Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest information

Coronavirus regulations: Latest Update 19/02/21

Wales remains under Alert Level 4 restrictions

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford MS, has made a statement following the Welsh Government's latest 3 weekly review today (Friday, 19th February 2021).

The Stay at Home measure remains in place for the next 3 weeks until the next review, however some minor changes were announced:

  • From Saturday, 20th February, four people from two different households will be able to meet outdoors for socially distanced local exercise. This doesn’t apply to private gardens
  • From March 1st, the law will be changed to allow licensed wedding venues, such as visitor attractions and hotels, to re-open but only to perform wedding and civil partnership ceremonies
  • Sport Wales will make arrangements for more of our talented athletes to resume training and playing
  • With more people living and working in older people’s care homes being vaccinated, we will look again at our guidance for care home visiting.

As previously announced Foundation Phase Learners will return to face-to-face teaching from next week. In Blaenau Gwent these pupils will return from Monday, 22nd February. More details on our Coronavirus and Education Page.

You can read more of the First Minister's statement here.

For more information on Alert Level 4 Restrictions please go to - https://gov.wales/alert-level-4-frequently-asked-questions#section-58326

 

 



Test Trace & Protect Service

The Gwent test, Trace and Protect Service continues to be busy tracking cases in our communities in Blaenau Gwent.

Self Isolation

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, you must self-isolate at home for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. (Please see section on when to seek medical advice above). You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.

• Self-isolation periods are for 10 days
• Self-isolation is for 10 days if you develop symptoms. People who develop symptoms should request a test. If the test is negative they can stop their self-isolation
• Self-isolation is for 10 days if you test positive for COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms
• Self-isolation is for 10 days if you live with someone or someone from your extended household has developed symptoms. If the person with symptoms then tests negative everyone can stop their self-isolation
• Self-isolation is for 10 days if you have been contacted by Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) to confirm you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Even if you have a test and it is negative you must still self-isolate for 10 days. This is because you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and the virus can take time to show in your system.

New Regulations

The Welsh Government has strengthened the Coronavirus regulations by imposing a legal requirement for people to self-isolate if told to do so by NHS Wales Test Trace Protect Service.

The regulations were also strengthened to make it an offence to knowingly provide false information to the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect Service.

There is a duty to ensure employers cannot prevent an employee from following NHS Wales Test Trace Protect advice to self-isolate.

Full details of these regulations and further guidance will be issued shortly.

Self Isolation Payments

People told to self-isolate for up to 10 days will be eligible for financial support from Welsh Government.
People on low incomes can apply to receive a £500 payment if they have tested positive for coronavirus or they are asked to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. This also now includes those told to self-isolate by the NHS Test Trace Protect Mobile App.

A top-up payment is available for the social care workforce in Wales, to increase statutory sick pay to their normal wages if they have to take time off because they have coronavirus or are self-isolating.

For more information about financial assistance go to - https://gov.wales/self-isolation-support-scheme

Testing Positive for Coronavirus

If you test positive for Coronavirus you should not leave your home and must self-isolate immediately (Please see Guidance here). You will be contacted directly by a trained advisor from the Gwent Contact Tracing Service. To make this a success you will need to answer your phone when you receive this call, which may come from a withheld number.

If you need any support with shopping or prescription collections whilst you are self-isolating, please call us on 01495 311556 or let your trained advisor from the Gwent Contact Tracing Service know.

COVID 19 – Premises Improvement Notices

Premises Improvement Notice

Improvement Notices (ORANGE) have been served on the following premises in Blaenau Gwent following failures to comply with COVID-19 regulations.

Closure Notice

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media

Our social media accounts to follow are:

  • Facebook – @blaenaugwentcbc
  • Twitter -  @BlaenauGwentCBC

Community Support

For more information about what support is available in the community go to our Local Help and Support Page.

Council Buildings

All our Council buildings remain closed to the public. Our 24-hour secure Internet payments service is available for online payments.

For any other help and advice please call us on 01495 311556.

For Council Tax advice or help please call 01495 355212 or 01495 356010.

For Benefit advice or help please call 01495 353398.

Children's Play Parks

Parks in Blaenau Gwent are open. Please remember to observe social distancing and practice good hygiene. There is signage at our parks advising families of safe use at this time.

Aneurin Leisure Trust Services

Sports Centres & Parks

All Sports Centres in Blaenau Gwent remain closed.

Direct debit payments will be frozen until Aneurin Leisure is in a position to re-open facilities. This means you will not be charged for your membership or swimming lessons and payments will not go out from your bank account while sports centres are closed.

Parc Bryn Bach

Parc Bryn Bach and play area are open but people must not travel to visit the area due to lockdown restrictions.

Golf facilities remain closed.

