Coronavirus (Covid-19) update - 30 April 2021
Please find below our latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) update for East Devon residents and businesses with information we hope will be of interest to you.
In this issue...
- Enjoy the bank holiday outside and stay safe
- Vote safely in the local elections next week
- Feel naturally healthier and happier this May
- Bluebell Week is in full swing
Enjoy the bank holiday outside and stay safe
With a long bank holiday weekend ahead of us, we are urging everyone to stay safe and continue to follow the COVID-19 restrictions while enjoying more of the freedoms we have missed during lockdown.
Please remember you can only meet up with friends and family you do not live with outdoors for now, either in groups of up to six from any number of households or a group of any size from just two households. And remember you still need to keep your distance from each other.
It's tempting, when the sun goes in, to move indoors, but the risk of spreading coronavirus is significantly higher inside because you're closer to each other and there's less fresh air to disperse infected particles.
We have done well to maintain low case numbers here in Devon, despite the gradual easing of restrictions over the past few weeks, and we still have one of the lowest rates in the country.
But we are seeing a small increase in minor outbreaks across a number of settings, including workplaces, schools and care homes, so it's really important we stay cautious, follow the rules and all take part in regular testing to help identify positive cases as soon as possible to stop the virus spreading.
Please don't get complacent this weekend, and remember the rules still apply even if you have had your vaccination. The pandemic isn't over just yet. It feels like the end is in sight, but there's still a risk of coronavirus in our communities and we must all do our bit to help keep everyone safe.
Vote safely in the local elections next week
The coronavirus pandemic has stopped us doing a lot of things over the last year, but it won't stop you from being able to vote in the local elections on Thursday 6 May.
Voting in person at a polling station will be a bit different this year in order to help keep everyone safe:
- A face covering – you will need to wear a face covering when you go in to the polling station, unless you are exempt.
- Hand sanitiser – this will be available at the entrance/exit of polling stations. Make sure that you use it before and after you cast your vote.
- Your own pen or pencil – it is advisable to bring your own pen or pencil this year. Don't worry, if you forget there will be clean pencils available.
- Keep your distance – social distancing measures will be in place and will be well signposted. It might mean that you have to queue so please factor this in to your plans and leave extra time.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus, or have been asked to self-isolate, please don’t put others at risk by going to a polling station to vote in person. You can nominate an emergency proxy (someone you trust to cast your vote for you) until 5.00pm on polling day.
You can find out more about these elections including the list of candidates standing for Devon County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner, district, town and parish council by-elections by visiting our website.
Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm.
Join the millions already vaccinated against Covid-19
People aged 42 years old and over are now able to book their COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are due to turn 42 years old by Thursday 1 July are also eligible to make an appointment under the latest extension of the vaccine roll out.
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against becoming seriously ill if you catch coronavirus, so please take the jab when it's offered.
You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS, you can book your vaccination appointments via the National Booking Service online or by calling 119 free of charge.
You can speak to a translator if you need to, or if you have difficulties communicating or hearing, or are a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can use textphone 18001 119 or the NHS 119 BSL interpreter service.
Every vaccination gives us hope. When it’s your turn, join the millions already vaccinated, to protect yourself and others.
Feel naturally healthier and happier this May
Living through the coronavirus pandemic over the last year has had a huge impact on all our lives, so looking after our physical and mental health is more important than ever.
It's been clinically proven that being in a natural environment and connecting actively with nature is good for us.
Devon’s Naturally Healthy May campaign is all about harnessing the power of nature and physical activity to improve our health and wellbeing.
With all the joys of spring, May is a wonderful month to head outside and enjoy some fresh air, so why not take some time over the next few weeks, even if it’s just ten minutes, to invest in yourself and connect actively with nature.
It’s all part of Devon’s Naturally Healthy initiative, which brings together a wide range of partners from health, wellbeing, community and environment sectors to encourage Devonians to be happier and healthier through increased connection to nature.
Throughout May the Devon Local Nature Partnership will be sharing information about being naturally healthy and encouraging people to get outside safely for a walk, a cycle, some gardening, wild swimming, bird watching or other activity.
Keep an eye on social media @activedevon @Devon_LNP, and use the hashtags #NaturallyHealthy #DevonCAN to inspire others to join in. You can also check out the Devon-wide activity finder to see what’s happening in your local area, and the Natural Devon website for more naturally healthy information and opportunities.
Restart Grants are now available for businesses as the economy starts to re-open in line with Government’s roadmap.
The new Restart Grant is a sector-based grant which is different from the Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG) – it could pay between £2,667 to £18,000 to eligible businesses.
Please check the details and find out if you are eligible at eastdevon.gov.uk/business-grants.
Every claim is checked and verified and any fraudulent claims will be subject to legal action.
Be kind to shop workers
With the reopening of shops last week a campaign has been launched urging people to ShopKind.
The campaign recognises the important role of shop workers, highlights the scale and impact of violence and abuse against them and encourages positive behaviour in shops.
So if shopping takes longer than normal because of Covid restrictions, don’t take your frustration out on shop workers but please be patient and shop safely.
If you want to stay up to date with the latest news about grants for East Devon businesses, or other news about business opportunities, funding and training, you must subscribe to East Devon Business news
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Dates of next East Devon virtual council meetings
Over the next fortnight the following East Devon District Council virtual meetings are taking place
Wednesday, 5 May
Wednesday, 12 May
The meetings can all be viewed on our YouTube channel by searching for 'East Devon District Council' or by subscribing.
Latest blog by LED: Covid safety a top priority