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COVID-19 (coronavirus) update

Given the wide range of information coming from various sources regarding the coronavirus outbreak we have created this dedicated page with links to further useful help and advice as a "one stop shop" for information.

> Quicklinks

Current restrictions

The current national lockdown will continue until midnight Tuesday 1st December.

From Wednesday 2nd December our borough will be at the Tier 3 (very high) level - for details on what that means click here

For full details on the current lockdown guidelines click here 

Some of the main points can be found here and are as follows:

People will be told to stay at home except for specific reasons

These include work which cannot be done from home, childcare or education, exercise outdoors, medical reasons, essential shopping, providing care for vulnerable people or for volunteering, and visiting members of your support bubble

Meeting indoors or in private gardens will not be allowed, but individuals can meet one other person from another household outside in a public place. Children under school age and those dependent on round-the-clock care who are with their parents do not count towards the two-person limit

Non-essential retail will close, but can remain open for click-and-collect delivery

Pubs, bars, restaurants will have to close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery, excluding takeaway of alcohol

Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, will also close, along with entertainment venues and personal care facilities such as beauty salons

Places of worship will close, unless they are being used for funerals, to broadcast acts of worship, individual prayer, formal childcare, or essential services such as blood donation or food banks

Construction sites and manufacturing workplaces can remain open

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be able to take place except in exceptional circumstances, and funerals will be limited to a maximum of 30 people

Children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated

Clinically vulnerable people will be asked to be "especially careful" but people will not be asked to resume shielding

Overnight stays, staying in a second home, and holidays will not be allowed - including in the UK and abroad - although there are exceptions, such as work trips

People will be told to avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport

The basics- what you need to do

Test and Trace Payment scheme

The Government has announced a new financial package called a Test and Trace Support Payment to support and enforce self-isolation, as part of measures to try and help those affected by Covid-19.

In some circumstances, if you are required by law to self-isolate (as from Monday 28th September), you may be supported by a payment of £500. The money is being provided by the Government but payments are being managed by Burnley Council.

Payments will be backdated if necessary.

To get the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must be:

- asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

- employed or self-employed

- unable to work from home and will lose income as a result and

- currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.

*** Please only submit an application form for the Support Payment if you meet ALL the eligible criteria, we are receiving a considerable number of claims from people who are not eligible and this is causing delay in making payment to those eligible and most in need of assistance***

Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment

The Government have provided local authorities with a limited amount of funding to make discretionary payments to some cases that don't meet the qualifying benefit criteria for the standard payments. The funding received means that we will only be able to make approximately 65 payments in the four months that the scheme runs.

The Government have made it clear that these payments are aimed at people with low incomes prior to self-isolating and they must meet all the other criteria of the main scheme i.e. they are required to self-isolate and have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and given an 8 character NHS Test and account ID, are employed or self-employed, they cannot work from home and will lose income as result of self-isolating and they will suffer exceptional hardship as a result of the reduction in their income.

Given the limited funding, to be eligible for a discretionary test and trace support payment you must live in the Burnley Council area, not be a student and have a low income.

Low income for the discretionary scheme is defined as:

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you are a couple or a single parent and your children live with you; or
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if you are a single adult

In line with the Government's intentions you may also apply for this payment if you meet the above criteria and have no recourse to public funds.

PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO APPLY FOR A SELF-ISOLATION PAYMENT (a new window will open our 'northgate' benefits system)

For further details on the national scheme click here

Advice for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable during Nov 20 lockdown

The Government has updated the guidance on shielding during the latest national lockdown. If you are recommended to shield, and need help to do so, please register your need on the national website, which can be found on the gov uk website. This will then be shared with the Burnley Together Hub who will get in touch...

> Burnley Together Community Hub

Partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors have worked together to create a “community hub” to co-ordinate help and support for residents across the borough during the coronavirus outbreak.

Burnley Together was launched to help the most vulnerable people in our community who are facing difficulties, worries and loneliness as a result of the outbreak.

The hub will provide a “one stop shop” where businesses, groups and individuals who want to help and can offer services, and those who need help, can be brought together.

> General Links

> General Health Advice

> Council Tax Relief - Government announces Hardship Fund

The Government has announced a £500 million Hardship Fund to provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by coronavirus.

