organisations, from councils and charities to healthcare providers, to help them deliver the services we all need, such as transport, education and healthcare.

Residents will receive a census pack and instructions through the post in early March. Residents needing support, help or translation services can access them, both online and by phone.

This year’s survey will be the first digital-first Census and will be easy to complete on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them. As well as questions around residents’ sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity, for the first time and to reflect the modern age we live in, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity. This will help shape services for veterans and further work around equality and diversity.

Basingstoke and Deane has previously had a great success rate in Census returns with a response rate of 97% in 2011, compared to 94% nationally.

Census results will be published in 2022. For more information, visit www.census.gov.uk/

Community testing for eligible workers to launch across Hampshire

Hampshire County Council is preparing to introduce rapid community testing for eligible residents without coronavirus symptoms from next week.

Subject to Government approval, 11 community testing sites will begin operation across the county during the week commencing 22 February. The appointment-only scheme, which will run for six weeks and is being delivered by the county council in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care and local borough or district councils, is aimed at Hampshire residents who travel regularly outside their home for work and who are not covered by an existing workplace testing scheme.

The proposed test site location for Basingstoke and Deane is South Ham Library. Other sites in the county include:

  • East Hants – Alton Sports Centre
  • Eastleigh – The Point
  • Fareham – Fareham College
  • Gosport – Thorngate Hall Community Centre
  • Hart – Hart District Council Offices
  • Havant – Havant Library
  • New Forest – Totton Health & Leisure Centre
  • Rushmoor – Farnborough Leisure Centre
  • Test Valley – Picket Twenty Sports Ground
  • Winchester – Winchester Discovery Centre

For more information, visit www.hants.gov.uk/testing-no-symptoms

THE BASINGSTOKE AND DEANE BOROUGH COUNCIL (TEMPORARY ROAD CLOSURE) (A33 Sherfield on Loddon) ORDER 2021

Notice is hereby given that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council pursuant to arrangements made under Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972 with Hampshire County Council in exercise of the powers of the said County Council and in exercise of the powers under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (“the Act”), and of all other enabling powers has made the following Order:-

Reason for Order: The Council are satisfied that traffic on the road should be restricted or prohibited because works are being or are proposed to be executed on or near the road.

Effect of Order:  A speed limit restriction will be applied along A33 Sherfield on Loddon, From a point 215m north of the Taylors Farm Roundabout to a point 410m south of the Taylors Farm Roundabout as shown on drawing 18-007/028 Revision B, as directed by traffic signs.  The restriction is to reduce the speed limit from 50mph to 30mph during highway works at and in advance of the Taylors Farm Roundabout and for the new housing development to the land east of the A33.

Duration of Order: The order will come into effect on 01 March 2021 for 18 months.

Alternative Route:  None.

The exemptions under S87 of the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 and the Road Traffic Exemptions (Special Forces) (Variation and Amendment) Regulations 2011 will apply to the Order.

If you have any queries regarding the above please contact Omar Ramirez-Morales on 01425 477 666 or omar.ramirez@bellway.co.uk on behalf of Bellway HomesPlans also available on the website at https://www.basingstoke.gov.uk/ttro

Covid-19 variant – rapid testing in Bramley update from BDBC

On Saturday (13 February), the County Council communicated that a positive case of the South African variant of Covid-19 had been found in the Bramley area. In line with government guidelines, the County Council is working with us, Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to implement a localised rapid testing programme in the area. This has had extensive national and local media coverage.

All residents over the age of 16 years in the identified area are being asked to undertake a free Covid-19 test. The test is voluntary, but residents will be encouraged to take part to help DHSC to better understand and prevent the spread of new variants. Those taking part can expect to receive their results from NHS Test and Trace within two to three days.

It is expected that the testing programme will begin on Wednesday, involving some 2,000 properties in the local area. A team, led by Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, with support from the voluntary sector, will deliver testing kits, an explanatory letter and instructions to each property. Those delivering will show formal identification.

Households will be asked to register the testing kit(s) online, then encouraged to complete the test(s) promptly, following which the team will collect the completed tests. Arrangements are being made to support households who do not have online access to register. More detailed information about how the testing programme works, a postcode checker to help residents confirm whether they are affected and a set of FAQs have been published on the County Council’s website.

It is important to note that the risk of transmission from this particular case is considered to be very low, helped by the fact that national restrictions are in place with most people staying at home and adhering to the government guidance of ‘hands-face-space’. Furthermore, there is no evidence that this variant causes more severe illness, or that the regulated vaccines do not protect against it.

Linked operations are established in other parts of the UK. There is a list of all locations and further information available on GOV UK – surge testing and variants: distribution of cases data.

Changes to BDBC planning duty service

The planning duty service is offering telephone appointments to customers three days a week, from Tuesday to Thursday.  In a change to the current system, the number of days the duty service is available has been reduced from five to three, but still with more than enough bookable slots to meet demand each week.

These regular bookable slots allow customers to speak to BDBC planning experts while also allowing officers time to focus on the determination of planning applications and paid pre-applications. These adjustments to the service support the changes to our working practices that have been required during the pandemic. For more information visit Duty planning service (basingstoke.gov.uk)

Vaccination update

Hampshire Fire Station vaccination centre in Basingstoke went live on Monday 1st February, run by the local NHS.

BDBC has helped with the setting up of the new centre, which supports the roll-out of the vaccination programme.