Council News - COVID-19 Update

Important Update

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23 June 2020

Stay Alert > Control The Virus > Save Lives

Lockdown Eases - New Guidelines


From Saturday 4 July, the following relaxation of the lockdown will begin:

  • Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers can reopen, as long as they keep to COVID guidelines.
  • Two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures.
  • People can have holidays within England with hotels, B&Bs and campsites reopening.
  • 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.

Further information about the Prime Minister's announcement can be found here.

Shielding Update

1.5m Vulnerable

As the lockdown continues to ease, if you are shielding, you are still advised to leave your home as little as possible.

Enjoy daily exercise once a day spending time outdoors, but avoid entering any buildings or enclosed spaces to protect yourself from the virus.

From 6 July, the government will be advising:

  • you can meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
  • you no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household
  • for single adult households, you can also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance

From 1 August the government will be advising that shielding will be paused. From this date, adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures.This means you can go out to more places and see more people but you should take care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.

In practice this means that from 1 August:

  • you can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe
  • children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their schools if eligible, in line with current guidance. 
  • you can go outside to buy food, go to places of worship and exercise but you should keep strict social distancing
  • you should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus

Further information about shielding can be found here. 

Calling All Small Businesses


Do you need an urgent cash injection for your small or micro business? We are calling on eligible businesses to apply now for a share of government funding before money runs out.

If your business was trading on 11 March this year and you can show a major fall in income due to Covid-19, you could be prioritised for funding support. 

Find out more from South Hams

Find out more from West Devon

Welcome Back Visitors


Devon is in a good position to start welcoming back visitors from July 4 in line with the government’s target providing the low trend in Covid-19 cases continues.

John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council, one of England’s 11 Beacon Councils who will be leading the future local management of Covid-19 in partnership with the Government, said: “All the evidence from our Public Health experts shows that because we were able to get an early grip on the virus Devon continues to have one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 cases in the country.

“Thanks to a brilliant Team Devon effort by our front-line health and care workers, council staff, police and military Devon is in a good position to start welcoming back visitors in July providing the low trend in cases continues locally and nationally.

“It would be a huge boost to our £2 billion tourism economy, the biggest in the South West, and all the tens of thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on it. We know the people of Britain need a break and we need them back for the economy of this county.

“So I want to say a huge thank you to local people for the way they have steadfastly followed the lockdown measures. Every one of you is a hero, you have stepped up, helped us save lives, protect our vital health and care services, and you’re helping to get Devon’s economy back on its feet. 

“We just need everyone to keep up the good work, continue being sensible and keep following the local and Government guidance.

“For our part, the County Council’s Public Health team along with Public Health England, the NHS and District Council Environmental Health experts will continue to monitor the situation in Devon very carefully and we will not hesitate to take early action if there is any sign that the virus is making a comeback.”

Read on here.

More RNLI Cover On Devon Beaches


RNLI announce the remaining beaches to have lifeguard patrols in the South West as the sun and surf return.

The announcement comes as warmer weather and large swell is forecast for the coming week, and the charity are urging surfers and beach goers to heed safety advice.

From Saturday 4 July, RNLI lifeguard patrols will start on: Blackpool Sands, and Challaborough in Devon. Find more about other lifeguarded beaches in the South West here.

As it will be light until later for the next few weeks, please take care if you are surfing or swimming outside of lifeguarded hours. Know your limits and know what to do if you are caught in a rip current or get into difficulty. Keep hold of your board or floatation device and paddle parallel to the shore. How to keep safe at the beach.