Government Guidance on the use of Face Coverings from July 24th

From 24 July, wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England is to become mandatory.

The latest rules for shops will be enforced by the police, with anyone disregarding them at risk of a fine of up to £100. This will be reduced to £50 if the fine is paid within 14 days.

A face covering should:

  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
  • ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
  • unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes:

  • young children under the age of 11
  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
  • to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • to eat or drink, but only if you need to
  • to take medication
  • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering

There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked:

  • If asked to do so by shop staff for the purpose of age identification
  • If speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication

Click here for instructions on how to make a cloth face covering.

Face coverings do not replace social distancing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, and/or high temperature, and/or loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste – anosmia), you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), ask for a test to check if you have the virus.

If the test is positive you’ll be contacted by text, email or phone and asked to log on to the NHS Test and Trace website.

Croydon College and Coulsdon College ready to welcome students in September with physical and online courses

Croydon College and Coulsdon College are preparing to support both teenagers and adults alike to educate, train and upskill them ready for the post-COVID working world when the new academic year starts in September.

Throughout the recent lockdown both Colleges have remained open providing support for pupils and staff but has also adapted to move teaching online and now has an expansive online learning programme across vocational, A Level, Degree and apprenticeship courses.

With the announcement by the Government that schools and colleges will be open to all students from September, the Colleges will be working throughout the summer to ensure that all COVID-19 safety measures are in place to make learning accessible and safe for all.

For those not able to attend in person, there will be continued online teaching with a dedicated tutor enabling everyone to access the course and qualification they need to progress their careers.

So whether you have just finished your GCSE’s and looking to take the next step, you are looking to take on a new degree, you want the opportunity to gain a qualification while working as part of an apprenticeship, you’ve been furloughed or made redundant and wish to upskill or you just want to learn something new – Croydon College or Coulsdon College has the course for you.

If you would like to talk to someone about your opportunities then every Wednesday the College will be holding weekly virtual advice clinics from 2pm – 4pm, inviting potential students to speak to them about their opportunities and how they can support both now and in the future.

You can also apply for any of the courses available online now with enrolment beginning in August.

Caireen Mitchell, Principal and Chief Executive, Croydon College said: “Croydon College has been here since the 1950’s successfully delivering education, training and skills to our community and despite this pandemic we will still be here in September continuing that work.

Since the start of the pandemic we have moved the majority of our learning online and the feedback we have had from that has been fantastic, students have really engaged and felt that their teachers have continued to support them to ensure their education has not been disrupted during these difficult times.

In September regardless of how much we can have face to face provision or how much is online we will still be able to provide education, training and skills to our community.

The Colleges have a winning combination of staff and fantastic facilities working together to ensure that students don’t just achieve their qualifications but can go on and reach their potential.”

Croydon College and Coulsdon College remains open and ready to support local businesses and residents. To register or for more information please visit https://croydon.ac.uk/ or www.coulsdon.ac.uk

Government Guidance on 4th July Lockdown Changes

The UK Government is continuing to ease restrictions in a manner that is safe, cautious and consistent with our plan.

This means, from 4 July:

  • you can meet in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) in any location – public or private, indoors or outdoors. You do not always have to meet with the same household – you can meet with different households at different times. However, it remains the case – even inside someone’s home – that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers
  • when you are outside you can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines
  • those who have been able to form a support bubble (i.e. those in single adult households) can continue to have close contact as if they live with the other people in the bubble, but you should not change who you have formed a support bubble with
  • additional businesses and venues, including restaurants, pubs, cinemas, visitor attractions, hotels, and campsites can open – but we will continue to keep closed certain premises where the risks of transmission may be higher
  • other public places, such as libraries, community centres, places of worship, outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gyms can open
  • you can stay overnight away from your home with your own household or support bubble, or with members of one other household (where you need to keep social distancing)
  • it is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces), or in a public outdoors space, unless planned by an organisation in compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance

People will be trusted to continue acting responsibly by following this and related guidance, subject to an upper legal limit on gatherings (as described above).

It is essential that everyone in the country goes about their lives in a manner which reduces the risk of transmission, whether they are at work, leisure, or using public services. When you leave your home, you should follow the guidelines on staying safe outside your home.

You should continue to avoid close contact and remain socially distant from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble – even inside other people’s homes.

