Bath & North East Somerset Council has outlined its plans to support residents and businesses as the country enters a third lockdown period.
Residents are being urged to follow the latest government restrictions, which say you should only leave home to:
- Shop for necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness, or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- Attend education or childcare – for those eligible.
Bath & North East Somerset Council has confirmed which of their services are affected by the lockdown.
- Parks and play areas remain open, however tennis courts, the outdoor gym at Keynsham Memorial Park and the skatepark in Royal Victoria Park are closed.
- Waste and recycling centres remain open – you must follow social distancing rules and remember hands, face, space.
- Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.
- Leisure centres are closed.
- Information and Advice centres remain open to provide critical services.
- Reserved books can still be collected from libraries.
If you are vulnerable and need help getting food, medicine, housing or other essential items, are feeling isolated, or concerned about your physical and mental wellbeing, the Community Wellbeing Hub can help.
Bath & North East Somerset Council, working with 3SG, Virgin Care, and local NHS colleagues, set up the Wellbeing Hub earlier this year to give advice and support to those who need it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you can get support from family, friends or the local community, or can order food or medication online, you are encouraged to continue to do so. This means staff operating the phone line can prioritise those who need the most help and get to calls as quickly as possible.
B&NES Council leader Councillor Dine Romero said: “We’ve seen a very concerning increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, including here in Bath & North East Somerset.
“It is therefore vital that we all follow the new national stay home rules to protect ourselves, our communities and our NHS including of course our own RUH.
“From the start of this pandemic, the council has focused on helping local people get through this enormous challenge.
“We will continue to do all we can to support our local businesses, our local communities, and our most vulnerable residents.
“We will prioritise keeping key local services going, but we will also make the case strongly to central government for the right level of financial support for, particularly given the impact on us locally of the closure of income-generating attractions such as the Roman Baths which had to shut under the previous restrictions announced less than a week ago.
“With the vaccine roll out, there is hope on the horizon, but this will be a tough period for us all, so please look after each other.
“I would like to thank everyone for their compassion and support. Remember, the Community Wellbeing Hub is there to help, including providing support for mental health and addressing isolation.”
Dr Bruce Laurence, the Director of Public Health at Bath and North East Somerset Council, added: “In recent weeks we have been hit by a “perfect storm” of cold winter weather, the aftermath of Christmas socialising, and the unexpected emergence of a much more infectious strain of the virus.
“This has led to the number of infections significantly increase across all age groups and across the country, including here, and we are starting to see extreme pressures building up across the NHS.
“So, now, more than ever, and even when we are all very weary, we must somehow find the strength and the resolve to follow the new lockdown rules carefully and completely.
“With the vaccine roll-out under way we will emerge from this bleak period, but for the next several weeks, following the basics, including hands-face-space and minimising all non-essential contact with others, have never been more important.”