The Government has published information on the new national restrictions being introduced from 5 January 2021 👇👇
Following a rapid rise in infections, hospital admissions and case rates across the country, the Prime Minister announced yesterday (04 January 2021) a national lockdown in England with immediate effect and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
The drastic jump in COVID-19 cases has been attributed to the new variant of COVID-19, which scientists have now confirmed is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible.
National lockdown means that you cannot leave your home unless for a small specific list of reasons. From today (05 January 2021), all primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will move to remote learning, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
The restrictions have come into effect today, and are expected to last until the middle of February if the situation in hospitals improve. By this point, the NHS hopes to have vaccinated everyone in the top four priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) – including older care home residents and staff, everyone over 70, all frontline NHS and care staff and all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Below is a summary of some of the key pieces of guidance, but please familiarise yourself with the full lockdown guidance to make sure you know what you and your family need to do to keep our town safe.
Leaving home –
From today (05 Jan), you can only leave your home for the following reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- going to work, or providing voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercising with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
- meeting your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- for a medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies
- seeking medical assistance or to avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attending education or childcare – for those eligible
Meeting other people and exercising –
You should minimise time spent outside your home.
It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
Indoor gyms and sports facilities will remain closed. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close. Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.
Business and hospitality –
To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance, but includes:
- non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores – venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect and delivery services
- hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs – with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink can continue to be provided by delivery
- accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites
- leisure and sports facilities
- entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries
- indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
- personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons
Read more about the guidance for businesses and venues here.
Support and childcare bubbles –
You are permitted to leave your home to visit your support bubble (and to stay overnight with them). However, if you form a support bubble, it is best if this is with a household who live locally. This will help prevent the virus spreading from an area where more people are infected.
If you live in a household with anyone aged under 14, you can form a childcare bubble. This allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare.
If your child lives in more than one location, you can mix indoors where necessary with the other parent to allow your child to move between homes.
Education and childcare –
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.
Weddings, civil partnerships, religious ceremonies and funerals –
Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people but these should only take place in exceptional circumstances.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________‘Compassionate Swindon’ has been set up to support Voluntary organisations helping those who are either self-isolating or safe distancing, There are links for individuals and volunteer groups to either offer or ask for help and a lot of useful information. http://vas-swindon.org/Highworth Town Council has systems in place for Track and Trace including a unique NHS QR Code. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
In line with Government advice, in order to avoid non-essential contact with others, you are encouraged to email or telephone Highworth Town Council. The Council Offices is closed to the Public.
Telephone: 01793 762377
The Office Staff will continue to undertake their duties and will be working from home.
Play Areas are now open, signage has been placed to inform users of guidelines.
The Council will endeavour to keep the Public Toilets open as they are a vital facility for delivery drivers and other essential workers, hand washing is essential and you MUST do this after visiting the facility.
The Market will re-open from Saturday 30 May 2020 with strict social distancing guidelines. There can be seen within the Market notice on this website.
We continue to follow Government advice and direct you to the Public Health England website as this will be the most up to date source for all organisations.
Due to COVID-19 ALL ROOM BOOKINGS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED until further notice HIGHWORTH TOWN MAYOR’S GALA CHARITY DINNER is also CANCELLED.
‘Compassionate Swindon’ has been set up to support Voluntary organisations helping those who are either self-isolating or safe distancing, There are links for individuals and volunteer groups to either offer or ask for help and a lot of useful information. http://vas-swindon.org/
To see a short video of our beautiful market town please click on the link below:
POET laureate John Betjeman described Highworth as “extraordinary because it has more beautiful buildings than ugly ones”.
He also wrote: “I have never seen Highworth given due praise in guidebooks for what it is, one of the most charming and unassuming
country towns in the west of England.”
The picturesque town lies six miles north of Swindon and was once the most important town in north Wiltshire. It has a wealth of history (including stories of tunnels and ghosts) and the Historical Society are busy investigating and recording for the Town.
Perhaps one of the greatest assets of the town is our people – you are sure to receive a warm welcome.
There is usually something happening on the Podium (pictured above, a link to the list of events is shown on our information page) – and the Town Cryer is sure to keep you informed.
The Tourist Information Office is within the Lighthouse Bookshop in the High Street very close to the Market Square.
Office Opening Times:
Monday 9:00-13:00 14:00-16:00
Tuesday 9:00-13:00 14:00-16:00
Wednesday 9:00-13:00 14:00-16:00
Thursday 9:00-13:00 14:00-16:00