MDC COVID-19 Briefing
Lockdown lift-off
Issue 8
Welcome 3rd July, 2020

You’ll have heard that large parts of our economy are set to reopen on
‘Super Saturday’, 4th July. It particularly impacts the hospitality,
accommodation, leisure and personal care sectors.
There will be fewer restrictions on the public too.
The Government has been issuing new guidelines in preparation for these
significant changes. This briefing will feature the key points, signpost links and
highlight ways to keep both businesses and residents safe.
Please remember that despite these new freedoms, the risks are still present.
Just this week we’ve seen the first city to have a local lockdown imposed
(Leicester), due to the number of confirmed cases on the rise. Some 36 areas
across England are experiencing a fresh surge according to Public Health
England (PHE).
As we ease out of lockdown, the message to our communities is please be
considerate to others, and help us all stay safe.
The PHE data is here: https://cf-particle-html.eip.telegraph.co.uk/54e10118-
7f35-4632-b7f4-a861ad69d1de.html
The latest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the UK can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-thepublic
Marketing and Media Team
Mendip District Council
Mendip News
Mendip District Council (MDC) lifts restrictions on its play areas this
weekend
All 45 MDC-owned play spaces, kick-about areas and skate parks will be accessible
again from 4th July. In readiness for the reopening, MDC have been undertaking
equipment replacement and maintenance at a number of locations, alongside safety
checks across all sites. Outdoor play areas were shut in March due to the coronavirus
pandemic to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Read the full story here: https://www.mendip.gov.uk/article/9346/Lift-off-forlittle-
ones-as-Mendip-s-play-areas-reopen-this-weekend
Mendip District Council-run play areas are listed here:
www.mendip.gov.uk/playareas
Please note: The list is not exhaustive. Many towns and villages across our beautiful
district have play areas that are not managed by MDC – they are managed by their
city, town or parish councils. The District Council is only lifting restrictions on the
play areas owned by MDC. We’ve attached a poster to this email (Document 1)
which will be applied to all MDC-owned play areas.
For the latest Government guidance for owners and operators of playgrounds and
outdoor gyms, visit: Guidance for managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms
Help further improve Somerset’s streets during the pandemic
A new interactive online mapping tool called ‘Commonplace’ has been launched so
people can have their say on temporary walking and cycling measures in Somerset.
Temporary measures, including pedestrianised high streets, have been introduced
to encourage social distancing during the pandemic and positively support the safe
movement of pedestrians and cyclists. The mapping tool enables members of the
community to flag up areas of concern in a specific area where changes could help
to make a positive difference.
Read the full story here: https://www.mendip.gov.uk/article/9345/Helpfurther-
improve-Somerset-s-streets-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic
National News
Revellers urged to drink responsibly as pubs reopen
People planning on heading to pubs and restaurants as they reopen this weekend
have been urged by health services and the police that “it has never been more
important to drink responsibly”. Sky News Online
Park staff in England tell of litter chaos as ‘Super Saturday’ looms
Councils have said hundreds of tonnes of additional rubbish is being discarded by the
public on beaches and in parks – where the partial lifting of lockdown has led to
millions more people using them – each day. Park staff are concerned at the pressure
they are likely to face on “Super Saturday”, with alcohol widely available to take away
under new laws drawn up by ministers. Guardian
England’s roads set for busiest weekend of the year as lockdown eased
Roads in England could be at their busiest of the year this weekend with more than
10.5 million people using their cars to travel as lockdown restrictions are eased on
Saturday, a survey by RAC Breakdown reveals. Guardian
Lockdown easing and warm weather a ‘perfect storm’ for tourist
destinations
The Government’s easing of lockdown and hot weather could create a “perfect storm”
and overwhelm England’s busiest seaside resorts. Following scenes at beaches across
the country last week, some council leaders are urging the Government to do more
to discourage tourists from travelling to overcrowded destinations. Huffington Post
City centres ‘face disaster’ unless office staff return
City centres are facing financial ruin after office workers and civil servants were told
to continue working from home until as late as the summer next year despite the
easing of the lockdown. BBC
10 per cent of England’s swimming pools will close
As many as 10 per cent of England’s 5,000 swimming pools will be lost due to the
coronavirus pandemic, Swim England analysis reveals. The national governing body
for swimming in England found that hundreds of councils have contracted out the
running of pools and leisure centres, and those companies are asking for millions in
additional funding to reopen. Sunday Times
‘Act responsibly’ as lockdown eased
Boris Johnson is urging the public to “act responsibly” when several businesses –
including restaurants, pubs, hairdressers and cinemas – can reopen on Saturday.
