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A message from HDC Leader Cllr Ryan Fuller

Dear Resident,

I know the Government announcement at the weekend will have come as heart-breaking news for many families and individuals in Huntingdonshire who were hoping to spend time with loved ones this Christmas period.

Huntingdonshire remains in Tier 2 – although our neighbours in Peterborough, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire are all under the new Tier 4 restrictions, and many of you travel into these areas for work, to buy essentials and to visit family and friends. The planned relaxation of coronavirus rules at Christmas has also changed from five days to Christmas day only. This means three households can still be together on Christmas day but can longer include a household from an area under tier 4 restrictions.

Whilst I appreciate many people will have had to cancel and amend plans at the last minute, the Government believes the restrictions are necessary to combat the rising case numbers. We have reached one of the most dangerous points of the pandemic at one of the most challenging times of the year where even under ‘normal circumstances’ our hospitals are operating at maximum capacity.

We are seeing an increase in people testing positive each week across the district and despite being lower than our neighbours, these numbers are concerning and we all must continue our efforts in keeping ourselves, and each other safe. That means:

  • Not mixing with other households indoors (not including the relaxation for Christmas Day)
  • Only meeting people outdoors in groups of up to six
  • Working from home if possible
  • Reducing the number of journeys we make

A full list of what Tier 2 restrictions mean can be found here.

The Council has services in place to protect those who need extra help over the Christmas period, including those who might be isolating and anyone in hardship such as experiencing homelessness. Our customer service telephone number (01480 388 388) will remain available to call in business hours.

I would like to thank everyone who continues to play their part in the fight against coronavirus. I know this is hard – but the best thing we can do is to keep ourselves and our communities safe and look ahead to a better 2021. I wish you a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Ryan Fuller
Executive Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council 

 Email Contents
  • Tier 2 Restrictions
  • Financial Support: What is available?
    • LRSG Grant
    • Additional Restrictions Grant
    • Test & Trace Payment
  • Information for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
  • Think Local – Make a Difference
  • Staying Active and Well
  • Useful Links
Tier 2 restrictions: What are they?
What you can and cannot do in an area in Tier 2 of local restrictions.

Hands. Face. Space

1. Hands: wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
2. Face: wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
3. Space: stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)

When meeting people you do not live with, it is important to do so outdoors where possible, or to make sure that any indoor venue has good ventilation (for example by opening windows so that fresh air can enter).

  • Meeting People – You can only meet socially with friends and family indoors who you either live with or have formed a support bubble with. You can see friends and family who you do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) outdoors in a group of no more than 6.
  • Hospitality Sector – All non-essential retail, indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, entertainments venues and personal care facilities can remain open. For hospitality, alcohol can only be served with substantial meal.
  • Work – Everyone who can work effectively from home should do so.
  • Travel Restrictions – Where possible you should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area. You can still travel for reasons such as:
    • travelling to work where this cannot be done from home
    • travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
    • hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
    • visiting venues that are open, including essential retail such as a supermarket
    • exercise, if you need to make a short journey to do so
  • Weddings and Funerals – Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. 15 people for weddings, civil partnerships ceremonies and receptions.

Please familiarise yourself with the changes if you have not done so already.

Financial support for businesses: what is available?

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG)

The Local Restrictions Support Grant is for businesses that were required to close as part of the national lockdown 05/11/20 – 02/12/20,  that were open as usual, providing services in person to customers from their business premises, but which were then required to close due to lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.This grant is for businesses that pay business rates on their premises.

Business that are eligible will receive the following amounts based on the rateable value of the property:

  • properties with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 5 November 2020 will receive a payment of £1,334 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.
  • properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 5 November 2020 will receive a payment of £2,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.
  • properties with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on 5 November 2020 will receive £3,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period.

You can find out more information and apply online by clicking this link.Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

This scheme is to support businesses across the district that are not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG). This grant scheme will be funded from monies allocated to Huntingdonshire District Council by the government.

Successful applicants of this scheme will each receive a one-off grant payment of £2000 to cover the second national restriction period.

You can find out more information and apply online by clicking this link.

Other Business Grants

The council is setting up processes to deliver new grants such as; LRSG Tier 2 (Open), LRSG Tier 2 (Closed) and Wet Pubs. You can read more here.

Test & Trace PaymentThe Test & Trace Support Payment Scheme is still ongoing and a support payment is available for those suffering financial hardship as a result of self-isolation due to a positive coronavirus test or being in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

As of 28 September 2020, you are entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if you:

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • are currently receiving at least one of the following:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit.

Due to the guidance set out by Government, you are only eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment if you meet all of the criteria listed above.

Test & Trace Support Payment – More Info & Apply
Information for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable

As a District Council, we recognise that there are residents across our district who will be required to take more of a precaution this winter. Back in November we wrote to those who have been deemed by Government to be Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, where we have laid out the support that is in place to help during this time whether it be through priority online food delivery slots or medicine deliveries.

As well as community support through our We Are Huntingdonshire portal, there is a wide variety of other sources of support available:

Think Local – Make a Difference

Our communications campaign #ThinkLocal has been running for a few months and is currently in the midst of profiling the unique retail, hospitality and market offers of our town centres all in an effort to encourage people to think locally in the first instance.

You can keep up to date with the campaign on social media and through local media.

Staying Active & Well

If you can, take opportunities to get fresh air and enjoy the outdoors when safe and possible to do so. In Huntingdonshire, we are very lucky with the open spaces and parks that we have available to access during this lockdown period. A walk, a run, or even just spending some time sitting outside can help to maintain and improve not only physical health but also mental health. As part of the national lockdown restrictions, you can still exercise outdoors.

The District Council’s One Leisure centres have now reopened following the second national lockdown. The One Leisure YouTube channel also has a host of videos to help residents stay active and healthy. There are plenty of activities that can be done from home, but it is important not to forget the part that outdoor open spaces can play in helping people remain active and able to maintain their mental health.

Visit the One Leisure YouTube Channel here
Useful Links:
Government Guidance: Coronavirus
NHS COVID-19 App – Download Today
NHS Advice for Everyone
We Are Huntingdonshire Portal
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