Coronavirus

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Coronavirus Isolation payments

Government Business Grants

The country has been placed in full lockdown restrictions due to very rapidly rising levels of infections and a new, highly-transmissible variant of Coronavirus.

As in the first national lockdown, this means that we must ‘Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives’. We must all do everything possible to protect ourselves, loved ones, our communities and capacity within the NHS.  

  • You should not leave your home, except for certain reasons such as shopping for basic necessities, medical reasons and exercise.
  • Non-essential retail remains closed, as do leisure centres, indoor entertainment and personal care premises such as hairdressers.
  • Everyone must work from home unless it is absolutely not possible.

Please remember, around 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it. You can protect yourself and others by following Hands. Face. Space. Even where meeting others is permitted, you should practice social distancing.

In summary:

  • Household mixing – no mixing indoors other than support bubbles; outdoors maximum of two people meeting in public spaces;
  • Pubs, bars and restaurants – closed: except for take-away, drive-through and home delivery;
  • Shops – essential shops remain open; non-essential closed other than click-and-collect and delivery;
  • Personal care – hairdressers, barbers, beauticians etc remain closed;
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure – gyms, pools, classes etc remain closed;
  • Indoor entertainment – closed; outdoor attractions may remain open for outdoor exercise;
  • Work – from home unless unable to do so;
  • Funerals – continue for up to 30 guests;
  • Weddings – only in exceptional circumstances and reduced to six guests only;
  • Places of worship – open for private prayer and communal worship, but no interaction beyond household group or bubble;
  • Travelling – stay at home and only travel for work, education and other legally permitted reasons. If you must travel, stay local (i.e. within your town or village, or immediate area);
  • Exercise – you can leave hoe to exercise by yourself, as a household, or with one other person outdoors;
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable people – advised to stay at home, except to go out for exercise and health appointments. If unable to work from home, advised not to attend work;
  • Overnight stays – no overnight stays away from home except limited exemptions;
  • Accommodation – closed, with limited exceptions.
  • There is a lot more detail on Gov.uk
  • Your ongoing co-operation in supporting your families and communities in compliance is much appreciated.

Whereas the operation of the Council will continue unchanged in many areas, the announcement will see changes to certain areas of council activity continued, including the closure of leisure centres and a further escalation in Public Protection work and support for businesses and our most vulnerable residents.

We will be further reviewing our operations and how any changes might impact on services.

We will be further reviewing new guidance in respect of colleagues identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’.

And inevitably we will be looking to cascade new business grant initiatives and communication with our most clinically vulnerable customers.

Given the work of the past months, it is clear that the Council is well-placed to respond to the challenge that this change will bring, having made a number of well-placed adjustments to the operation of our services.

There is more advice online at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives

Help for residents

  • Colleagues across our teams continue to work hard to provide the services our residents need and expect. 
  • Service areas such as our customer services and housing support teams are operating and answering queries. Residents can make contact with the Council by email or on 01529 414155. Please only call if it is absolutely essential. For more information, see our residents page.
  • Our reception and front-facing contact centre at our Council offices in Sleaford are closed, there are procedures in place to help those in urgent need such as anyone facing homelessness.
  • If you require emergency housing assistance, please contact the Housing Options Team on  01529 414155 Monday-Friday, by email to housingoptions@n-kesteven.gov.uk or call 01529 308308 out of hours. 
  • We’re continuing to work closely with partners to identify and provide urgent help to the most vulnerable in our communities.
  • If you were previously shielding and identified as clinically extremely vulnerable, make sure you look at the government guidance
  • We are working with our housing tenants to ensure rent can easily be paid via direct debit or by phone, and have created a tenant hardship fund. 
  • If you’ve been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, you may be eligible for financial help. Click here for more (link to self-isolation payment page)
  • If you’re a housing tenant with us and have concerns about struggling to pay your rent, please call your housing officer via our main Council phone number who can discuss the options available.
  • Together with our contractors we are ensuring emergency repairs requested by our tenants, for example hot water failure or a similar risk to health, are prioritised. 
  • It is essential that we continue to carry out gas safety checks for our housing tenants. Our contractor will contact tenants to make an appointment and discuss how this can be done with individual circumstances in mind during Coronavirus.
Previous support included:

  • Letters written to 11,000 potentially vulnerable residents in our District offering advice and links to support, followed up by calls from our officers.
  • All tenants in Council properties, including those in Lafford Homes properties, were also written to.
  • 2,000 of those tenants received follow-up calls and/or visits from our housing teams (adhering to our strict guidelines on contact). 

