Waste services in lockdown
The weekend’s announcement of a second national lockdown may prompt questions about impacts on Somerset Waste Partnership services, notably recycling sites which were closed during the first lockdown period earlier this year. As things stand, the plan is that all 16 sites will remain open on standard opening hours. You may recall that the Government clarified near the end of the first lockdown that visits to recycling sites are considered ‘permitted journeys.’
Somerset’s sites already have measures in place to protect the public and staff and these include:
No one with COVID symptoms or those asked to shield should visit sites
Strict social distancing must be followed
Visitors are asked to wear gloves and are limited to a maximum of two per vehicle from the same household
Masks are discretionary
Site staff are not able to give their usual assistance in lifting heavy or large items
Collections, including garden waste and the roll-out of Recycle More, will continue as normal and we will be re-emphasising our messages about how people should dispose of personal waste if they, or someone in their household, has symptoms. SWP, SUEZ and Viridor will continue to monitor the situation, guidance and any impacts on staff and will make changes if appropriate.
Keep up to date with coronavirus guidance
The Government has provided more detail on coronavirus restrictions due to be introduced soon. Parliament will debate and vote on the measures this week, and if passed, they will come into force on Thursday 5th November, and remain in place until Wednesday 2nd December. The intention is to limit face-to-face contact and slow the spread of infection.
There’s more published information on a wide range of topics including businesses that can remain open; childcare arrangements; weddings, religious services and funerals; travel; and financial support: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
Support for the self-employed
The Government has announced that it is increasing support to the self-employed over the coming months and making sure people get paid faster than previously planned.
Who to contact for practical and mental health support
If you are self-isolating or need extra support, contact the Somerset Coronavirus helpline on 0300 790 6275 to be put in touch with local groups who can help with fetching shopping, medication and other essentials supplies, as well as other mutual aid. The helpline is open 7 days a week between 8am and 6pm.
The Somerset Mindline is open 24 hours a day for mental health and emotional wellbeing support: 01823 276 892.