Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest information
Coronavirus regulations: Latest Update 12/03/21
First Minister announces latest changes to Coronavirus regulations
The Welsh Government has today announced some further easing of Coronavirus measures in Wales to take effect from Monday, 12th April 2021.
From that date:
- A full return of children to schools for face-to-face education;
- All post-16 learners will return to further education and training centres, and university campus’ will be able to open for blended face-to-face/online learning for all students;
- All remaining shops can reopen, completing the phased reopening of non-essential retail;
- All remaining close contact services can open, including mobile services;
- Travel restrictions on traveling into and out of Wales will be lifted. However, restrictions on travel to countries outside the Common Travel Area without a reasonable excuse, remain in place. The Common Travel Area means the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland;
Viewings at wedding venues can resume by appointment;
- Outdoor canvassing for elections can begin.
Some dates were also given for potential further easing over the next few weeks should the public health situation remain favourable.
Read more here.
The Welsh Government recently lifted stay local message to travel throughout Wales, as part of a careful, cautious and phased approach to relaxing Coronavirus restrictions.
Test Trace & Protect Service
The Gwent test, Trace and Protect Service continues to be busy tracking cases in our communities in Blaenau Gwent.
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.
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
Improvement Notices (ORANGE) have been served on the following premises in Blaenau Gwent following failures to comply with COVID-19 regulations.
Our social media accounts to follow are:
- Facebook – @blaenaugwentcbc
- Twitter - @BlaenauGwentCBC
For more information about what support is available in the community go to our Local Help and Support Page.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
A Call & Collect Library Service is currently available. More information here.
For more information about Leisure & Culture Services go to - https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/
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 -
Last Updated 5.30pm | 08.12.20
- Social Business Wales - https://businesswales.gov.wales/socialbusinesswales/covid-19-support-your-social-business
- WCVA - https://wcva.cymru/coronavirus-statement/
- Social Entrepreneurs - https://www.unltd.org.uk/blog/news/covid-19-advice-and-support-for-social-enrepreneurs/
Important Information for Businesses
- COVID 19 Business advice - Legionella risks in vacant properties
- COVID 19 Business advice - RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation)
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.
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:
Latest WG Update document on childcare & Work Based Learning and the newly introduced Curriculum Bill Newsletter
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:
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 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.
• 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 email@example.com to register for a call.
Welsh Government Vulnerable Children and Safeguarding in Settings: Guidance
All Blue Badge applications can be found online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge
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/
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)
01495 354600 (Option 2)
- Cwmcrachen Site
01495 357813 (Repairs & Site Management)
- Disability Facilities Grants
- All Other Queries
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.
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/
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/