19 -23 July
I hope you’re having a good week.
From Monday this week (19 July), the Government moved to Step 4 of their roadmap, and that means we can now go about our daily lives in more normal ways as most legal restrictions to control COVID19 have been removed.
In summary, the Government’s guidance now is:
- You do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There are also no limits on the number of people you can meet.
- However, to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with and increase close contact gradually, minimising the number, proximity, and duration of social contacts.
- You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
- There is no Government instruction for people to work from home if they can.
- The requirement in law to wear face coverings has been lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
- There are no longer limits any on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There is no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
- There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship.
- For businesses and venues, all remaining closed businesses and venues such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues are able to reopen. All capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events have been lifted.
- Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and bars are no longer required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules. All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance.
You should read the information set out on the Government’s website to find out what you should do to protect yourself and others.
These changes also mean those who have been fully vaccinated and are returning to England from most amber list countries will not need to quarantine. From the 16 August, if you’re fully vaccinated or under 18, you will not need to self-isolate following close contact with someone who has COVID-19. You’ll still need to take a PCR test and self-isolate if it’s positive.
Although these are welcome changes for many, it must be at the forefront of our minds that this pandemic is not over. COVID-19 is still among us. It continues to affect public health, and, sadly, it continues to take lives. Although the rollout of out vaccination has been successful in reducing the number of hospitalisations and deaths, it’s extremely important to remain cautious in our personal actions.
It’s equally important to continue to have a regular COVID test, particularly as the rate of infections has been rising. Regular testing helps to reduce the spread of the disease among our communities. Please play your part in managing the virus in Hounslow - take a test twice a week and encourage your family and friends to take the vaccine.
My thanks go to Cllr Lily Bath, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Housing Services for chairing Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting on my behalf. Particularly as there was there a hefty and wide-ranging agenda . You can read the various reports here: Cabinet document pack.
One of the items considered at Cabinet was the transformation plans for Convent Way Estate in Heston. I’m really delighted to say these were approved at the meeting. Last month, the result of the residents’ ballot was overwhelmingly in favour of the proposals. I believe redeveloping the estate means significant improvements for the lives of residents, their families, and the community. The new modern homes will provide high-quality, energy-efficient, sustainable housing for residents both now, and in the future. I would like to thank everyone who was involved in shaping these plans, or who took the time to share their views and be a part of this journey. You can read more in my statement here: Convent Way Estate.
For all those residents who celebrated Eid this week with their friends and family, I hope you had an enjoyable time.
On Wednesday I chaired the ‘All Councillors COVID-19 Briefing’ where we were brought up to speed with the latest situation in Hounslow. Infection rates are still too high, so we must all play our part by following the rules and make sure you have your vaccination. Remember two jabs are better than one!
We also discussed the new ShopLocal voucher scheme. We’re very keen for as many local businesses as possible to sign up for the scheme. It’s vital we support our local businesses and communities. Every household will be entitled to a £20 voucher to use at participating business in the Borough - there isn’t a catch!
Last week I mentioned the completion of painting at Brentford Bridge. Now the scaffolding has been removed from the southern side of the bridge, I wanted to share some more pictures of the great work by our contractors, Hounslow Highways and Topbond, and of the wonderful artwork panels produced by Year 8 Pupils of the Green School for Boys and Girls, with some help from local artist Susie, and Will from Octink, a local signage company.
The contractors have now started to mobilise on the other side of the bridge, adjacent to the Holiday Inn, Brentford. This will soon mean that all four facets (sides) of the bridge have been completely repaired and painted. We can then start planning for new plants to go in along the canal embankment. We hope those will improve the environment for existing flora and fauna, encourage more wildlife, and increase biodiversity on the site.
Hope you like the pictures!
Well done to the Bees for winning their pre-season friendlies against AFC Wimbledon and Boreham Wood. A great chance for the Bee Team squad and for players coming back from injury to show their potential. A sterner test will be faced next Wednesday as the Bees are away to Man U. As always, wishing the team the best of luck!
Come on you Bees!!!
We’ve all been enjoying a very hot last few days! Please remember to check on the elderly or vulnerable to see that they are okay. A kind word is always much appreciated! Although the weather is due to change on Saturday. That’s a surprise! We could be in for thunderstorms and heavy rain. Please be careful.
I hope you have a good weekend.
Cllr Steve Curran