You should wash your hands regularly. This will help to protect you and anyone you come into contact with and is critical to keeping everyone safe.

Never visit a clinically vulnerable person if you think you have coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

Never visit a clinically vulnerable person if you have been advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have been in contact with a case.

Meeting Family & Friends

To avoid risks of transmission and stay as safe as possible, you should always maintain social distancing with people you do not live with – indoors and outdoors. You should only have close social contact with others if you are in a support bubble with them. You should:

  • only socialise indoors with members of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • only socialise outdoors in a group of up to six people from different households or in larger groups if everyone is exclusively from one or two households
  • only visit businesses and venues in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) or with a group of six people from different households if outdoors
  • not interact with anyone outside the group you are attending these places with even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • try to limit the number of people you see, especially over short periods of time, to keep you and them safe, and save lives – the more people you have interactions with, the more chances we give the virus to spread
  • not hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing
  • only stay overnight away from your home in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household)
  • when asked, provide your contact details to a business so that you can be contacted as needed by the NHS Test and Trace programme

Visiting Public Places

  • You can spend time outdoors, including for exercise, as often as you wish.
  • If you can, you should avoid using public transport, and aim to walk, cycle, or drive instead.
  • It is not possible to social distance during car journeys and transmission of coronavirus can definitely occur in this context. So avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or, your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing.
  • If you need to use public transport to complete your journey you should follow the guidelines in place, and must wear a face covering.

Clinically Vulnerable People

If you have any of the following health conditions, you may be clinically vulnerable, meaning you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Although you can meet people outdoors and, from 4 July, indoors, you should be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene.

Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
  • chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets)
  • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
  • pregnant women

There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions – and who have been advised to ‘shield’. We are relaxing advice to those shielding in two stages – as long as the incidence rate in the community remains low:

From 6 July:

  • those shielding can spend time outdoors in a group of up to 6 people (including those outside of their household). Extra care should be taken to minimise contact with others by maintaining social distancing. This can be in a public outdoor space, or in a private garden or uncovered yard or terrace
  • those shielding no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of their household
  • those who are shielding will be able to create a ‘support bubble’ with one other household, as long as one of the households in the bubble is a single adult household (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18). All those in a support bubble can spend time together inside each others’ homes, including overnight, without needing to maintain social distancing. This follows the same rules on support bubbles that apply to the wider population now.

 

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), ask for a test to check if you have the virus.

If the test is positive you’ll be contacted by text, email or phone and asked to log on to the NHS Test and Trace website.

 

DEMOC Campaign Update – June 2020

Update & leafleting

Thank you to all who have come forward to help with leafleting.  This is great to help us expand our campaign.  We would now like to reach even further parts of the town, so please provide any help you can in specifically in Addiscombe, New Addington, Thornton Heath, Norbury and South Norwood.

Following government guidelines we are not yet ready to meet-up as a group to do this, but rather we can arrange passing the leaflets across (in a socially distanced manner) and ask people to deliver them on their own.

If you are allowed, and feel able to deliver some leaflets, please let us know what area and how many you would like to deliver and we can advise some roads and pass across leaflets.

We would ask you to follow any guidance at the time you start deliveries and of course take any precautions you need to be safe.

Volunteers can sign-up at http://eepurl.com/gxtcpf

 

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), ask for a test to check if you have the virus.

If the test is positive you’ll be contacted by text, email or phone and asked to log on to the NHS Test and Trace website.

 

Trees on Ashburton Playing Fields

Those of you who have been using the Ashburton Playing fields during this lockdown period will have noticed that many of the approximately 50 newly planted trees are looking extremely stressed. I contacted the Council’s Trees & Woodlands office about 3 weeks ago to make them aware of this as we hadn’t seen any sign of the trees being watered during the extremely hot and dry April/May period.

The Officer I’ve been communicating with said that weekly watering would normally have started at the beginning of April, but due to Covid-19, and the new Health & Safety regulations, their Contractor was carrying out urgent work only, meaning things that might be a threat to life.

She said that watering began again in May and is now back on a weekly routine, but acknowledges that many trees may be lost – though they will continue to be watered weekly in the hopes that some will recover next season. She confirmed that any trees lost will be replaced, and also asked if I could let anyone who uses the Playing Fields know what was happening.

Rachel Carr, a local resident, has also written a post about this on the All About Shirley Facebook group.

NGAIRE SHARPLES