Bath & North East Somerset Council has responded to the Government’s lockdown announcement on Saturday by highlighting the challenges the area faces in reducing the rate of infection, which have been rising rapidly in recent weeks.
The council has also committed to supporting the most vulnerable and to keeping public and staff safe, whilst maintaining services wherever possible within the restrictions that are finally adopted by central government.
The Council will provide updates in line with further government guidance, expected over the coming days but is already planning to close the Roman Baths from Thursday November 5, with refunds made automatically. Christmas events planned for the city by Visit Bath and partners are also now being reviewed in line with Government guidance and further updates will be announced.
Councillor Dine Romero, council leader, said: “For the first time the rate of infection in Bath and North East Somerset is higher than the national average with 234.77 cases per 100,000 recorded. Crucially we are now seeing infections across all age groups not just young people. Covid-19 kills. All ages can catch it and anyone can spread it. More than ever it is vital we all play our part to stop this rapid rise and protect the NHS, not least our own Royal United Hospital, and to save lives.
“Even with the measures proposed by central government, reducing the rate of infection will not be easy and is not assured. The proposed government lockdown will also take its toll and we will provide support to the vulnerable or isolated through our Community Wellbeing Hub which can be contacted on 0300 247 0050. Details about the hub and other useful information was contained in a letter sent to all households this week. Please keep hold of the letter so you know how and where you can get the latest updates about our services.
“Although the government are proposing that schools, colleges and Universities remain open, we know that any lockdown will hit our communities hard, including local businesses and in particular hospitality and shops deemed “non-essential”. The measures announced on Saturday will also impact on the council’s budget with loss of revenue from Heritage and Parking services. We have all been through a great deal already and we now face the very hard challenge which is to get numbers down over the next four weeks. Please play your part, stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
The Government announcement proposes:
From Thursday 5 November, everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. These include:
For work, if you cannot work from home;
For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
To shop for food and essentials;
And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.
Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed. Click and collect services can continue and essential shops, including supermarkets, will remain open. Pubs, bars, restaurants must close, except for takeaway and delivery services.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as the furlough scheme, will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
Guidance on the new measures is available at: bit.ly/guidance5nov
Details of the extended furlough scheme and other economic support, can be found here: bit.ly/economicsupport