Coronavirus self help hub
From Tuesday 5 January 2021, new national lockdown rules will apply in England with Coronavirus cases rising rapidly across the country.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated the measures are necessary as data shows a new variant of COVID-19 is between 50% and 70% more transmissible, so people are much more likely to catch the virus and to pass it on.
This has led to hospitals being under more pressure from COVID-19 than at any time since start of pandemic, according to the Government.
Coronavirus self help hub
This page contains advice and information for the public about Coronavirus (COVID-19).
For information about the virus and how you can look after your health, visit our health advice page.
For the latest information about Coronavirus in the UK, visit the Government website.
The Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline number, 0300 790 6275, is now live and will make it easier for people access any local authority help they may need, including emotional support, in the current crisis.
If you need to contact South Somerset District Council for any other matter, please continue to use 01935 462462.
Citizens Advice South Somerset have created two short videos to help you understand your rights, options and choices in regards to employment and Benefits.
We will regularly update this page with the latest information, so please use the dropdowns below for further advice.
If you have a query or concern that isn't answered below, you can contact us.
What the new 5 January lockdown restrictions mean
You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
You should follow this guidance immediately. The law will be updated to reflect these new rules.
You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. This will be put in law. The police can take action against you if you leave home without a ‘reasonable excuse’, and issue you with a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice).
Our news page explains:
- all the reasonable excuses to leave home
- information about school and education providers
- information on travel
- meeting others
- international travel
- Staying away from home overnight
- Businesses and venues which must close
- Businesses and venues which can remain open
What to do if you’re employed and cannot work
The Government has produced guidance for people who are employed and cannot work due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
You can view the guidance on the .Gov website here.
Getting tested for COVID-19
Residents are being urged to only get a Coronavirus test if you are displaying symptoms of the virus.
The reason we stress that you should not get a test unless you are displaying symptoms is because it will only give you a snapshot of that particular time and you could still be incubating the virus – many people have the virus and show no symptoms at all.
This is particularly important if you have been a close contact* of someone that has tested positive for coronavirus – in this case you must self-isolate at home for ten days, even if you do not display any symptoms – don’t get a test if you don’t have symptoms but if you do and it is negative, you must still complete the 10 day isolation period
*a close contact is:
- having face-to-face contact with someone less than 1 metre away (this will include times where you have worn a face covering or a face mask)
- spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
- travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane
If you do need to get a test, visit the .Gov website for their latest advice on how to get tested for Coronavirus.
Advice on Covid-19 scams
Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus
The coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak is going to have an impact on everyone’s daily lives, as the Government and the NHS take necessary steps to manage the outbreak, reduce transmission and treat those who need medical attention.
The Government have shared advice and information on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing at this time.
Guidance for businesses and employers
Waste & recycling updates
Visit our Waste and recycling updates page for full information about these services, including updates on recycling sites across Somerset.
Government Test and Trace Service
The NHS Test and Trace service helps identify, contain and control COVID-19, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.
Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions.
People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have any symptoms. This will help stop them unknowingly spreading the virus.
For more information on how the Test and Trace Service works, visit this page.
If you are required by NHS Test & Trace services to isolate and you cannot work from home, the Government have announced a new one-off payment to support you.
The NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme will make sure that people are not out of pocket if they are told to self-isolate and cannot work from their home. The legal duty to self-isolate came into force on 28th September for people who test positive for Covid-19 or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and can claim a payment of £500.
Find out more information about how to apply on our Test & Trace Support page.