November Lockdown

Shamelessly stealing from the Westminster email update, here is an outline of how the new full lockdown works. For the latest Westminster info, click here.

NATIONAL RESTRICTIONS: From today, you should only leave your home for a limited set of reasons. These include: for education for work, if you cannot work from home for exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household for all medical reasons, appointments or to escape injury or harm to shop for food and essentials to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

STAYING SAFE OUTSIDE YOUR HOME: You should minimise time spent outside your home and when around other people ensure that you remember hands, face, space.”
RULES ON MEETING FRIENDS AND FAMILY: You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble.

“You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with people you live with, your support bubble, or one person from another household. Children under school age and those dependent on round-the-clock care (such as those with severe disabilities) who are with their parents do not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside.
You also cannot meet in a private garden. For full guidance, click here.”

CORONAVIRUS TESTING SITES: A mobile coronavirus testing unit will be available on North Carriage Drive in Hyde Park between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 November.

Semi-permanent, walk-through testing centres are open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm. Find the locations here.

For all testing sites, a test must be booked in advance at NHS online or by calling 119. You should only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested. More about testing units in Westminster.

MEDICAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE: If you need medical help, the NHS is still there for you even when the new national restrictions come into effect on Thursday: If you need medical help from your GP, contact them online, through an app or over the phone. If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111. If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999. If you are told to go to hospital, it is important that you go to hospital. You should continue to attend your appointments and collect your prescriptions unless you have been told not to attend.

MENTAL HEALTH: For many people, the current coronavirus situation may result in feelings of anxiety, loneliness or depression. It’s completely normal to feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You might also feel low, worried, anxious, or concerned about your health or that of those close to you. It’s important that you take care of your mind as well as your body and to get further support if you need it.

If you need support with your mental health and wellbeing or someone to talk to, please call your GP or visit Westminster’s website to access a number of services

WESTMINSTER CONNECTS: With coronavirus cases continuing to rise, the government has issued new guidance to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. Whilst this is not a return to the very restrictive shielding advice from earlier in the year, you are strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and work from home if you can. You are still encouraged to go outdoors for exercising and attending health appointments. For full details visit GOV.UK.

The government has set up a new online system for those who are clinically vulnerable to register for support. The system allows you to register for priority supermarket delivery slots as well as additional local support from your council. Click here to register.

The Westminster Connects team continues to contact vulnerable residents who were formerly shielding. If you need help or you know of anyone who needs help as a result of COVID-19, call 020 7641 1222 (9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) or email westminsterconnects@nullwestminster.gov.uk.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT: Many families and businesses have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Westminster offers you support. Visit their website to find a list of services that can help your current financial situation
PEOPLE FIRST: If you are concerned about an adult who you think requires social care and support or you have a safeguarding concern, please call 020 7641 1444 or 020 7641 1175 or email adultsocialcare@nullwestminster.gov.uk.
If you are concerned about a child and you have a safeguarding concern, please call 0207 641 4000 or email AccesstoChildrensServices@nullwestminster.gov.uk.
For further adult care and social advice, visit Westminster’s website
LIBRARIES: During lockdown, libraries and the Archives Centre will offer the following reduced service in line with government guidance: Click and collect services for collecting reservations and returning library items. Access to computers for essential use. There will be no access to other areas of the libraries, including study spaces, during this time. Returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours. Library items on loan will continue to be automatically renewed, there will be no overdue charges during this period and existing charges will be waived to ensure everyone can access the books they need.
Libraries continue to offer many free online resources, including eBooks and eMagazines, and you can also access our virtual library via social media channels for book recommendations, online events and much more.
If you’re not already a library member, you can join online and access these free resources straight away.

SCHOOLS: Nurseries, schools, colleges and universities will remain open between 5 November and 2 December. All schools now have remote learning in place should children need to self-isolate at any time. Parents are encouraged to speak to their child’s school if they have any concerns. Advice from the government for parents on their children attending school during this time can also be found on the GOV.UK website.

For more information and support for families, children and young people, visit our Family Information Service webpage.

LEISURE CENTRES: All Westminster leisure centres, including our outdoor football pitches, hockey pitches, cricket nets, cricket wicket and tennis courts are now closed in line with government guidelines.
PARKS AND OPEN SPACES: Parks and open spaces will remain open, along with our communal recreation facilities across the City such as playgrounds, outdoor gyms, multi-use games areas etc.
You can find details here, about parks and green spaces at Westminster Parks.
MARKETS: Some markets can remain open, but only stalls and kiosks selling essential goods such as food. Find more information on what markets are remaining open here.
WASTE AND RECYCLING: Collections are currently running as normal. However, the council’s Mobile Recycling Centre will not be operating at Warwick Avenue until further notice and there are no collections of bulky waste from within households. Click here for more information.
REGISTRARS: The Westminster Registration Service is currently open for birth and death and notice of intention to marry or form a civil partnership appointments only. Marriages and civil partnerships can no longer take place until the national restrictions are lifted, apart from in exceptional circumstances. For more information or to apply for a refund or reschedule your ceremony, please visit the Registrar’s Office webpage.
PLACES OF WORSHIP: Places of worship are now closed until 2 December, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, service broadcasting and funerals. 

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