Coronavirus update - Friday 27 November
Lockdown ends next Wednesday and we now know the arrangements for when it does.
The government lockdown guidance gives more details about what we can and can’t do as Plymouth moves into Tier 2 (High alert).
One thing that hasn’t changed is that we should all still be rigorously following the ‘hands, face, space’ message to prevent the spread of the virus.
HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
SPACE – Stay two metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or one metre with extra precautions in place.
The government has also announced special arrangements for the Christmas period, which covers the days from 23 - 27 December.
Summary of Tier 2 restrictions
This is for areas with a higher or rapidly rising level of infections, where some additional restrictions need to be in place.
In tier 2:
- You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
- Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
- Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
We now have homes in Cornwall, which falls under Tier 1 (Medium alert) and therefore different rules apply.
We will be operating the same services we were running before this second lockdown began. As before, our main aim is to minimise the contact needed between our staff and our residents so we continue to keep people safe, whilst providing services in line with Government guidance.
This means we will be moving back to carrying out routine repairs and carrying out all safety checks. If you need to book a repair, you can do it through MyPCH or call us on 0808 230 6500.
Before our Contact Centre staff book appointments with you, they will ask if anyone in your household is isolating or unwell.
When staff arrive at your home, they will check before entering that residents are well and showing no symptoms.
Please go into a different room while they carry out works in your home.
Closed or reduced services
- Community rooms and communal lounges remain closed.
- Our offices and city centre shop remain closed to the public.
- The Beacon is closed to the public but open for meetings and group bookings within the terms of the restrictions. The Beacon café will also be open.
- Essential and statutory building safety checks in schemes will continue.
- Face coverings must be worn by any visitors to a scheme.
- Housing with Support welfare and support checks are over the phone or virtual. Officers will only visit sites in emergencies.
- Communal lounges and guest rooms will remain closed until further notice.
- Regular enhanced cleaning of sheltered schemes is continuing.
Community engagement and resident involvement
- We plan to resume some limited outdoor community activities, taking into account social distancing and Rule of Six requirements.
- We are also running online activities through our PCH Connect programme.
Loan Shark Awareness Week
All next week is Loan Shark Awareness Week, aimed at raising people’s knowledge of illegal money lenders, particularly those who target their victims online.
We’ll be focusing on the subject in a series of articles on our website and pointing you to safe sources of loans, such as the City of Plymouth Credit Union. Credit unions encourage members to save regularly, provide loans at low interest rates and help members in need of financial advice and assistance. They are an excellent alternative to unscrupulous loan sharks.
Christmas card competition
We want to see what the festive season means to kids so we’re inviting them to enter our competition to design one of two PCH Christmas cards. We’ll be choosing two winners who will each get a £50 Smyths toy store voucher – and get their design brought to life on our card, which we’ll be sending out to some of our residents and partners.
If you’d like your little one to be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, they’ll have to act fast as the closing date is this Monday 30 November. Full details can be found here.
Is your child entitled to free school meals?
All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, regardless of their parent’s financial circumstances, automatically get universal infant free school meals.
But if you are eligible to claim FSM and you haven’t registered, then your child could miss out on any extra support available during school holidays.
The quickest and easiest way to apply is online. Just click the link to find out if you qualify and start your application today.
We’re still here to help - ways to contact us
- The easiest way to manage your tenancy from a distance is by using MyPCH – our on-line customer service portal that let’s you check and pay your rent, report a repair and any other issues and update your details.
- Webchat is live every week day on our website from 10am until 4pm.
- You can fill out a contact form.
- You can call us on 0808 230 6500.
- Or to simply stay up to date with service announcements and other PCH news, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
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. We’d like to reassure our residents that we will not evict anyone due to a loss of income as a result of Coronavirus. Call us on 0808 230 6500.
Supporting local businesses
It’s been a tough year for independent traders and we’re keen to support local business owners who may be struggling at the moment. In fact, we have a number of commercial premises throughout the city. If you can, and if they are open at the moment, please do try and support local retailers. Geddon Plymouth!
We’ve been working with Food Plymouth. They have put together an online resource to help people who need to access emergency food. This could be through lack of funds or not being able to get out to the shops. Find out more here.
Other places to turn to for help
We’re working with police teams on reports of anti-social behaviour which you can report to us on 0808 230 6500 or 0800 028 7377 (out of hours).
If things are getting too much, don’t suffer in silence. You can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 200 0247 or the Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service on 0800 458 2558. There’s also information here.
Thank you for your continued support and patience, and stay safe.