Updates on Coronavirus in South Somerset
Recent and upcoming changes
From 19 July ENGLAND
England has moved to Step 4 of the roadmap. Everyone should be cautious while managing the risks as cases of COVID-19 remain high. Find out what you should do to protect yourself and others.
Fully vaccinated people returning to England from most amber list countries will not need to quarantine.
From 2 August ENGLAND
People who have been fully vaccinated in the US and most European countries, will not need to quarantine when arriving in England from amber list countries. There’s also no need for a test on day 8.
From 16 August ENGLAND
If you’re fully vaccinated or under 18, you will not need to self-isolate following close contact with someone who has COVID-19. You’ll still need to take a PCR test and self-isolate if it’s positive.
The overall message to residents is ‘think twice, do the right thing, and don’t let your guard down’ with a number of positive cases still being recorded across the district.
Employers have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their staff and customers and Covid-19 risk assessments will need to be reviewed in the light of the latest advice. It is important to respect and be considerate of those who may wish to take a more cautious approach as restrictions are lifted.
The following behaviours should be encouraged by staff to help protect themselves and reduce sickness absence:
1. Meeting in well-ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open.
2. Wearing a face covering where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
3. Washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day.
4. Covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze.
5. Staying at home if unwell, to reduce the risk of passing on other illnesses onto colleagues and others in your community.
6. Considering individual risks, such as clinical vulnerabilities and vaccination status.
Our main office at Brympton Way will remain closed to the public while our Customer Connect office at Petters Way will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 2.30pm, on Wednesdays from 9am to 4pm, except for the first Wednesday of every month when due to staff training we open at noon.
In order to protect our staff, we will be asking customers to continue to wear face masks when visiting our Customer Connect office or any other site where they may be interacting with our teams indoors (such as Yeovil Crematorium and the Cartgate Tourist Information Centre).
The Ninesprings café and new Yeovil Rec café remain open with customers asked to wear masks at these venues when not seated at a table to protect other customers and our staff.
Our phonelines remain open from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday although please use our website in the first instance as our phonelines can get very busy at peak times.
Our Customer Access Point site and customer site at Lace Mill in Chard is open 9.30am to 4.30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; at Wincanton 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday; at Crewkerne 9.30am to 1pm Monday to Friday.
We have also made the decision to continue to allow staff to work from home where possible.
Visit www.southsomerset.gov.uk/coronavirus for information on a range of different matters including support that is available.
Garden Waste suspension - Update from Somerset Waste Partnership
Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has reluctantly decided to suspend garden waste collections for six weeks from 2 August. If you are a subscriber, you do not need to do anything. Your subscription will be automatically extended by eight weeks, in recognition the disruption, especially at a key time of year for gardeners.
Garden waste collections will continue up to and including Friday 30 July. We will not return for missed collections after that date. During the suspension, garden waste subscriptions cannot be started, garden waste sacks cannot be purchased, and collections of sacks cannot be booked.
We are sincerely sorry for the recent disruption to all collections. We are working hard with our contractor SUEZ but unfortunately there are no quick fixes.
Why this is happening?
After a year in which crews managed heavier loads and often far longer hours, the LGV driver shortage and Covid self-isolation of staff are significantly disrupting services.
Suspending garden waste collections allows us to redeploy staff to support vital rubbish and recycling services. It will not get the services back to normal, but it will help minimise disruption. We are not alone; many councils face similar pressures.
We expect to restart collections from Monday 13 September. If that changes, we will contact subscribers.
You do not need to take any action. Your garden waste subscription end date will automatically be extended by a further eight weeks.
If you must get in touch, complete the online form. This is the quickest and easiest way to make contact.
If you are unable to use the online form, DO NOT contact your district council – it is NOT involved in managing the garden waste suspension. Instead, call this dedicated phone line Monday-Friday 9am-5pm 01823 589900.
What to do with garden waste
Do not put garden waste into rubbish or recycling containers. They will not be collected.
Recycle sites: All 16 Somerset recycle sites take garden waste. Full details, including opening hours, here.
Compost: More on home composting, including a subsidised bin offer, here.
Reduce: Mow and prune less this summer.
Mulch: Use grass cuttings to retain moisture and reduce weeds.
The Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service firmly advises against having bonfires, given the risks of fires spreading, the likely nuisance for neighbours and the potential diversion of emergency services. Check out their downloadable bonfire leaflet here.
19th July 2021