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Lockdown Newsletter 34

25th February 2021

More in Morpeth weekly update newsletter. For the duration of the current lockdown, the focus will be on guidance and support. Contact: moreinmorpeth@gmail.com

Government Roadmap out of Lockdown: https://tinyurl.com/2tr9ua2h

8th Mar:

· Schools and colleges reopen. Univ students return for practical courses

· Face masks recommended in class for secondary school students and for parents and staff in primary schools;

· Wraparound childcare for vulnerable pupils and where for parents or carers to go to work; support groups or to seek medical care

· Two people from different households can meet outside

· One nominated person can visit care homes, but will need PPE and a lateral flow test

29th Mar:

· People will be allowed to meet outside within the “rule of six”

· The stay-at-home rule will end, stay local as much as possible

· Outdoor sport facilities will reopen

· Formally organised outdoor sports can restart

· Parents and children groups can return but outdoors and limited to 15. Indoor groups are ok for vulnerable children and where parents need the groups to go to work

· Weddings attended by up to six people can take place

Further progress with notional earliest possible dates of 12th April, 17th May and 21st June depend on meeting all four conditions:

· The vaccine programme continues to go to plan (Note: across the whole country, relaxation may be delayed even if Northumberland and NE complete the programme, but there are delays elsewhere)

· Vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment (Note: this is about severity of infections not numbers of infections)

· Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions (Note: about NHS capacity, not infection numbers)

· New coronavirus variants do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions

Assuming relaxation goes ahead as planned, the next “Inside Morpeth” magazine will be published on 19th April. It is intended that the issue will concentrate on supporting local businesses as they emerge from lockdown, with the theme “love where you live, support your local businesses”. Deadline for copy and ads is 29th March, but contact the editor, Ian Leech, with ideas, stories and interest now ian-leech@sky.com

Targetted Community Testing for key workers now bookable at Ashington, Alnwick and Hexham, only available to eligible key workers who are not showing symptoms of Covid-19. https://tinyurl.com/535kd7m6 Video: https://tinyurl.com/y38g3mm5

An intensive programme of testing schoolchildren for Covid is underway before schools go back on 8th March. Any child with a positive test will be required to isolate.

Vaccination roll-out: All over 64’s and people aged 16-64 with long-term health conditions are now being invited for vaccination. Invites will come from both to book at the large NHS Hubs (like Centre for Life) and (separately and a little later) from your GP Surgery. You may choose whichever is more convenient but do wait for your invite.

Many local food businesses are now offering home deliveries – but don’t be afraid to ask for evidence of hygiene qualifications, environmental health checks, awareness of allergens and public liability insurance – as well as Covid protocols and risk assessments. You can check what you need to know to be safe on the NCC website here. https://tinyurl.com/ptjxs4mp

Work will start on the new Leisure Centre on Monday (1st March). The Terrace car park (next to St George’s Church) will be reserved for contractors (and the public toilets will stay closed). NCC are renting a private car park at the far end of Gas House Lane to provide some replacement (free) parking spaces, which will be free as many spaces for the public as we are able. The Goosehill car park will not be ready till late summer this year. The new leisure centre (including library) is scheduled to open in late 2022.

Morpeth Litter Group’s “Adopt a Street” scheme: adopted so far – the area around County Hall, Loansdean to Sun Inn, St Marys Fields, most of Kirkhill estate. Volunteers are also picking litter on Morpeth Common, the bypass, verges on the A1 filter roads to and from the A1 – and various country lanes e.g. Hepscott to Clifton. To volunteer, join the “Adopt a Street” scheme, get litter picking equipment and advice on litterpicking on roadsides contact Morpeth Litter Group morpethlittergroup@gmail.com

Northumberland Libraries support #SpringintoReading: coming up #SpringIntoReading resources including created booklists. See https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/ The theme for the 2021 Summer Reading Challenge will be announced on the 9th March

The 2021 Census takes place on 21st March. Information will arrive in the post. See www.census.gov.uk

Lockdown support from Northumberland Communities Together and locally through the Morpeth Community Support FB Group For assistance, call the support hub on 01670 620015 or email NCT@northumberland.gov.uk NCT Website https://tinyurl.com/y3nbtzrl MCSG FB https://tinyurl.com/y53bjrc3

If you are concerned about someone’s immediate welfare call OneCall on 01670 536400 and in an emergency call 999.

The local (Morpeth) coordinator for Communities Together is Alison Byard email alison.byard@morpeth-tc.gov.uk mob 07963 306549