It will help local authorities like Burnley Council to reduce this year's council tax bills for working age people who receive local council tax support. Council tax support provides help for people on low incomes with their council tax bill. 

Burnley is to receive £1.43 million to help cut the council tax burden on the most vulnerable in our communities.

The Government recognises that COVID-19 is likely to cause fluctuations in household incomes and recognises that, as a result, some individuals may struggle to meet
council tax payments. People in receipt of local council tax support schemes are recognised as the most vulnerable to changes in income.

Our council tax support scheme would have required everyone of working age to pay at least 16% of their council tax from 1st April 2020. This will now be reduced by up to £150, or down to zero, depending on how much the person currently would have paid.

We will be sending out new, reduced bills to those eligible for this support as quickly as possible.

If any funding is still left after this, the Government has said councils should establish their own local approach to using any remaining grant to assist those in need through wider local support mechanisms. We will make a decision on this shortly.

> Business Support Details

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

For further details on this and other support for businesses, including loans and the job retention scheme, and the expanded retail discount scheme click here

#AskForHelp - business support

Boost; Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, is refocussing all its efforts to business recovery as lockdown restrictions are eased. Its #AskForHelp campaign has now been superceded by a new programme - #BoostYourRecovery 

For more details click here

The Lancashire Skills Hub is also pushing forwards with support including the "Skills Swap" and "escalate" to get people trained up and supported through these hard times - click here for more.

Help for the self-employed

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

For more details click here

Businesses ordered to close

Certain businesses can continue to trade provided that Government guidance Working Safely is followed in full.

Visit our Environmental Health page for more information.

You can report businesses breaking these rules within the borough to our environmental health team at envhealth@burnley.gov.uk

You can also report businesses trading both inside and outside the borough to Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133 or online.

Empty business premises - advice

For more information on what to do with empty business premises during the coronavirus epidemic click here

Taxi and other licensing issues - click here

> Council Services

Burnley Council is taking steps to encourage social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak by discouraging people from gathering in numbers on its premises, including our contact centre (see below), market hall, and parks.

We have put some measures in place to close some facilities - the situation is changing on a daily basis and people should keep up to date via our website and social media.

While we recognise the positive effects of being outdoors, the council feels it is right to take a responsible but measured approach, recognising the dangers to health of people, of all ages, gathering together in groups.

The measures being taken with immediate effect are as follows:

Contact Burnley centre

We are ensuring that residents have access to as many services as possible, particularly essential services. However, people should use online services, or contact us by email or phone, wherever possible.

Our face-to-face service has been transferred from the contact centre in Parker Lane to Burnley Town Hall.  
 
This is being done to ensure that customer services staff can focus on dealing with phone inquiries, which have increased, while visits to the contact centre have reduced.
 
The town hall remains open 9am-5pm to deal with inquiries that cannot be dealt with via phone (01282 425011), e-mail or online (www.burnley.gov.uk).
 
Staff will continue to provide help and support to residents, either directly or by signposting them to the relevant council department or service. 
 
We continue to ask residents to use phone, email or online services as much as possible and not to visit the town hall in person unless absolutely necessary, in line with Government guidance on restrictions to non-essential travel.  

 

Burnley Market Hall

Burnley Market remains open for essential businesses, while many others offering a click and collect service.

The cooked food stalls are open for take away service and customers can call and order.

The market hall is open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm (apart from Tues 10am-3pm)

Further details are on Burnley Markets Facebook page and online at www.burnleymarkets.co.uk

 

Bereavement services

To help limit the spread of CoVid19 the number of mourners allowed in the crematorium chapel and the cemetery chapel and at the graveside remains at 15 persons which may include:

  • members of the person’s household
  • close family members
  • or if the above are unable to attend, close friends

Households that live together may sit together but mourners or groups of mourners that do not co-habit must observe social distancing of two metres at all times.

Anyone showing symptoms of CoVid19 must not attend services.

We are asking that other family members or mourners who wish to pay their respects in the crematorium or cemetery grounds, as the cortege arrives, to please maintain social distancing at all times in line with Government guidelines.

Playgrounds

The greatest risks of transmission are in playgrounds where social distancing doesn’t operate and where children and parents are touching items of equipment. The council maintains 56 children’s play areas. Where possible access will be denied and signs will go up. We will remove or disable equipment where possible.

