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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

(Updated September 10)

Latest Information

The Prime Minister has announced new restrictions which will come into effect from Monday, September 14. These are in response to an increase in cases of coronavirus across the country in recent weeks and will be enforceable by law.

  • From Monday, you must not meet with with people from other households in groups of more than six people. This applies indoors and outdoors, including your home. This replaces the previous two household rule.
  • Covid-secure venues such as restaurants, bars, places of workships, schools, workplaces, team sports etc can still host larger numbers in total, but people must not be in groups of more than six.
  • The rule does not apply to individual households or support bubbles of more than six.
  • Weddings and funerals can still proceed with up to 30 people.

The full announcement on September 14 changes can be read on the Government website.

You can also read this list of coronavirus FAQs.

More information about meeting others safely is also available.

(Updated August 14)

Latest restrictions to be eased

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Thursday, August 13, further businesses, venues and services can now reopen from Saturday, August 15:

Nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques and sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars must remain closed in law at this time.

In addition, the Government has confirmed that all those offering close contact services, including hairdressers and beauty therapists, must now wear a TYPE II surgical face mask AND a clear face visor when treating clients in any setting. Read the updated close contact services guidance for more information.

Self-isolation period extended

The self-isolation period has been extended to 10 days for those in the community who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or a positive test result.

Face coverings

In England, you must by law wear a face covering in these additional settings as of 8 August:

  • Museums and galleries
  • Cinemas
  • Places of worship

For a full list of settings where you must wear a face covering, view here.

(Updated July 24)

Re-opening of indoor sports and leisure facilities

As from Saturday, July 25, more businesses and venues will re-open to the public. This will include swimming pools and water parks, indoor fitness and dance studios, gyms and sport courts. See the full indoor facilities guidance.

The guidance includes advice for providers of pool, gym and leisure facilities on cleaning, social distancing, and protection for staff to help venues get back up and running safely.

(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, 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 of £100 (halving to £50 if paid within 14 days).

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 is not compulsory for shop or supermarket staff to wear face coverings, although employers should consider recommending their use where appropriate and where other mitigations are not in place. For example, there will be times when screens or visors are in use, or when a staff member is not in close proximity to people they do not normally meet, and so wearing a covering for staff will not be necessary. 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.

(Updated July 10)

Phased return of outdoor sport and recreation

You can now exercise alone, with members of your household, or with up to 5 other people from outside your household. Up to two households are permitted to gather in groups of more than 6 people indoors or outdoors, provided members of different households can follow social distancing guidelines. Otherwise, gatherings of more than 6 people indoors or outdoors continue not to be permitted, unless this is essential for work purposes.

Single adult households are now able to form a support bubble with one other household. For the purposes of this guidance, all references to ‘households’ also include their support bubble.

Social distancing guidelines should be followed between people from different households wherever possible. This means a distance of 2m between people from different households, or 1m plus mitigations (such as face coverings or avoiding face-to-face contact) where 2m is not possible.

Outdoor sports courts and other outdoor sporting activities have been permitted to reopen if those responsible for them are ready to do so and they can do so safely, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

Outdoor gyms, outdoor swimming pools and playgrounds can open, as can clubhouse bars and restaurants.

Indoor gyms, swimming pools and leisure facilities can open from July 25. See the indoor facilities guidance.

People who were shielding or extremely vulnerable

The advice for clinically vulnerable groups has changed. If you are in this group you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Although you can meet people outdoors and indoors, you should be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene.

If you are classified as clinically extremely vulnerable you should follow the guidance for those shielding. This has been updated to advise that you can now consider taking safe exercise outdoors and meeting up with one person outside your household, always maintaining social distancing and robust hand and respiratory hygiene.

The Government shielding support package will remain in place until the end of July when people will no longer be advised to shield.

(Updated July 9)

Beauty Salons, nail bars and Tattoo studios to re-open

Beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo and massage studios, physical therapy businesses and spas across England will be able to reopen safely from Monday, July 13 under new government plans.

Updated COVID-19 secure guidance sets out the measures that those providing close contact services should follow to protect staff and customers. Only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – directly in front of the face – should be made available to clients. This means that treatments such as face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facial treatments, should not be provided until government advice changes, due to the much greater risk of transmission.

Where 2 metre social distancing cannot be maintained, for example when providing a treatment, the person providing the service should wear further protection in addition to any that they may usually wear. This should be a clear visor that covers the face, or the use of a screen or other barrier that protects the practitioner and the customer from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking.

(Updated July 3)

SCC Local Outbreak Control Plan

With lockdown lifting even further from Saturday, Staffordshire County Council has plans in place to swiftly identify, contain and stop any local outbreaks across the county.

The key advice is to:

  • Wash your hands regularly 
  • Keep your distance. That’s 2m  where possible and if you can’t, 1m plus where extra safety measures in pubs etc are in place when they reopen
  • If you have symptoms self-isolate for 7 days and book a test
  • If you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace Service because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you must self-isolate for 14 days, whether you have symptoms or not. Look out for the call from 0300 013 5000

The Local Outbreak Control Plan can be found here.

(Updated June 24)

More businesses can re-open

From Saturday, July 4, the Prime Minister has announced that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines.

In order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.

More people can meet-up

From Saturday, July 4,  two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures, and that people can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites.

The Prime Minister has also set out that where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission.

(Updated June 15)

Castle Grounds Toilets

Tamworth’s public toilets in the Castle Grounds are now open seven days a week, with a number of additional safety measures in place.

The toilets and Changing Places facility will open for five or six hours per day to coincide with the town centre and Castle Grounds’ busiest days. Find out more here.

Car Parking Charges

Parking charges in all Tamworth Borough Council car parks will be applicable again from Monday, June 15, coinciding with the wider reopening of town centres.

Free parking will continue for NHS staff members, health and social care workers and NHS volunteer responders in line with the Government initiative. Those eligible should be able to get passes from their employers which must be displayed in vehicles. Find out more here.

(Updated June 1)

A number of changes come into effect on June 1. This includes: 

  • Groups of up to six people will be able to meet outdoors in England, including in gardens and other private outdoor spaces, provided strict social distancing guidelines are followed.
  • Some schools have reopened to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children
  • Open air markets and car showrooms can reopen if they have taken appropriate Covid-secure safety measures

The full guidance on the June 1 changes can be found in the Government's guide to staying alert and safe.

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 postive test result and helps them to share information about any recent close contacts they have had.

It alerts those contacts, when necessary, and notifies them they need to self-isolate for 14 days.

If you have been told you have been exposed to an infected person, you must self-isolate for 14 days.

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