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Latest Tamworth News: For our latest news articles about affected Tamworth Borough Council services, please follow this link or scroll down to the news article listing

Latest Information

(Updated November 26)

Staffordshire to enter Tier 3 - Very High Alert Level

Staffordshire is to be escalated to the Covid-19 Very High Alert Level (Tier 3) when the current national lockdown restrictions end on December 2, it has been confirmed.

The county, together with Stoke-on-Trent, will be under the highest level of restrictions, as well as Birmingham and the Black Country, Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull.

Visit this link for full details of what the Very High Alert Level restrictions mean for the area.

(Updated November 24)

The Covid-19 Winter Plan

On November 23, the Prime Minister,  made a statement to the House of Commons outlining the proposed measures to take effect after the current Covid-19 lockdown ends on December 2. The full plan can be found here.

The Prime Minister stated that England will face tiered coronavirus restrictions until the end of March 2021.

The current national restriction rules are still in place until December 2 and must be followed until they expire. Staffordshire residents and businesses are being asked to remain cautious despite the imminent ending of the second national ‘lockdown’.

Staffordshire Situation

Locally, the seven-day rates for Staffordshire have fallen to around 350 cases per 100,000 population but remain above both the England and West Midlands average. Some county areas are still at over 400 cases per 100,000.

(Updated November 23)

Family Hub Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies

Staffordshire County Council are encouraging Tamworth families who are struggling financially and would benefit from some support to purchase food, to get in touch with their Family Hub via Staffordshire Connects website.

Families could be entitled to a weekly £15 food voucher per person, within the household, for a maximum of three weeks. These can then be used at Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrison’s or Tesco’s. Find out more here.

(Updated November 6)

FAQs regarding the National Lockdown Restrictions can be found here.

(Updated October 30)

Find out the coronavirus restrictions in a local area 

Major incident declared in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as Covid cases continue to rise
 
The growing impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent has prompted the county’s public and emergency services to declare a major incident for the second time.

Staffordshire Resilience Forum (SRF) is made up of multiple agencies who work together to plan and prepare for localised incidents and civil emergencies.

The recent surge in coronavirus cases and hospital admissions resulted in the Local Covid Alert Level in Stoke-on-Trent being raised to High Alert last week and it has been confirmed today that Staffordshire will also move to High Alert level from 00.01 on Saturday 31 October.

The members of the SRF have agreed to declare a major incident as the situation will require enhanced multi-agency activity and co-ordination, which is beyond the scope of current operations.

The objectives of the SRF are to protect life, especially vulnerable people; minimise the impact of the pandemic and control measures on wider society and the economy; maintain public trust and confidence; and support Business Continuity for all partners in particular for the NHS and social care. 

(Updated October 29)

Tamworth to move into High Alert (Tier 2) along with the rest of Staffordshire

It has been announced that Staffordshire, including Tamworth, is to move into the Government’s Tier 2 High Alert for Covid-19 from 00:01 on Saturday, October 31.

This means it will be illegal for people to meet socially indoors with another household, unless part of a ‘support bubble’. The new rules apply in both homes and public settings such as pubs and restaurants.

High Alert status will be reviewed in 14 days. Read our full news article here.

(Updated October 16)

#DoingOurBit Community Grants Scheme

Dozens of groups and organisations working with vulnerable communities in Staffordshire are set to benefit from a new county council fund launched Monday, October 12, 2020. The £200k #DoingOurBit Community Grants Scheme is now open for applications from groups who work with and support vulnerable communities, particularly older residents and families. The fund closes on Monday, November 9, 2020.
Follow this link on our website for more details, to check eligibility and apply for this fund, as well as for other Community Funds also available

(Updated October 2)

Drop-Shop Project is a pop-up shop operated by ‘Hive Foundation’ and staffed by their amazing volunteer team Tamworth Volunteer Support Group. It has been set up to help those most in need in our community who are suffering from food poverty as a result of the current pandemic to ‘drop’ in to purchase food and key items for a very very very cheap fixed price. Visitors will be asked to wear a mask before entry, observe safe distancing and use your own bags.
Enquiries: 01827 59646. Located at Sacred Heart Church (In the car park) Open: Mon to Fri -10am-3pm Saturday - 10am-1pm Sunday - Closed
 
(Updated September 30)

Job Support Scheme

A new Job Support Scheme will open on November 1, 2020 and run for 6 months. It is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. 

