Council Update on Covid-19

For the latest news on new Business Grants, Furlough Scheme, ShopAppy local shopping go to the Council website at

All our help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website  This page is refreshed through the day so please check in regularly to keep across developments and news.

New national restrictions from 5 November

As outlined in the Prime Minister’s statement at the weekend, from Thursday 5 November, new national restrictions will apply in England.

These include:

Staying at home except for education, work (if it can’t be done from home), exercise and recreation, medical reasons, shopping for food and other essentials, or to care for others

All pubs and restaurants will have to close – takeaways and deliveries can continue

All non-essential shops will have to close

Households will not be allowed to mix with others indoors, or in private gardens

Individuals can meet one person from outside their household in an outside public space

Support bubbles for people who live alone, and households of single parents and children can continue

Children will be able to move between homes if their parents are separated

Schools, nurseries, colleges and universities will remain open

Hotels will only open for people who have to travel for work plus a number of other limited reasons

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be allowed, except in exceptional circumstances

Places of worship will generally close but funerals, with a maximum of 30 people attending, individual prayer will be allowed

Workplaces will be asked to stay open if people can’t work from home – including construction and manufacturing

Outdoor exercise and recreation will be allowed, but gyms will have to close

Clinically vulnerable people advised not to go to work if they are unable to work from home

Until 5 November, people should continue follow the local restrictions for their area – Somerset is in the medium tier.

Where to turn for help and support

For many people the pandemic and changes to Government guidance may cause anxiety or frustration.  You may find that you have problems sleeping or your mood and feelings are affected by all of the change.  With this in mind, it is going to be very important to do what you can to keep healthy, happy and safe.

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to post information to support you to stay fit and healthy on our Healthy Somerset website. This information will be updated in line with national guidance. Please check back regularly to access various opportunities, advice and supporting information that will be posted as changes occur:

Let us know what you have been up to on social media using the #stayhealthyinsomerset

If you are self-isolating or need extra support, contact the Somerset Coronavirus helpline on 0300 790 6275 to be put in touch with local groups who can help with fetching shopping, medication and other essentials supplies, as well as other mutual aid.  The helpline is open 7 days a week between 8am and 6pm.

The Somerset Mindline is open 24 hours a day for mental health and emotional wellbeing support: 01823 276 892.

NHS services in Somerset: Help us to help you in lockdown

In the light of the forthcoming lockdown, health services in Somerset are issuing advice.

Maria Heard, Covid-19 Incident Director, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “NHS services in Somerset are currently very busy but coping well with demand. Our dedicated staff are working very hard across all services to keep them running and make sure they remain open and here for you.  Our GP practices, urgent care services, our services that care for people at home and our hospitals are all very busy for the time of year. At present, we are able to continue to offer planned care and operations are continuing without cancellations.  But we do need your help to keep everyone as well and safe as possible and to keep our services running well.”

For now, please continue to attend appointments as advised. You don’t need to call us to check that a booked appointment is going ahead. We will be in touch if anything changes with your care.

Furlough Scheme extension

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – also known as the furlough scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ended yesterday.

Also, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant and £1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly. Mortgage holidays will also no longer end on 31 October.

Have your say in Somerset Covid-19 Survey

In light of the latest announcement on restrictions, it is even more important that we hear your views and concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and what guidance, support and information you might need.

The Covid-19 Engagement Board welcomes your feedback – it only takes a few minutes to complete – click below to complete the survey:

Council urges healthcare workers to get FREE flu jab

All health and social care staff are urged to get their flu vaccination now to protect themselves and the most vulnerable people in our communities this winter.

Somerset County Council, along with the Clinical Commissioning Group and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, warn that with COVID-19 also circulating in communities this winter, catching flu and coronavirus together is even more likely to lead to severe illness, hospitalisation and, sadly, death.

Reduce the risks and follow advice

It’s vital everyone acts to reduce their own risk, and the risk to others, from getting ill with coronavirus.

There’s really important information available to help Somerset residents, businesses and visitors take all-important precautions:

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