The British Beer & Pub Association urged people to support landlords as they open
their doors for the first time in months. But the PM says we should do so sensibly
and safely as “we are not out of the woods.” Guardian
Briefings available online and in pdf and word formats
A version of these briefings, suitable for publication, is available as a pdf, a Word
document, and a web link. A shareable version can always be found here:
https://www.mendip.gov.uk/mdcbriefings
What you can and can’t do
The Government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as possible, for
as many people as possible, quickly and fairly, in order to safeguard livelihoods, but
in a way that continues to protect our communities and the NHS.
The latest changes to the lockdown restrictions are due to come in to effect this
weekend. To help understand these new changes, the Government has published
FAQs on what you can and cannot do after 4th July.
The Government has published guidance on social distancing and staying safe
outside your home.
Please be considerate to others. When out, keep two meters apart. Walk or cycle
where you can, and take your rubbish away or place in a bin when you leave so
others have a clean space to enjoy.
If driving, park considerately – remember all Council-owned car parks in Mendip
are free to use.
Read about free parking: https://www.mendip.gov.uk/freeparkingextended
What businesses are reopening?
From 4th July, many businesses and venues will be permitted to reopen and will be
expected to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines. These include:
 hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or
homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses
 places of worship
 libraries, community centres and social clubs
 restaurants, cafes, workplace canteens, bars, pubs that are self-contained
and can be accessed from the outside
 hair salons and barbers, including mobile businesses
 cinemas, theatres and concert halls
 funfairs, theme parks, model villages, adventure parks and activities
 outdoor gyms and playgrounds, and outdoor skating rinks
 museums and galleries
 bingo halls, amusement arcades and other entertainment centres
 indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres
and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction
 indoor and outdoor areas of visitor attractions including, gardens, heritage
sites, film studios and landmarks
What will need to remain closed by law?
The following businesses will need to remain closed, as it’s been assessed they
cannot yet be made sufficiently COVID-19 secure:
 nightclubs and casinos
 bowling alleys, indoor skating rinks, indoor play areas including soft-play
 spas, nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons, massage, tattoo and
piercing parlours
 indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports
venues/facilities
 swimming pools and water parks
 exhibition or conference centres – where they are to be used for exhibitions
or conferences, other than for those who work for that venue
Guidance on re-opening businesses and venues from 4th July:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/opening-certain-businesses-and-venues-inengland-
from-4-july-2020
Your new-look high streets
If you are heading out for the first time since lockdown, please be aware that
your high streets will feel a little different. There may be pedestrianisation
schemes, new traffic flow systems in place – and look out for those pop-up
cycle lanes and cyclists too.
Mendip Frome Frome Town Council providing
access only to the Market Place to
enable Market Place improvement
works with car parks remaining
open
Mendip Street Temporarily pedestrianise (with
delivery vehicle access only) High
Street from Leigh Road to Vestry
Road (where market normally takes
place).
Mendip Wells Pedestrianisation of Market Place
and partially closure of High Street
between Queens Street and Broad
Street junction.
Mendip Glastonbury Temporarily pedestrianise (with
delivery and bus access only) High
Street, Magdalene Street and
Benedict Street
Mendip Shepton
Mallet
No changes to highways requested –
to be reviewed
Mendip Wells to
Glastonbury
lane
Temporary closure (with residential /
farm access only) of Long Drove
following existing cycle route to
facilitate safer cycling between the
towns and support social distancing
on public transport (Glastonbury –
Wells bus service).
Travelling safely
You can help control coronavirus and travel safely by:
 working from home where possible
 shopping locally and less often
 considering all other forms of transport, such as cycling and walking, before
using public transport
 avoiding the busiest times and routes
 keeping your distance when your travel, where possible
 washing or sanitising your hands regularly
You should not travel at all if you:
 are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms
 are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms or sharing a
household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms
 are clinically extremely vulnerable and cannot shield during your journey
 have been advised by the NHS test and trace service that you should selfisolate
If you have any symptoms of coronavirus you should self-isolate at home and
arrange to have a test to see if you have coronavirus. If anyone in your
household or support bubble has symptoms of coronavirus you should self-isolate.
Further details: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safertravel-
guidance-for-passengers/
Public transport: The Government has published updated safer transport
guidance for operators. This now reflects that, from 4th July, transport operators’
risk assessments are expected, where possible, to enable social distancing of two
metres or one metre with risk mitigations (where two metres is not viable).
