Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest information

Coronavirus regulations: Latest Update

Wales to move to Alert Level 4 restrictions

The First Minister has confirmed that Wales has met the criteria in the new traffic light Coronavirus Control Plan to move to Alert Level 4, from midnight on Saturday, 19th December 2020.

The new restrictions will apply to all of Wales.

This means:

• All non-essential retail, including close contact services and all leisure and fitness centres must close
• All hospitality premises must close
• Tighter restrictions on household mixing, staying-at-home, holiday accommodation and will apply from 19th December.

He also urged everyone who can to work from home.

To read the First Minister's statement go to - https://gov.wales/first-minister-statement-19-december

For some Frequently Asked Questions on Alert Level 4 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 dealing with significantly increased case numbers in recent weeks. Since 25th October the team has dealt with over 400 new cases and almost 1,000 contacts as a result.

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

Welsh Government intends to strengthen 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 will also be strengthened to make it an offence to knowingly provide false information to the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service.

And a duty will be introduced 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.

And a new top-up payment is being introduced 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.

Full details about how to make an application will follow shortly.

https://gov.wales/two-schemes-help-people-self-isolate-be-introduced-wales

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 will close at 11.30am on Christmas Eve and will remain closed over the Christmas holidays and into the New Year.

Direct debit payments will be frozen again during January 2021, or 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.

Up until Christmas Eve timetables and opening hours will remain the same for anyone wanting to use the gym, pool or group exercise classes. You can find full information on these at www.bglife.co.uk

Parc Bryn Bach

Parc Bryn Bach Visitor Centre will not be serving a takeaway service after 4pm on 23rd December through to 2nd January 2021. There will also be no access to toilets.

However, the park and play area will remain open for visitors to enjoy from 8.30am - 5.30pm daily over the festive season with the exception of Christmas Day when it will be closed.

Golf facilities will close on 23rd December and will remain closed until the Government restrictions are eased.

The main gates will be locked from 5.30pm each day and any vehicle left in the car parks will incur a call-out charge.

Bedwellty House & Park

Bedwellty Park grounds will be open daily for winter walks from 8.30am - 5.30pm over the Christmas period, with the exception of Christmas Day where it will be fully closed. 

Bedwellty House will be open for face-to-face Registrar appointments only from Monday, 4th January, all other facilities within the house will remain closed during this time.  You can call the Registrar Office on 01495 353374.

A takeaway catering service will resume in the Tea Room on Tuesday, 5th January 2020 from 11am - 3pm daily.

Blaenau Gwent Libraries & Adult Education Centres

All Adult Education Classes will take place as normal from Monday, 9th November 2020

Call & Collect and Computer Sessions by appointment will once again be available from Monday, 9th November at borough 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 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 20.01.2021 - 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  

Last Updated 4.00pm | 18.01.21

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 - closed to planned respite but available to support emergency situations from Wednesday 2nd September 20
  • Home Care - operating as normal but care calls are being prioritised based on critical levels of care and support only including Extra Care and Emergency Care at Home.
  • Community Options - all buildings are closed to visitors but where appropriate staff are supporting priority citizens in their own homes as an alternative support (in addition to this we are also providing  sessional support for citizens who have a medical/ physical critical need from the Bert Denning and Lake view establishments only).
  • 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/