How the rules will change on 12 April

Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do will change on 12 April. You can read the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ (the roadmap out of lockdown) for more information on how COVID-19 restrictions will be eased in England. You can also read the law that underpins these changes and the ongoing restrictions.

From 12 April:

  • Non-essential retail will be able to reopen
  • Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons will be able to reopen
  • Public buildings such as libraries and community centres will be able to reopen
  • Outdoor hospitality venues will be able to reopen, with table service only
  • Most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts) will be able to reopen
  • Some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds will be able to take place
  • Indoor leisure and sports facilities will be able to reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble
  • All childcare and supervised activities will be allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number)
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit), including in indoor venues that are permitted to open or where an exemption applies. Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens
  • Self-contained accommodation will be able to open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
  • You should continue to minimise the amount that you travel where possible
  • Care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)

Northleach Included in Drive to Support Businesses Recover after Lockdown

Cotswold District Council has recently commissioned expert advisors to provide business support and advice for each of the ten main towns and villages within the District as part of current measures to support the reopening of each centre.

Heartflood has been appointed by the Council as independent experts in town and city centres and will be providing advice, information and signposting to a range of Cotswold businesses.  Work on the project will begin immediately, focusing on Cirencester, Tetbury, Northleach, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, South Cerney, Fairford, Lechlade and Chipping Campden and will involve supporting businesses with a range of key recovery factors.

Heartflood will be asking businesses to book a diagnostic appointment and will provide targeted advice or signposting based on individual business needs.  Businesses within each centre are therefore urged to visit the District Council website at cotswold.gov.uk/business-and-licensing to gain contact details for this programme.

If you are a local business and would like more information on the scheme, please email high.streets@cotswold.gov.uk or call us on 01285 623000.”

Chris Gregory from Heartflood added: “We recognise that many businesses currently require considerable support and that the balance of needs will vary in each individual case.  We, therefore, urge businesses to get in touch so that we can best assess how they can be supported.”

Download Heartflood’s guide to Town Centre Business Support Services in the Cotswold District: cotswold.gov.uk/media/8d8ef85fdd81cf3/heartflood-town-centre-support.pdf 

Cotswold District Council to Extend Support for Residents Facing Financial Hardship

Cotswold District Council is extending support to working-age Council Tax payers in the District who are facing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19. 

Earlier in the pandemic, Cotswold District Council set up a financial hardship support scheme to help residents financially impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 restrictions. Eligible residents could claim relief of up to £150 on their Council Tax.   At a meeting on Monday 1 March, the Council’s Cabinet agreed to extend the scheme and provide additional financial support to those residents as restrictions continue.

All those eligible who previously applied and were successful will be contacted and given additional support of up to £150 to take the total amount across the pandemic up to £300 for people with bills bigger than this. 

The Council will also provide this support to new working-age claimants that qualify for Local Council Tax Support. 

Residents can apply for the support scheme by completing a form on our website: cotswold.gov.uk/council-tax-and-benefits/council-tax-support/

Cllr Mike Evemy, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The pandemic has had a massive impact on some people’s incomes and it’s vital that we ensure those on low incomes receive as much support as is available at this difficult time.   We are working in partnership with the Stroud and Cotswold Citizens Advice Bureau and would encourage anyone who is struggling with debt or to make their mortgage or rent payments to contact them for advice and support.  We recognise that this is a challenging economic climate and we hope this will help the finances of those most in need.”

The Citizens Advice Bureau will carry out a review of income and expenditure and will refer clients to the Council to access Council Tax Support.

For more information, please visit our website: cotswold.gov.uk/council-tax-and-benefits/

New Measures to Allow Proxy Voting in Local Elections for Those Self-Isolating With Coronavirus

Individuals who need to self-isolate because of coronavirus will still be able to vote in the local elections through new emergency proxy voting measures.

The move is one of a number of measures the government is putting in place to allow for fair and COVID-secure participation in the upcoming council and mayoral elections in England, and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales.

The legislation, which has been laid before Parliament, will allow anyone who is self-isolating due to COVID-19 to access an emergency proxy vote, up to 17:00 on election day.

For further information read here.