Covid-19 Cornwall Council Update No. 3

Important support

Please send all coronavirus related enquiries or issues to Cornwall Council’s dedicated email address covid19@cornwall.gov.uk This email address is monitored seven days a week and will be staffed from 9am-5pm over the Easter weekend.
Cornwall Council’s phone lines for COVID-19 and shielding enquiries will be open 9am-1pm over the Easter weekend
0300 123 1118 for COVID-19     and    
0300 123 4334 for shielding enquiries

Help for extremely vulnerable residents. Extremely vulnerable residents who need help getting food supplies or medical prescriptions – either because they are in the high risk, ‘shielded’ group or have other specific difficulties – are being urged to get in touch with Cornwall Council or Volunteer Cornwall. Residents who can get help could fall into different groups depending on whether they are shielded or not:

Shielding after receiving a letter. Those who have received letters from the Government advising them they are considered to be at high risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus because they have an underlying disease or health condition and that they should self-isolate at home for at least 12 weeks and ask others for help with shopping and prescriptions. This ‘shielded’ category includes:

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • People having treatments for some cancers
  • People who have long-term lung disease or severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis
  • People with conditions which make their blood and cells work differently and get infections easily
  • People taking immunosuppression medications which reduce the body’s response to fighting infections
  • Women who are pregnant and have heart disease 

Everyone in the shielding group, which covers all ages from young to old, is being asked to follow stricter social distancing rules than most people and cannot leave their homes, even for essential shopping or exercise.

Suspected to be shielded but have not received a letter. Those who believe they should be in the shielded category but have still not received a letter should exercise caution and contact their GP. If they are unsure if they should be shielding or not, they should also contact their GP for advice.

Not shielded but still needing help. Residents who have not received letters stating they are in the shielded group but may still have complex or medical needs or have other difficulties in getting shopping or medicines and need assistance. 

How to get help Those shielding need to register at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or by calling 0800 0288327. Cornwall Council and Volunteer Cornwall can provide additional help. Ring the Council on 0300 1231118 or email covid19@cornwall.gov.uk or ring Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or email requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk
Those who are not shielding but still need help should contact the Council or Volunteer Cornwall on the same contact details.

Holiday accommodation enforcement

Cornwall Council has been working to ensure that accommodation providers are shut to holidaymakers as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response. The overwhelming majority of holiday accommodation providers closed their doors last month. But after the Council wrote to businesses last week, it received around 200 reports from residents alleging that some holiday lets were still open to people visiting Cornwall. The majority of premises contacted have now complied.

Council officers are phoning businesses to investigate complaints, followed up with written warnings. On-site visits are made when businesses fail to comply or evidence is needed.

There are a number of exemptions which allow some holiday accommodation businesses to remain open, for example to provide accommodation for key workers, NHS staff and for health and care use. If you are aware of accommodation providers in your area who may be breaking the law, please email covid19@cornwall.gov.uk with as much information as possible, including a precise address, the name of the accommodation or owner and a telephone number or email address if known.

A letter has also been sent to second home owners instructing them not to visit their second home this Easter.

Rubbish and recycling service Weekly kerbside rubbish collections and fortnightly recycling collections are continuing on their usual days, and there are no changes to collection days over Easter.
However, bin crews may not arrive at their usual collection times over the coming weeks. Residents should put their rubbish and recycling out by 7am and it should be collected by 6pm.
Household Waste Recycling Centres are closed and bulky waste collections have been suspended.
Households with a possible coronavirus infection should follow
Public Health England guidance

Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being placed out for collection on your next collection day.

See Cornwall Council’s website for more information about rubbish and recycling services.

Samaritans There has been an increasing number of deaths by suicides recorded in Cornwall since the COVID-19 pandemic began. If you know anyone who is in need of crisis support, please ask them to call the Samaritans on 116 123, from any phone, at any time. Calls are free.

New domestic abuse awareness campaign launched as cases expected to increase.