Parks

People are able to use parks and open spaces as frequently as they wish providing that they maintain social distancing of two metres from people outside their household.

The risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside.

People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish. For example, this would include angling and tennis.

You will still not be able to use areas like playgrounds, outdoor gyms or ticketed outdoor leisure venues, where there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces.

You can only exercise with up to one person from outside your household – this means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household.

People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there, because this does not involve contact with people outside your household.

Play areas, toilets, cafes and sports facilities remain closed. 

Bowls Pavilions

The bowls league has cancelled competitive games and we will instruct clubs to keep pavilions closed.

Ball Courts

Flood lights to be switched off but due to their design the courts cannot be closed off.

Notices advising against the use of outdoor gym equipment will also be posted.

The council is not closing parks but we strongly urge people to use common sense, don't go where places are busy with other people and maintain social distancing to keep us all safe and healthy.

  • Housing and council tax benefit services will continue as normal
  • Burnley Cemetery – the cemetery offices are closed to the public but other services are continuing as usual
  • Burnley Town Hall remains open – staff are being encouraged to work from home where possible; we will continue to act on Government advice regarding staying open

> Cleaning and Disposal of Waste

Household waste collections, both recyclable and non-recyclable are continuing as normal.

The household waste cxentre at Heasandford, run by lancashire County Council, will remain open during the national lockdown starting 5th November, but only for "essential visits".

Self-isolating

We have issued guidance for residents to change the way waste is handled at properties where possible COVID-19 cases have been identified.

This advice is specifically for households who are currently self-isolating or households where one or more persons have mild symptoms as identified by the recent national guidance.

If you and your family are self-isolating as you have symptoms of coronavirus, please take these simple steps:

· Store personal waste such as tissues and disposable cleaning cloths securely within bin bags. Securely tie the bags.

· Place this bag inside another bin bag and securely tie the bag (double bag)

· Please keep them away from where you are self-isolating

· Don’t put them in the claret bin for at least 72 hours in order to allow any virus which may be in the waste to die. This will avoid the virus spreading. Remember, you can find a full list of symptoms at: www.nhs.uk

Keeping your bin clean

Whilst we are all taking extra steps to keep our homes and workplaces clean, please don’t forget your wheelie bin. 

Our collection crews can touch up to 2,000 bins each per day. They will be wearing gloves, but it is advised that you disinfect the bin handles once you take the bin out and when you bring it back in. Please remember to wash your hands after taking these actions.

Bulky collections

Our bulky waste collections are currently still operating, but this may change as we continue to manage the services in the best way we can during this period of uncertainty with the resources which we have available.

Extra waste

Our crews are working flat out and will not be able to collect extra bags and boxes. Presenting waste at the side of the bins presents an extra risk to our staff.

In addition, by presenting extra waste this will create problems for the collection rounds. If extra waste is placed out for collection then there will not be enough room in our collection vehicles and this means other residents may have to miss having their bins being emptied. This is not a situation which we want to face.

If you do want to have a good tidy up, think about how you can store the rubbish and split it over your next few collections to make sure it fits in your bins but doesn’t make them too heavy.

Please have your bins out on the normal collection days by 6:30am.

> Burnley Leisure

Burnley Leisure facilities such as St Peter's and Padiham leisure centres, Towneley golf course and the Mechanics Theatre will close for a month from 5th November 2020 - check www.burnleyleisure.co.uk for details

Burnley Leisure is continuing to encourage people to remain healthy and busy by sharing a range of online exercise videos and tips 

> Lancashire County Council Services

For information on how coronavirus is affecting LCC services, including libraries and care homes, click here

> Public Transport

Passengers are encouraged to check with bus and rail operators before travelling due to disruption caused by staff absences and the requirement not to travel unless it is essential

There is already disruption to rail services, and many bus operators in Lancashire have introduced reduced timetables with further reductions being introduced by this weekend. It is recommended to check bus operator's websites for the latest position with their services; the main bus operator in our borough is Transdev which runs Burnley Bus Company and Rosso

> Advice for Food Businesses

Click here for advice on food business related issues including deliveries, hygiene standards and infection control.

> Events

Jane Tomlinson's Run for All Burnley 10k run - postponed until 2021 - for details click here

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