Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest information

Coronavirus Latest

First Minister Mark Drakeford has today given an update on Coronavirus measures in Wales (14/01/22)

A plan to return Wales to alert level zero measures has been set out by First Minister Mark Drakeford.

The move comes as the latest public health data suggests cases of coronavirus have started to fall back from their very high levels. More than two-thirds of people aged 12 and over have received a booster or third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The full move to alert level zero will be dependent on the public health situation continuing to improve.

If conditions allow, the alert level two restrictions will be removed in a phased approach.

From tomorrow (January 15th), the number of people who can be present at outdoor events will rise from 50 to 500.

From Friday, 21st January Wales would move to alert level zero for all outdoor activities. This means there will be no limits on the number of people who can take part in outdoor activities.

• Crowds will be able to return to outdoor sporting events
• Outdoor hospitality would be able to operate without additional reasonable measures
• The Covid Pass will be required for entry to larger outdoor events

If the downward trend continues, from Friday 28th January Wales would move to alert level zero for all indoor activities.

• Nightclubs will be able to re-open
• Working from home would remain important but it would no longer be a legal requirement
• Businesses, employers and other organisations must undertake a specific coronavirus risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus
• The Covid Pass will be required for entry to nightclubs, events, cinemas, concert halls and theatres
• The rule of 6, table service and 2m physical distancing no longer required in hospitality

The self-isolation rules for all those who test positive for Covid and the face covering rules for most public indoor places will remain in force after 28th January.

The three-weekly cycle would be re-introduced from 10 February, when the Welsh Government will review all remaining measures at alert level zero.

To read the First Minister's statement in full click here.

Help keep Wales safe:

  • Get both of your jabs & your booster
  • Get tested and self-isolate if you have symptoms
  • Outdoors is safer than indoors
  • Keep your distance when you can
  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a face covering

Read the current guidance here.

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

For the latest information on when and how to self-isolate go to - https://gov.wales/self-isolation

Self Isolation Payments

People told to self-isolate for up to 10 days could 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

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.

You can also access a range of Council services at our Community Hubs. More details on this here.

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/