Communities and wellbeing

  • To request community help see the Lincolnshire County Council website or call 01522 782189.
  • Working with Lincolnshire County Council, Wellbeing Lincs and the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum, we’re helping provide the vital link between community groups, charities and parish councils with residents who need community help.
Previously we’ve:

  • Worked to validate community groups in our area together with the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum, helping complete all the necessary checks and identify how best they can be supported.
  • Assisted more than 5,500 people through Wellbeing Lincs following the first period of lockdown by linking them to the appropriate support.

Council Tax support 

  • The Government has announced funding available to councils to help provide support to residents experiencing hardship. 
  • Residents can also check whether they are entitled to any discounts on our Council Tax webpages.
  • You can also make a claim for Council Tax Support - this is means-tested based upon the income you receive. Details of this and how to claim can be found on our Council Tax webpages

Additional Restriction Grant

The Additional Restriction Grant (business required to close) is open for applications.

The Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) will be available to businesses that have been required to close from 5 November 2020 who have fixed property costs or work from home but who was not required to be registered with business rates.

A flat rate grant will be awarded of £1,334 in line with the Local Restriction Support Grant.

For further information on the eligibility criteria and a list of all documents required to support applications can be found on the NKDC ARG Required to close Policy. If you think your business is eligible please complete our Additional Restriction Support Grant online form.

Applications will close on Friday 4 December 2020 and Grant payments will be made from Thursday 26 November 2020.

Please note this grant is only for those required to close, not severely impacted, we are working on the grants for businesses that have been severely impacted, and this will be available early December.
Grants available for businesses that have been required to close.

Grants available for businesses that have been required to close

Applications are now open for the Local Restriction Grant Scheme (LRGS). The grant will only be available to businesses that have been required to close from 5 November 2020 and were registered with Business rates on or before 00.01 on the 5 November 2020. A list of all the business types required to close can be found on the government website.

Grant payments will be made from Tuesday 17 November 2020 and applications will close on Friday 4 December 2020 in line with lockdown.

A breakdown of the grant awards can be found below:

  • For businesses occupying a property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable Value (RV) of exactly £15,000 or less on the 5 November 2020 will receive a payment of £1,334 per four weeks of closure
  • For businesses occupying a property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable Value (RV) of more than £15,000 but less than £51,000 on the 5 November 2020 will receive a payment of £2,000 per four weeks of closure.
  • For businesses occupying a property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable Value (RV) of exactly £51,000 or more on the 5 November 2020 will receive a payment of £3,000 per four weeks of closure.

For further information on the eligibility criteria and a list of all documents required to support applications can be found on the NKDC LRSG Policy.

Please note applications to previous funds will not be considered, all eligible businesses are required to make new applications. If you think your business is eligible please complete our Local Restriction Support Grant online form.

Further support to businesses

A further grant, the Additional Restrictions Grant (business required to close) is now live, for more details see the NKDC ARG Required to close Policy and to apply please complete our Additional Restriction Support Grant online form.

Details of the Additional Restrictions Grant (severely impacted) will be available early December. We will share further updates via our Business NK website, twitter and our dedicated Facebook group.

Previously we’ve:

  • Distributed over 1,170 grants totalling almost £20 million to businesses eligible for grants during the last period of lockdown, plus further funds through a separate discretionary fund for those not eligible. 
  • Produced materials including posters to save shops and businesses valuable time and resources while preparing to comply with Government Covid Secure guidelines as they were introduced.
  • Installed social distancing signage in open spaces with high footfall, such as Sleaford Town Centre, and provided signage where needed to assist our leisure operators.