Bedwellty House & Park

Bedwellty Park grounds only are open.

Bedwellty House is open for face-to-face Registrar appointments only. All other facilities within the house remain closed during this time. You can call the Registrar Office on 01495 353374.

A takeaway catering service is available from Bedwellty House Tea Room.

Blaenau Gwent Libraries & Adult Education Centres

Due to current Welsh Government restrictions, all Adult Education Centres remain closed to the public and all teaching will be carried out remotely or by blended learning.

If learners have any queries please contact your tutor or e-mail karen.bennett@aneurinleisure.org.uk

A Call & Collect Library Service is currently available. More information here.

For more information about Leisure & Culture Services go to - https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/

Business Advice

Restrictions Business Fund NDR Grant

The Welsh Government has launched the Restrictions Business Fund to support businesses that have been directly impacted by the additional restrictions put in place on the 4th December to control the spread of Covid-19. The purpose of the grant is to provide businesses with cash flow support and to help them survive the economic consequences of the restrictions introduced. The grant seeks to complement other Covid-19 response measures to support businesses, social enterprises and charitable organisations in Wales.

The fund consists of two separate grants:

  • Restrictions Business Fund Non Domestic Rate Grant
  • ERF Restrictions Discretionary Grant

For more guidance on how to apply or if you are eligible please visit the Advice for Business Covid-19 page.

or the latest advice and information for businesses in relation to Coronavirus please visit - https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus

ERF Business Restrictions Fund

To support businesses into the New Year, On the 30 November the First Minister announced a £340m package of support directed primarily at the hospitality, tourism and related supply chain sectors. The fund will be split as follows:

  • £160m ERF Restrictions Business Fund: To provide operating costs support for short term impact for up to 60,000 businesses that are materially impacted as a result of national restrictions. Linked to the non-domestic rates system.
  • £180m ERF Sector Specific Support (operating cost) aligned to defined restrictions. Further information is available on the ERF Sector Specific Support page.

Please visit the Business Wales website regularly for updates on the fund and eligibility criteria -
https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/covid-19-support-business

Last Updated 5.30pm | 08.12.20
 

Useful Links

Important Information for Businesses

 

 

Waste and Recycling

Kerbside waste & recycling services & bulky waste collections are continuing as normal.

Local Recycling Centre

The Council’s New Vale Household Waste Recycling Centre located on Waun-y-Pound Industrial Estate is open for pre-booked appointments only.

The facility will be open from 10am until 4.30pm daily until 30th April 2021. For more information go to -  https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/waste-recycling/household-waste-and-recycling-centre/

We ask everyone to continue to use their kerbside waste collections as normal and please recycle all that you can.

Waste Disposal Advice to Householders self-isolating for Coronavirus

If your household is self-isolating having identified symptoms of the Coronavirus, any household waste you accumulate in the 3 days (72 hours) before your normal day/date of collection will need to be set aside to be put out on the next collection date.

  • This is to minimise the risk of infection to others.
  • This does not represent any additional risk to yourselves.
  • Please place all personal waste, such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths securely in a plastic bag or bin liner.
  • This plastic bag should then be placed in another plastic bag and securely tied.

Thank you.

Funeral Attendance

The Gwent Local Resilience Forum, including the five Gwent councils, agreed that the number of mourners permitted to attend funerals at cemeteries within the five local authority areas of Gwent is 30.

The number of mourners permitted at Gwent Crematorium is 20.

Good social distancing and cleaning regimes will allow for a larger number of family groups or bubbles within the chapel.

 

 

Schools & Education

For the latest information about schools and education on this please go to our COVID-19 Latest Education Information webpage which is updated with the latest news as necessary.

For the latest Welsh Government information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and Education please follow the link to the Welsh Government website below:

https://gov.wales/education-coronavirus

Latest WG Update document on childcare & Work Based Learning and the newly introduced Curriculum Bill Newsletter

WG Update 24.02.2021 - Covid 19 Education, Childcare & Work Based Learning Update

Link to the Vulnerable children webpage: https://gov.wales/vulnerable-children-and-safeguarding-coronavirus
Link to Safeguarding in settings webpage: https://gov.wales/education-safeguarding-guidance-coronavirus  

Early Years Services

Flying Start Hubs

All Flying Start hubs are open to support families with children aged 0-3, however access is by appointments only.  Health Visitors, Family Support Workers, Early Language and Dads Support Workers are still seeing families face to face for essential support and vital health checks via baby clinics. 

If you live in a Flying Start area and would like support please get in touch with the health visiting team:
Blaina Office – 01495 354713 or Tredegar Office – 01495363604.  Or email Sherelle.Jago@Blaenau-Gwent.gov.uk

The Flying Start Facebook group also offers a lot of online support from the team, plus parent to parent support and ideas.  Please join us via the following link:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/flyingstartbg

For any other general information, advice or assistance please contact our Family Information Services on 08000 32 33 39.

