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.
Latest updates and guidance
In his address to the nation a few days ago, the Prime Minister outlined a roadmap for reopening society. Full details of the address can be found here https://bit.ly/CV19PMAddress.
Today, we are pleased to share further details of the recovery strategy, which you can find here: https://bit.ly/CV19RecoveryStrategy
In addition, please read the following guidance, which we have published today to support the above strategy:
- Updated social distancing guidelines: https://bit.ly/CV19StayAlert
- Guidance on making and wearing face coverings: https://bit.ly/FaceCoveringCV19
28 May - Government Test and Trace Service
Today, the Government announced the launch of the new NHS Test and Trace Service across England.
This service will help 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.
27 May - Retail reopening timeline and guidance
On 26 May, the Government set out a timeline for retail to start to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.
Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines.
All other non-essential retail will be expected to reopen from 15 June, if the five Government tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines. This gives retail stores three weeks to prepare.
Businesses will only be able to reopen from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment.
24 April - Stay at home measures
On 23 March, the Government announced three new measures to help reduce the spread of infection:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
- Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public
From 26 March, Police will have new enforcement powers and support to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Members of the public who do not comply with the above measures may now be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days. Second time offenders may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £120, doubling on each further repeat offence.
On 16 April, the Government announced that current measures must remain in place for at least the next 3 weeks.
24 April - Getting tested for COVID-19
The Government have extended coronavirus testing to:
- essential workers with symptoms
- people who live with essential workers and have symptoms
This means essential workers can find out whether they have the virus, and can be aided in returning to work if they test negative. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.
17 April - Government extends Job Retention (furlough) Scheme
The Government has extended the furlough scheme by one month - to the end of June - to reflect continuing social distancing measures.
This extension will:
- allow firms from across UK to continue to protect millions of jobs
- continue to be monitored to ensure people and businesses can get back to work as soon as it’s safe to do so to drive UK economic recovery
9 April - Advice on scams
9 April - #QuitforCovid
Emerging evidence from China has revealed that smokers with COVID-19 are 14 times more likely to develop severe respiratory disease.
ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) and NHS Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are leading the #QuitforCovid campaign.
It highlights that there are many health and financial benefits to quitting smoking, but now more than ever quitting means you can:
- Reduce the likelihood of complications from COVID-19.
- Protect the health of others. Exposure to second hand smoke also increases the risk of complications from respiratory infections.
- Reduce the burden on the NHS. Stopping smoking brings immediate health benefits particularly to the heart and lungs.
For further information, visit Today is the Day
A Twitter account @QuitforCovid has also been set up to support people to stop smoking. Every day between 7.30 and 8.30 a quit clinic is hosted with a health expert to provide advice and support for people who’d like to quit.
31 March - Government support for disabled people
The Government have released a statement outlining how it plans to support disabled people, their carers and their families during the coronavirus outbreak.
31 March - Government support for mental health and wellbeing
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.
26 March - Government support for the self employed
The Government has announced measures to support self-employed individuals. They will pay a taxable grant of 80% of average annual profits over the last three years, up to £2500 a month, if affected by Covid-19.
The scheme will be open for at least three months, backdated to 1 March 2020.
Latest national information on the spread of COVID-19
As of 9am on 24 April 2020, 612,031 tests have concluded in the UK (with 28,532 tests on 23 April). 444,222 people have been tested, of which 143,464 were confirmed as positive. As of 5pm on 23 April, 19,506 hospital patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
The Government has published a coronavirus action plan.
On 10 February, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, announced strengthened legal powers to protect public health.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 have been put in place to reduce the risk of further human-to-human transmission in this country by keeping individuals in isolation where public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus.
Guidance for businesses and employers
Actions the Council has taken
Advice and updates on waste and recycling