You’ll find a handy passenger guidance poster here:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uplo
ads/attachment_data/file/890273/covid-19-passenger-guidanceinfographic.
pdf
Opening businesses safely
Mendip have a collection of guidance and FAQs on working safely during coronavirus
on its website. These web pages are constantly updated.
In particular, the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services has
been expanded ahead of the planned re-opening.
We also have information on food preparation, how to keep workers and clients safe
in close contact services, such as hairdressing. Plus there’s news for hotels and
accommodation providers – such as campsites, caravan parks and short term lets –
and for indoor and outdoor visitor attractions.
You’ll find all you need here on our restyled Mendip webpages:
https://www.mendip.gov.uk/reopenhospitality
Also check out:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-
19/close-contact-services
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-
19/heritage-locations
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-
19/hotels-and-other-guest-accommodation
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/construction-working-hoursdraft-
guidance
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-foodbusinesses
We can recommend Better Business for All (BBFA) who have produced a toolkit
to support businesses. This can be found on the Heart of the Southwest Growth
Hub website.
This a really useful reference and one that’s regularly updated:
https://www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2020/05/BBF
A-Covid-19-Toolkit.pdf
Below, we’ve focused on three different venues you may find of interest; safe
use of council buildings, opening village halls, and support for pubs,
restaurants and cafes.
Safe use of council buildings
There is guidance for those managing council buildings. The guidance applies to all
users of council buildings including visitors attending meetings or council buildings,
and councillors working from council buildings.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-thesafe-
use-of-council-buildings
Opening village halls
Guidance for those managing community centres, village halls and other community
facilities on safely re-opening multi-purpose buildings.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-thesafe-
use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities
And see attached to this email (Document 2) a guide prepared by Action with
Communities in Rural England (ACRE).
Support for pubs, restaurants and cafes
The Government has introduced plans to allow more pubs, restaurants and cafes to
serve customers outside. It’s working on legislation to relax some alcohol and
pavement licensing laws too, but these will not be on place until later this month.
Meanwhile Mendip Officers have been working with business owners to support them
opening safely from 6am on Saturday, 4th July.
Draft guidance on pavement licensing proposals:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pavement-licences-draftguidance
Changes to Planning
Under the Town and Country Planning Regulations, councils will not be
required to get planning permission to use land for the purpose of holding a
market. The right is time-limited and will cease to have effect from 23rd
March 2021.
The regulations will also give people greater freedom over how they use their
land by doubling the length of time that temporary structures can be placed
on land without needing an application for planning permission.
This will allow land to be used for a broad range of purposes such as for car
boot sales and summer fayres, as well as allowing pubs and restaurants to be
able to use car parks and terraces as dining and drinking areas, using their
existing seating licenses. The right is time-limited and will cease to have effect
from 1 January 2021.
Councils are asked to continue to ensure their communities are consulted on
licensing applications, that waste is disposed of responsibly, and that access
to pavements and pedestrianised areas is not compromised.
The Business and Planning Bill:
https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/201921/businessandplanning/docume
nts.html
The Town and Country Planning Regulations:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/632/introduction/made
Build, build, build: the Prime Minister’s speech on how the UK plans to build itself
out of a recession.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/build-build-build-prime-ministerannounces-
new-deal-for-britain
Lockdown lift-off: Here are some of the many things MDC is
doing to help communities and local businesses
 Opening all our 45 MDC-owned play areas from July 4th.
 Suspending fees in pay and display car parks until August 6th.
 Suspending Mendip Market rents throughout June and July.
 Supporting stallholders to ensure social distancing is observed.
 Providing guidance and to support to all businesses.
 Issuing more than £28.5 million in grants to help businesses.
 Issuing public information to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
 Installing signage, posters and barriers in retail areas to encourage
safe shopping and build confidence back in the high street.
 Supporting a green recovery – making it easier for people to travel by
bike and on foot through an ambitious network of walkways and cycle
paths.
Keep connected
These briefings are produced by Mendip’s Marketing and Media Team. We’re doing
everything we can to make sure we’re directing you to the most up-to-date
information and advice regarding COVID-19.
Mendip District Council’s corporate Facebook page
www.facebook.com/mendipcouncil
We are also on Twitter twitter.com/MendipCouncil
And LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/mendip-district-council
Finally, here’s our official website: www.mendip.gov.uk