Early Years Services
Welsh Government Childcare Offer
For the latest information on the Childcare Offer in Blaenau Gwent visit https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/health-wellbeing-social-care/support-for-children-families/early-years-childcare-play/childcare-offer/information-for-parents/

Registered Childcare
Registered childcare continues to operate, for up to date information on registered childcare available within Blaenau Gwent visit: https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/resident/health-wellbeing-social-care/support-for-children-families/family-information-service/#:~:text=Blaenau%20Gwent%20Family%20Information%20Service%20provides%20free%2C%20quality%2C,activities%2C%20health%20issues%2C%20parenting%20support%20and%20much%20more.

Blaina ICC is closed to the public but Flowering Shrubs Private Day Nursery is open at Blaina ICC.

Vulnerable people

• Cwrt Mytton - operating as normal but closed to non-essential visitors.
• Augusta House - open to restricted planned respite sessions.
• Home Care - operating as normal.
• Community Options - all buildings are closed to visitors but where appropriate staff are supporting     citizens in their own homes as an alternative to day service support. Some staff are also providing online day support sessions. Limited sessions are being provided for citizens who have a complex health needs at both Bert Denning and Lake view buildings. 
• Supported Living Service - operating as normal but closed to non-essential visitors.

We are continuing to look after our most vulnerable people and home care and domiciliary services are continuing. If you have particular concerns about a vulnerable person please contact us on 01495 311556.

Age Cymru is offering a free check-in-and-chat telephone service for anyone 70 or over who lives alone, to provide reassurances, answer basic queries and link people to local services and support during the Coronavirus outbreak.

All you have to do call the Age Cymru Advice Number on 08000 223 444 or email enquiries@agecymru.org.uk to register for a call.

Welsh Government Vulnerable Children and Safeguarding in Settings: Guidance 

Education safeguarding guidance: coronavirus
Vulnerable children and safeguarding: coronavirus

 

 

Blue Badge

All Blue Badge applications can be found online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge

Council Tax

There is no public access to any Council buildings. Our 24-hour secure Internet payments service is available for online payments. For any other help and advice please call us on 01495 311556.

Please use online or telephone methods. View your Council Tax account, pay by Direct Debit, check your band and switch to paperless billing by using our online service https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/council-tax/council-tax-online/

Housing Advice

Housing Advice:

Many people are worried about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it could affect their housing. Use the information below to help work out what COVID-19 means for you. You can also check the Shelter Cymru website for more detailed information https://sheltercymru.org.uk/get-advice/coronavirus/

The Housing Advice Centre remains closed. If you need any housing assistance, please contact the following numbers:

  • Housing Register
    01495 354600 (Option 1)
  • Homelessness
    01495 354600 (Option 2)
  • Cwmcrachen Site
    01495 357813 (Repairs & Site Management)
  • Disability Facilities Grants
    01495 357813
  • All Other Queries
    01495 311556

Housing Benefits

We can now accept Housing Benefits and Council Tax Reduction online here https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/housing-benefit/benefits-online/

Meals on Wheels

This service continues to operate.

Registration Services

Notice of Marriage Appointments , Birth Registration and Death Registration Appointments

Notice of Marriage and Birth Registrations are  strictly by appointment only.

Notice of Marriage appointments - Please telephone 01495 353371 to arrange an appointment

Birth Registration appointment - Please telephone 01495 353372 to arrange an appointment

Death Registration interviews continue to be conducted over the telephone. Please contact 01495 353372 for assistance relating to a death registration

Marriage and Civil Partnership Ceremonies

Marriage and Civil Partnership ceremonies at Blaenau Gwent Register Office, Tredegar, resumed on 1st July, 2020 but are now subject to restrictions on the number of guests permitted to attend during the current pandemic in accordance with the Welsh Government's guidance on social distancing.

  • The Register Office – 2 Guests permitted only
  • The Homfray Room – 6 Guests permitted only

Please telephone 01495 353371 for Marriage/Civil Partnership enquiries.

Social distancing guidance will be followed at all times, ensuring that staff and visitors are kept safe and to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

 

 

Civic Centre Payments

Council buildings are now closed to the public. There are other ways to pay Council tax, for more information go to - https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/council-tax/pay-your-council-tax/

Trading Standards

Fraudsters are increasingly targeting the public and organisations with emails, texts, ‘phone calls and WhatsApp messages offering advice and treatment for the coronavirus, as well as setting up fake websites selling products and offering ‘cures’.

Our Covid-19 Trading Standards page has some good advice - https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/trading-standards/trading-standards-covid-19-scams/