For all previous Parish Council Coronavirus updates please select the Covid-19 Category on the News Page of the Westbury Website http://westburysubmendip-pc.gov.uk/category/covid-19/
Lockdown laws end on 19th July
Most people will be aware that from Monday 19th July the legal limitations on what we can do in response to Covid-19 will be lifted. The latest version of official guidance is here and the implications are
- No limits on how many people can meet
- 1m-plus guidance removed (except in some places like hospitals and passport control when entering)
- Face coverings no longer required by law, although the government still “expects and recommends” them in crowded and enclosed spaces
- Some shops and transport operators will still require masks
Events and gatherings
- Nightclubs can reopen
- Pubs and restaurants no longer table-service only
- No limits on guests at weddings and funerals
- No limits on people attending concerts, theatres or sports events
- No restrictions on communal worship
- Guidance recommending against travel to amber list countries removed
- Under-18s and fully vaccinated adults no longer have to self-isolate after visiting amber list countries
The coronavirus is still with us however and the government still expects people to act with caution. Further advice from Somerset County Council including support available can be accessed here. In relation to local institutions
1.The community shop
The community shop will continue with the following restrictions for at least one month after 19th July:
- We will continue to restrict customers in the shop to 3 at any time – 2 in the shop and 1 at the Post Office counter. Exceptions will be made for family groups. Limited space makes it impractical to have more than 3 customers in the shop regardless of Covid restrictions.
- Customers will be asked to continue to wear a face covering when they enter the shop. However, we will not challenge customers who are not wearing a mask – it’s their choice – signs requesting customer co-operation (attached) will be displayed on notice boards and in the shop.
- To protect each other and our customers, staff and volunteers will continue to wear a face covering.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at the door and on the counters.
- We will continue to sanitize surfaces regularly and clean down thoroughly at the end of the day. For that reason the shop and Post Office will continue to close at 5 pm.
2. The Village Hall:
Paying attention to the rapidly increasing incidence per 100,000 daily new cases in Mendip we want to relax restrictions slowly. In practice there is little use of the hall in July and August, but it is time to develop plans for September and onwards.
Numbers: We would like to allow modest increases in numbers for events so that for talks this might increase from 20 to 30. For exercise classes this might increase from 6 to 10. For table tennis this might be from 6 to 10 and allowing doubles if all have been fully vaccinated. For quizzes in October and December they might wish to reach 60. For all of these events an updated risk assessment would need to be done to include, among other things, degree of vaccination, use of masks, use of catering equipment, one way movement, ventilation and social distancing. Hand gel, antiseptic wipes, spray and cloths will remain available for use.
Masks: we would like to encourage the continuing use of masks where it does not interfere with the activity.
Social distancing: We would like this to be a normal part of using the Hall but aiming at 1m rather than 2m. In social situations this means keeping a bit further apart than we did 2 years ago.
Cleaning: Up until now the hall has been cleaned once a week and chairs and tables have been wiped before and after use by those using them in the hall. If the hall starts getting a lot more use this regular cleaning regime will be increased.
Risk Assessment: Each activity is taking responsibility – as it always has done – for all aspects of their hall use. An updated risk assessment for each activity will be required to include any limits to numbers.
Encouragement to use: The hall would like to encourage its use by individuals and organisations so please feel free to discuss how any particular activity can be enabled in a thoughtful and safe manner. Peter Bright
3. The Westbury Inn: It will not be compulsory to wear face masks on entering or moving around the pub. Face masks are no longer required but, of course, those who wish to may continue wearing a mask as suits them.
All customers may come to the bar and order drinks and food just as we did before all the restrictions came into place.
We can now have more than 6 at a table so friends can now enjoy meeting without concern on numbers at the Westbury Inn. Andy Jones.
4. St Lawrence’s, Westbury
We will be continuing to hold weekly services at 11 am. These services will continue to have all the same precautions in place. Face masks, sanitisers at various points, social distancing and track and trace. For those who are not ready to attend services in Church we will continue to send out a morning service each week via email. Please contact Linda 870817 if you would like to be included
Our new Vicar Alex Holmes will be installed by the Bishop on Thursday 16th September at 7pm. More details later. Linda Mogford
If an official summary of the latest guidance appears we will place a copy on village noticeboards. Meanwhile can we encourage everyone to bring these details to the attention of neighbours who lack internet access as you have done throughout the pandemic.
Sue Reece (870618) Mick Fletcher (870531) on behalf of the Parish Council