1 April 2021
This update has been received by the Parish Council from Buckinghamshire Council
Other information is available on the Bucks Council Website
Protect yourself, others and the NHS
Easter is just around the corner and the temperatures have risen this week, making it easier and more appealing to spend time outdoors now the ‘stay at home’ restriction has been lifted.
Everyone’s hard work means the Government’s ‘roadmap’ is progressing but it’s essential that while so many people have yet to be vaccinated, we all keep going by fully sticking to the new rules. When meeting others socially, this must take place outside, either in a park, another open space or in private gardens.
Please also remember to keep a distance from anyone you don’t live with. We still can’t mix with other households indoors (unless in a support bubble or for childcare purposes) and it’s critical to stick to this rule as you can catch COVID-19 far more easily inside than outside
We can now meet in groups of up to 6 people including children and babies, or groups of a larger size where it’s just two households getting together. We hope everyone across Buckinghamshire is able to enjoy a safe and happy Easter especially now we can see friends and loved ones again in a safe way outdoors.
For more information about what the current rules are please check the government’s website.
For information on celebrating religious festivals during the COVID-19 pandemic, see here.
The situation in Buckinghamshire
The number of COVID-19 cases in the over 60s age group in Buckinghamshire has continued to fall which is good news. Overall, however, the most recent data shows that - while at far lower levels than during January and February - case numbers have stopped declining. Therefore, residents are being urged to continue to exercise a lot of caution, particularly because most COVID-19 cases in this area are the new variant which is more infectious and is thought to cause more severe illness.
Everyone can now access regular testing if they have no symptoms of COVID-19 and we especially encourage you to get tested if you are leaving the house to work or volunteer or if someone in the home is going to school – either to work or as a pupil. Details of how school households can test are on the Government’s website.
Otherwise, please drop in to one of our rapid testing sites for regular asymptomatic testing, the details are on our website. Please notes the sites will have limited opening hours over the Easter weekend.
More than 250,000 vaccines have now been given in Buckinghamshire – do get your vaccine when it’s your turn. It’s safe, effective and is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. To find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine and how it works please take a look at the NHS website.
Residents who have been shielding because they are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable will no longer have to do so from today (Thursday 1 April). The most important thing you can do to protect yourself if you’ve been shielding is to get your vaccine - which you can do now. This will offer you the best possible protection from COVID-19. Do book your appointment if you haven’t already done so by contacting your GP. Although you can now return to work or school and go to the shops yourself, it is important that you continue to limit your social interactions and limit your time in places where social distancing cannot be maintained.
We know that while it’s welcome for many that restrictions are easing, it can be daunting too, so if you feel you need some extra advice or support take a look at the Bucks Online Directory for a list of organisations that might be able to help, or call our Helping Hand team on 01296 531 151.
New grants for local businesses
Eligible businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, accommodation, gym and sports, and personal care sectors can apply now for a one-off Business Restart Grant ranging from £6,000 to £18,000 to help them reopen safely as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Also, applications are now open for a fresh round of funding designed to help businesses and self-employed people that have not been able to access grant funding from other sources. The Bucks Additional Restrictions Grant (Bucks ARG) is available to businesses impacted by the restrictions in February and March of this year – it closes at the end of April. Please check the business support section of our website for details of these grants and other advice and information for local businesses.
Please remember – Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air, and keep to the rule of six/two households outdoors. If we all stick to these precautions then it makes it much more likely that the road map will proceed as planned, and allow further lifting of restrictions before summer.
Have a Happy Easter,
Buckinghamshire Council Communications Team.