A company will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the cost of hours not worked will be split between the employer, the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and the employee will keep their job. The Government will pay a third of hours not worked up to a cap, with the employer also contributing a third. This will ensure employees earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages, where the Government contribution has not been capped. Employers using the Job Support Scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus if they meet the eligibility criteria.

More information about the Job Support Scheme can be found here.

(Updated September 28)

Changes to self-isolating and introduction of Test & Trace Support Payments

The government has announced that from September 28, people in England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. This law has been introduced to ensure compliance with self-isolation rules and to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

People on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result will also be eligible for a new £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. Councils will be working to set up Test and Trace Support Payment schemes and they are expected to be in place by October 12. Those who are told to self-isolate from today will receive backdated payments, if they are eligible, once the scheme is set up in their council area.

Two key pieces of guidance have been updated to include the new legal requirements for self-isolation:
Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus infection who do not live with the person
Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to a testing centre to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, restart your 10-day isolation from the day you developed symptoms. You could be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19 or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate.

After 10 days, if you still have a temperature you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. You do not need to self-isolate after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

For full information regarding self-isolating read here.

(Updated September 23)

From Wednesday, September 23, office workers who are able to work from home should do so and the requirement for customers to wear face coverings will be extended to all users of taxis and private hire vehicles.

From Thursday, September 24, measures including the following will be introduced:

  • Pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways
  • Hospitality venues must close at 10pm (which means closing, not last orders). The same will apply to takeaways, although deliveries can continue
  • The requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to include retail staff and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
  • Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations in retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors.

Furthermore, from Monday, September 28, a maximum of 15 people may attend weddings, while 30 may attend funerals. Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events will not be reopened from October 1st. These new measures will be enforced by tighter penalties. Guidance on additional measures can be found here.

Test and Trace Support Payments

From 28 September 2020, if you have been contacted by national or local test and trace and have been advised to self-isolate, because you have tested positive for coronavirus or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period. Find out more about Test and Trace Support Payments here.

You can also read this list of coronavirus FAQs.

More information about meeting others safely is also available.

(Updated July 20)

Citizens Advice

Following a successful grant from The Good Things Foundation, Citizens Advice Mid Mercia are able to support with Digital skills and learning. They are able to support and guide individuals to increase their confidence using HMRC services. They encourage unemployed people and people with low-skills, as well as disabled people and people with learning difficulties, to become more competent with digital training and learning.

Individuals can also get support with learning new digital skills through Learn My Way for example; accessing NHS services, finding a Job, office programs, online security, managing money, accessing services and much more.

Should you have a question or need digital support please contact the team on: digitaltraining@citizensadvicemidmercia.org.uk ,or tel: 07960 433977.

(Updated July 15)

Face coverings

In England, you must by law wear a face covering in the following settings:

  • Public Transport
  • Shops and Supermarkets as of July 24

Measures can be taken if people do not comply with this law. Transport operators can deny service or direct someone to wear a face covering. Shops and supermarkets will be expected to encourage compliance with the law (as they would do more generally) and can refuse entry. In both cases, if necessary, the police have the powers to enforce these measures, including through issuing a fine.

You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet. In settings where face coverings are mandated in England, there are some circumstances, for health, age or equality reasons, whereby people are not expected to wear face coverings in these settings. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings.

It will be compulsory for shop and supermarket staff to wear face coverings, from September 24. Employers should continue to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines to reduce the proximity and duration of contact between employees.

For more information and a full list of people who do not have to wear a face covering, view here.


Scams

There has been a noticeable increase in cybercrime and fraud as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It is therefore even more important to be vigilant, especially where personal and/or financial information is being shared, to ensure that you don’t become a victim of a scam. Scams can come in many forms and look more sophisticated than ever making it difficult to distinguish the genuine from the fake.

Information on the type of scams currently doing the rounds, and how to protect yourself, is available on the Staffordshire County Council website. You can report scam messages or emails to the police via the Action Fraud website. You should contact your bank immediately if you have already given out bank details or think you have lost money because someone has used your card or bank details fraudulently.

Test and Trace

The NHS Test and Trace provides testing for anyone who has coronavirus symptoms to see if they have the virus.

It gets in touch with everyone who has had a positive test result and helps them to share information about any recent close contacts they have had.

Guidance for employers, businesses and workers

Guidance for people notified by the NHS Test and Trace

Useful and accurate sources of information

What can I do to reduce my risk of catching coronavirus?

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues straight in the bin and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

News article listing