COVID-19 update from Cornwall Council

Carers needed

People who need care and support in Cornwall are calling on everyone who can, to urgently step up and apply for a role in Cornwall’s care sector as Cornwall faces an unprecedented demand for care and support during the coronavirus emergency.

Cornwall Adult Health & Social Care, with providers, has developed a comprehensive induction programme to ensure that all those who are recruited have the essential skills and knowledge required for the role and there are plenty of opportunities for this to become a permanent role in the future.

Anyone who wants to help should visit the Proud to Care Cornwall website and apply as soon as possible. Anyone wanting to help only in a volunteer capacity should visit the Volunteer Cornwall website.

Car parks

Currently Cornwall Council is removing all charges at Council car parks until the end of April to ensure essential workers are able to travel as required. This will then be reviewed monthly.

Registration of births, deaths and marriages

From Monday 30 March deaths must be registered by phone: none of Cornwall’s Register Offices will be open except for pre-booked appointments to register a death. People will be able to make a request to register a death through an on-line form on the Cornwall Council website or by phoning 0300 1234 181, Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6:00pm. The Council will contact the customer only when all necessary paperwork has been received – there may be some understandable delays with the medical profession.

All other Register Office services are suspended until further notice.
The Council is contacting marriage/civil partnership couples who have booked with it to discuss their options, but with over 3,000 bookings there is a backlog. The Council is not taking any new bookings for marriages or C
ivil Partnerships until it has re-scheduled the displaced bookings. Please email Cornwall Council on ceremonies@cornwall.gov.uk but there is likely to be a delay in the response.

Birth registrations are suspended for the time being. People who are not able to register the birth of their child because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can still make a claim to receive child benefit.

Council tax support

Due to additional Government funding, an extra £150 will be received by those of working age already receiving Council Tax Support: this will be automatic and reduced Council tax bills will soon arrive. This will take a little time to sort out so anyone in difficulties in the mean time should contact Cornwall Council to discuss their circumstances.

Exercise advice

The latest Government advice on travelling to exercise is:

  • Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not drive unnecessarily.
  • You should go outside either alone or with members of your own household.
  • Keep at least two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times.
  • Gatherings of more than two in public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this.
  • If you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air.
  • Take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.

Footpaths, bridleways and byways remain open for the public to use to get to work, medical appointments or as part of their daily exercise routine. Cornwall Council has had a small number of requests to close public rights of way which are located near to people who are self-isolating. The Council has no legal powers to do this, and there are no plans to do so.

New COVID-19 WhatsApp information service

The Government has launched a Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp. The free service is an automated ‘chatbot’ that will allow people to get answers to the most common questions about COVID-19 directly from Government. It aims to further reduce the burden on NHS services, including 111, combat the spread of the virus and ensure people stay at home and save lives. It’s as easy as sending a message ‘hi’ to the dedicated number on WhatsApp. More information can be found on the Government website.