Environmental health

  • Our Environmental Health Team can advise businesses, including pubs, cafes, restaurants and more, to help them interpret and comply with the new lockdown guidance which allows them to provide takeaway and delivery food during lockdown.
  • Provided guidance to those businesses were restricted on trade in the first lockdown, such as pubs, café and restaurants, which expanded into takeaway deliveries during lockdown, to ensure they met food regulations in order to protect themselves and the public. 

Key service updates

  • At this current time, there are no immediate impacts on the way in which we collect and empty your bins and how that waste and recycling is handled. There’s more on our waste webpages
  • Households where residents are self-isolating are being asked to follow the below advice when disposing of household waste. In line with the advice from Public Health England, personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be
    • disposed of securely within disposable rubbish bags.
    • placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste.
    • put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your black bin.

      Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.
It is extremely important that tissues or face masks are NOT put in recycling bins.

From 24 July, face coverings must be worn in enclosed public spaces, including shops, supermarkets, shopping centres, enclosed transport hubs, and in takeaways, cafes and shops if you are buying food and drink to take away. They are already required when using public transport. Restaurants, pubs and gyms are exempt, and face masks will not be mandatory for anyone under age 11 and those with disabilities or certain health conditions that make it difficult to wear a face covering.

Further information and guidance is available on the Gov.uk website:

To report an incident of non-compliance, please contact the Police by phoning 101.

We know that the need to self-isolate can cause financial pressures for those on low incomes and the self employed. As a result of this the Government is providing a new Test and Trace Support Payment of a £500 lump sum payment for those on low incomes to support them if they cannot work during their self-isolation period. Find out more information on our Coronavirus isolation payments webpage.

A new hotline has been launched to stop fraudsters illegally targeting COVID stimulus schemes. In an initiative between government and the independent charity Crimestoppers, the public can now call a new COVID Fraud Hotline (0800 587 5030) anonymously and free of charge to report suspected fraudulent activity. Further details can be found at Gov.uk

New guidance has been issued for residents in North Kesteven who are classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. 

You can find the full guidance on the Gov.uk website.

  • Those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are strongly advised to stay home and stay local over the festive holiday.
  • The new variant of COVID-19 is 70% more contagious, therefore it’s as important as ever to protect you and your loved ones. Keep 2 metres-plus apart from others outside your household, wash your hands regularly and wear a face covering when outside.
  • If you are seeing family on Christmas Day, as part of a Christmas or support bubble, remember: Hands - Face- Space will protect you and your loved ones.
  • If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable you’re strongly advised not to visit busy shops and/or supermarkets. Please register with the NSSS (National Shielding Service System) where you will have access to supermarket priority delivery slots. If you can't get food deliveries, ask friends or neighbours for help, or contact the NHS Volunteers
  • Remember, the NHS Volunteer Responders programme is available to help support those who need it. Volunteers can collect and deliver shopping, medication and other essential supplies. Call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week to self-refer or visit NHS Volunteer Responders for further information.
  • Please attend ALL scheduled health appointments, including vaccination jabs. Avoid travelling to your appointments on public transport, if possible. If you have a medical appointment in a Tier 4 area such as Peterborough, check before you travel that you’re still required.
  • This year has been extremely challenging for us all. Keeping your mind and body healthy is essential, so make sure you get daily outdoor exercise (such as a brisk walk) when and where it’s safe to do so.
  • You can find all the help and support you need on Lincolnshire County Council’s website and your own district council website.
  • It’s everyone’s responsibility to exercise caution over the holiday period. Please play your part in helping protect our local NHS services.
Hands Face Space

How you can help

Follow Government guidance – we can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible 
  • Work from home if you can 
  • Limit contact with other people 
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible) 
  • Wash your hands regularly 

Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Go to Gov.uk/coronavirus - for the latest information from the UK Government.

Go to the NHS website for information about the virus and how to protect yourself.

Keep yourself informed - service disruptions are detailed on our current service disruptions page

You can also sign-up for a regular newsletter and updates about ‘Emergencies and Service Disruptions’.

As part of our duty to residents, we are communicating out some of the latest information on the Coronavirus outbreak. You can follow us on Twitter @northkestevendc and on our Facebook page

Alternatively, sign up for our e-bulletins on our Stay Connected webpage.