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This is an update for all members of Rother District Council, Town and Parish councils and local MPs.

Latest Covid-19 cases update 

Infection rates across the county are continuing to fall and the 7-day rate per 100,000 for East Sussex is now 52, well below the rate for England (120) and the South East (82). 

Eastbourne and Hastings have halved the number of weekly cases since last week, Lewes now has the highest rate of the District and Borough areas at 68 confirmed cases per 100,000. Rother now has 34 per 100,000.

You can read more on the East Sussex County Council website.

The roadmap out of lockdown

This week Government announced their four stage roadmap out of lockdown and four conditions that must be met along the way including;
  1. The coronavirus vaccine programme continuing as planned
  2. Vaccines sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment
  3. Infection rates not risking a surge in hospital admissions
  4. New coronavirus variants not fundamentally changing the risk of lifting restrictions
At each stage of the roadmap there will be some impact on services we operate or commission. Planning for the easing of lockdown and known seasonal challenges and events have been underway for some time but there will inevitably be more work to do as we progress through each stage.

Stage one (part one) - earliest, 8th March 2021

  • All schools and colleges will reopen
  • University students can return for practical courses
  • Two people from different households can meet outside for recreation, which can include “a coffee on a bench”.
  • One nominated person can visit a relative in a care home

Stage one (part 2) - earliest, 29th March 2021

  • People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the "rule of six", including in private gardens
  • The stay-at-home rule will end but people should stay local as much as possible
  • Outdoor sport facilities will reopen, and formally organised outdoor sports can restart - check our service disruption page for details on the reopening of council owned tennis courts and other sports facilities. 

Stage two - earliest, 12th April 2021

  • Non-essential retail allowed to open, as well as hairdressers and other "close contact services"
  • Gyms, spas and swimming pools can reopen for individuals and households – keep any eye on Bexhill Leisure Centre and Pool and Rye Sports Centre Facebook pages for more details on their reopening.UK domestic holidays away from home permitted, with self-contained accommodation able to reopen for use by members of the same household – Our Environmental Health team will be updating their support and advice for business during the Covid 19 pandemic at each stage of the roadmap out of lockdown and the 1066 Country website has more information for the tourism industry.
  • Outdoor settings such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas, as well as beer gardens and alcohol takeaways can re-open
  • Libraries and community centres can open

Stage three - earliest, 17th May 2021

  • People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors, including outdoor theatres and cinemas
  • Six people or two households can meet indoors
  • Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors
  • Indoor entertainment such as museums (Bexhill Museum), theatres (De La Warr Pavilion), cinemas and children's play areas (including soft play centres and inflatable parks) can open, as can adult indoor group sports and exercise classes.
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen to household groups
  • International leisure travel will resume no earlier than 17 May

Stage four - earliest, 21st June 2021

  • All legal limits on social contact will be removed
  • No legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events.
  • Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen

At any stage throughout the easing of restrictions, businesses in Rother can check our support and advice for business during the Covid 19 pandemic webpages where our Environmental Health Team will be providing updated information along the way. Any business owner still unsure about any of the guidance can contact Environmental Health for more information.

Find out the latest impact on our services as we progress through the roadmap.

Latest business grant allocation

A further grant allocation under the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) has been allocated with Rother receiving £3.7 million covering the 44-day period from 16 February 2021 to the end of the financial year on 31 March 2021.

This scheme is for businesses who are named on the Business Rates bill and have been mandated to close since Rother entered tier 4 restrictions on 19th December 2020 who meet ALL of the following criteria:
  • were open as usual and
  • providing in-person services to customers from your business premises and
  • then required to close for a consecutive period of no less than 14 days as a result of regulations made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and were
  • trading the day before local restrictions came into force.

We expect that businesses already in receipt of the Tier4/Lockdown 3 grants will not need to reapply. This is to be confirmed and information will be posted on our website.

This will also apply to the Council’s Additional Restriction (discretionary) Grant scheme which also remains open for new applications.

Businesses can stay up to date with all the grants available by visiting the Information for Businesses web page.

Have your say on the district's vision for the future

The consultation on Rother District Council’s Corporate Plan, which sets out its aims and objectives for 2020 to 2027, closes on Wednesday, March 17.

The new plan, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, proposes 10 strategic objectives as the guiding principles for the district’s vision for the future.

The 10 objectives are: climate emergency, financial stability, increase the supply of affordable housing, housing list reduction, housing supply, empowered organisation, a fairer society, development of Rother’s economy, an open council and a town council for Bexhill-on-Sea.
Have your say on the districts vision for the future.

Share your views on the vaccination programme

There are two new opportunities to share your feedback on the local Covid-19 vaccine roll out:
  • A short survey by the Sussex Health and Care Partnership on your experience of the vaccination programme, the information you’re receiving, and your actual experience of having the vaccine. Closes 27 February: Share your views on the COVID-19 vaccination programme.  
  • Healthwatch has launched a survey to capture the direct experiences of people who have been vaccinated, and to better understand the views of those who are yet to receive their vaccination. The closing date for the survey is 31 March and it should take 10-15 minutes to complete: COVID-19 Vaccination Survey – Healthwatch East Sussex.

Help and support

Coronavirus community support
If someone is in need of support due to the Covid-19 pandemic, local volunteers, the community hub and East Sussex County Council are on hand to help. Find out about Community Support on our website.

Rough sleepers
Anyone concerned about someone who is sleeping rough in Rother should let us know via Streetlink

Useful links

Get the latest information on help and support and service disruption from Rother District Council
Get the latest information on the Covid-19 help and support available from East Sussex County Council 
Check if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and book a test
Stay up to date with the Sussex Covid-19 vaccination programme by visiting the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website

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