  • Safer Cornwall has launched an awareness raising campaign to help counter the expected increased risks of domestic abuse and the challenges of providing adequate support during lockdown. The campaign aims to reassure communities that vital services are still available to support adults and children during this time and reiterates where and how to access help. The campaign also includes information on staying safe in the house, school places for children and how communities can support those affected.
    Cornwall’s integrated domestic abuse and sexual violence service, Safer Futures, is still providing support, safety planning and information via their helpline, text service and online. Safer Futures will also direct people to any additional services that they may need and can liaise on their behalf if appropriate to do so, for example if someone feels they want to access a refuge at this time.
    Support is available by:
  • Making a referral online 
  • Email: saferfutures@firstlight.org.uk
  • Tel: 0300 777 4777

There is also refuge and support via:

If you know anyone who is at immediate risk of harm, please call the police now on 999.  You can also follow Safer Cornwall on Facebook and Twitter

Have your say on how planning rules can help tackle climate change. Town and parish councils and residents of Cornwall can have their say about Cornwall Council’s Climate Change Development Plan Document (DPD) online. The Climate Change DPD outlines the Council’s vision to protect the environment by introducing new planning policies and strengthening existing rules to support the Council’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2030. 

The first round of consultation runs until May 26 and, because of the need to stay at home, will be held predominately online. There will be no face to face public events or exhibitions. Paper copies of the document can be provided for anyone who can’t view the document online. There will also be online events and question and answer sessions on the new DPD via Skype. Further details on the webcasts will follow.

Latest position on planning delegation and planning committees. For further information and links, please click here.

Cornish small businesses affected by coronavirus:  The Council has written to all businesses in Cornwall with information about financial support available.  There are still potentially 10,000 eligible businesses in Cornwall. If you know someone who has received a letter from the Council and hasn’t yet applied for a business support grant, please encourage them to apply. Anyone who hasn’t received a letter but believes they’re entitled to support should ring 0300 1234 171.
There’s more information about support for businesses on Cornwall Council’s Support for business web page.

Support for the creative sector:  Cornwall Council is bringing forward £687,000 of planned financial support for Cornwall’s cultural and creative sector to help organisations that have been heavily affected by the impact of the COVID-19 virus. A range of organisations are affected and will be contacted directly by Cornwall Council .

To ensure appropriate support can be put in place to ensure a successful recovery phase for Cornwall’s creative sector, please encourage creative organisations and self-employed individuals in your area to take part in this survey.

People Hub phoneline to advise people with employment questions: Cornwall Council is introducing a new service to help individuals with support and advice on employment, training and skills and where to find further help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents can call the People Hub phoneline on 0333 0150699 between 10am and 5pm Monday to Friday, with an out of hours messaging service outside those times.
People Hub will be staffed by a multi-agency team providing immediate information, advice and guidance about:

  • Employment and skills support programmes
  • Temporary staffing agency workers
  • Those under threat of redundancy or made redundant
  • Self-employed
  • Zero hours contract workers
  • Being furloughed
  • Retraining or developing new skills
  • Sick pay and processes

Government advice update service. You can sign up to get emails from the Government’s GOV.UK website when their information about coronavirus (COVID-19) changes. There might be 40 to 60 changes a week, and you can choose whether to get updates every time something changes, once a day or once a week.

An unusual Easter – please enjoy Cornwall safely

It’s a great temptation to be out in the spring weather and the Cornish countryside over the Easter weekend, but Cornwall Council is asking people to: 

  • Exercise only locally and not make non-essential journeys.
  • Use the 4,500 km of public rights of way – footpaths, bridleways, byways, the SW Coast Path – only for access and exercise.
  • Follow Government guidelines on social distancing. People should avoid busy sections, as it is hard to keep your distance from others. Please be patient, and let other people pass you at a safe distance.
  • Be considerate about paths. Some people who are self-isolating have concerns about paths adjacent to their homes, as do some farmers and landowners about adjacent paths. Landowners have no legal right to block or obstruct public rights of way or access to land, but please be sensitive to their concerns.
  • Everyone should follow the Countryside Code. Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home. Leave gates as you find them. Take extra care on the coast path.
  • Keep dogs on leads or under effective control, especially near livestock and other people.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly or use sanitiser after touching shared surfaces outdoors such as stiles or gate locks.
  • Beaches are open, but there are no RNLI lifeguard patrols so the Council strongly advises against entering the water, swimming, surfing or pleasure boating. Barbecues, beach sports and other get-togethers are contrary to guidelines.
  • Cornwall Council has suspended car park charges until the end of April, but this is to support essential workers during the pandemic, not for non-essential travel.

Please encourage people in your area to respect the need to keep everyone safe at this difficult time, be considerate of other’s space, follow police instructions and other regulations, and do all they can to help beat COVID-19.