Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest information

Coronavirus regulations Latest

Wales moves to alert level zero

First Minister Mark Drakeford will urge everyone to continue to help prevent the spread of coronavirus as he confirms Wales will move to the new alert level zero on Saturday [August 7].

At alert level zero, all restrictions on meeting with others will be removed and all businesses will be able to open. But some important protections will continue to be in place to give everyone the confidence to enjoy the summer ahead.

These include:

  • Everyone must continue to isolate for 10 days if they have Covid-19 symptoms or if they have a positive test result.
  • Face coverings will continue to be required in most indoor public places in Wales, including on public transport, in shops and in healthcare settings. There will be exemptions for people who cannot wear them, as there are currently.
  • All those responsible for premises open to the public and workplaces must carry out a Covid risk assessment and continue to take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.  

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“Moving to alert level zero is another significant step forward for us all. For the first time since the pandemic started, all businesses will be able to open and all legal limits on meeting people in indoor private spaces will be removed.

“Alert level zero does not mean the end of restrictions and a free-for-all. But it does mean we can all enjoy more freedoms with the confidence there are still important protections in place to make sure our public health is being safeguarded while we are out and about.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic is not over yet and we all need to work together to do everything we can to keep this virus under control – at alert level zero, everything we do will have an impact on this virus.
“Even if you have been fully vaccinated, meeting outside is safer than inside; let fresh air into indoor spaces, get tested even for mild symptoms, and self-isolate when you are required to do so.

“Continue to keep our distance when we are out and work from home whenever we can. Wear a face mask, especially in crowded places, on public transport, in shops and in health and social care settings.

“Taking responsibility and working together means we can all do the things we’ve missed the most. We’ve all got a reason to keep Wales safe.”

Wales will move to alert level zero at 6am on 7 August, following the latest review of the coronavirus regulations in Wales. At alert level zero:

  • There will be no legal limits on the number of people who can meet, including in private homes, public places or at events.
  • Businesses which were required to be closed will be able to re-open. This includes nightclubs.
  • Premises which are open to the public and workplaces will have more flexibility about which reasonable measures they take to minimise the risk of coronavirus. But these should be tailored to their risk assessment and their specific circumstances.
  • Face coverings will not be a legal requirement in hospitality settings where food and drink is served, but will continue to be required in most indoor public places.

Also on 7 August (from 00.01), adults who are fully vaccinated and children and young people under 18, will no longer need to isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone who has coronavirus.

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 Wales Test Trace Protect Mobile App.

To check if you are eligible and to make a claim https://iweb.itouchvision.com/portal/f?p=customer:category_link:::::CUID,LANG:B4D3C703F06B1E220C4C8E06531401A8CA0F08BF,EN&P_LANG=en

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 are now open.

For the latest information go to - https://www.bglife.co.uk/

Parc Bryn Bach

For the latest information on Parc Bryn Bach please go to - https://parcbrynbach.co.uk/

Bedwellty House & Park

For the latest information on Bedwellty House & Park please go to - https://www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk/

Blaenau Gwent Libraries & Adult Education Centres

For the latest on Community Education please go to - https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education

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

Libraries are now offering Browsing by Appointment and Computer Sessions by Appointment, in addition to Call & Collect and Home Delivery services. Please contact your local library for more information.

The service is also accepting walk-in customers - but please be aware that if a library is at full capacity you may be asked to wait outside. The safest way to guarantee your visit is to call ahead and make an appointment.

Library members can also access free e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines via the BorrowBox and Libby by Overdrive apps.

For more information about library services go to - https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/libraries

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 and the new site at Roseheyworth, Abertillery, are open for pre-booked appointments only.

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, with the exception of pre-booked family visits in line with Welsh Government guidance.
• 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, with the exception of pre-booked family visits in line with Welsh Government guidance.

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/