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Coronavirus residents’ update – Friday 10 December 2021

There have been lots of changes to the rules and guidance since the last update. 
On Wednesday the Government announced that we would move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
This update will explain what that means for our services at PCH and how that will affect you in your homes.
We will still need to access homes for safety checks as normal and all of our staff will be wearing face masks when indoors. 

Plan B guidance explained

New rules introduced as part of Plan B include:

  • From 10 December, face coverings will be required by law in most indoor settings.
  • From 13 December office workers who can work from home should do so.
  • From 15 December, certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours or have an exemption.
  • There will be daily lateral flow testing for people identified as a contact of a coronavirus case - with isolation required only for people who test positive.
You can order a Lateral Flow Test by clicking here.
What the new rules mean for our services
We will continue to provide services for our residents.
As such, we will continue to run our full range of services as an organisation whilst putting in place Government Covid measures to help keep people safe. 
We’ve outlined below how we will approach Plan B for areas of work across our business:
Our buildings and facilities
  • Plumer House headquarters – closed
  • City centre shop – closed
  • The Beacon Community Hub – open as usual with Covid measures in place
  • The Space Centre – open to residents and groups as usual with Covid measures in place  
  • Sheltered Housing communal rooms - open as usual with Covid measures in place
  • Sheltered Schemes in outbreak management - some facilities will be closed by Public Health England to control local infections. Residents will be contacted if this happens. 
  • Sheltered Scheme offices – staff will limit time working in scheme offices and will contact you remotely as much as possible.
  • Laundries – remain open
  • Outdoor playgrounds – remain open
Services in our communities
  • Repairs – continue with face coverings and social distancing where possible
  • Safety checks/works – continue with face coverings and social distancing where possible
  • Building and development works – continue with face coverings and social distancing where possible 
  • Resident involvement activities – small scale PCH-led activities and events can continue with attendees wearing face coverings except when seated or exempt, and with current Covid measures in place 
  • Where practical and possible, large scale resident involvement events should be outdoors or on-line. Where this is not possible and the event is led by a third party, particularly for planned community events, Covid measures will be in place in line with Government guidance
  • Viewings (sales and lettings and keys handovers) – continue with Covid measures
  • Estate works – cleaning and maintenance – continue with face coverings and social distancing where possible in confined spaces 
  • Community rooms and sheltered communal rooms – face coverings must be worn in line with Government guidance for indoor spaces
  • Home visits – continue with face coverings and social distancing where possible. Staff can use on-line and phone contact where appropriate.
  • Housing with Support services – essential and emergency services will be provided on site. Staff will limit contact with vulnerable people and work remotely where possible.
What are we asking of you?
From Monday 13 December, we are asking residents to put on a face covering when a member of staff needs to come into your home.
This is an extra precaution in response to the increased risk of the Omicron variant.
When you are booking a repair through our Contact Centre, our staff will explain that you will be asked to wear a face covering throughout the time a member of staff is in your home, unless you are in separate rooms.
Before a member of staff arrives at your home, they will call you to check whether you are well and to ask you to put on a face covering, as well as move to another room if possible whilst work is being completed.
We understand some of our residents will be exempt from wearing a face covering due to medical reasons and in this case, the other safety measures of social distancing and moving to a different room if possible must be followed. 
If you do not have a face covering, our staff will be able to provide you with a new, individually wrapped mask to wear.
Our staff will be wearing their own face covering, unless the work they are doing prevents them from wearing one.
Click on this video which explains what we are asking.
Rent and payment changes
We’re committed to making sure that we can help you so it’s important to contact us as soon as possible if you have any money worries. Call us on 0808 230 6500. 
Booster jabs
Naturally, it’s more important than ever to get your jabs.
Anyone aged 18 and over can book a booster jab three months after having a second dose of vaccine.
Second vaccine jabs for 16 and 17-year-olds are also available.
Residents can book their booster here.
Good habits
Please keep up good habits that help to reduce the spread of illness including:   
  • Wear face coverings when visiting indoors public spaces
  • Washing or sanitising your hands regularly
  • Taking regular Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs)
  • Keeping a social distance where possible
We’re still here to help – ways to contact us
  • The easiest way to manage your tenancy from a distance is by using MyPCH.
  • Webchat is live every weekday on our website from 10am until 4pm.
  • You can fill out a contact form.
  • You can call us on 0808 230 6500.
  • Or stay up to date with service announcements and other PCH news, follow us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.