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10 June 2020   |   Issue 20 

Thank you for continuing to support Westminster and the rest of London through this unprecedented time. Please find below the latest information from the City Council on how we are supporting our communities and businesses. 

Government Updates

The ban on evictions has been extended: Renters across England and Wales will receive greater protection after the Government extended the suspension of new evictions until 23 August. The extension takes the ban on evictions to a total of five months to ensure that renters continue to have certainty and security. Further details can be found here.

Places of worship are reopening: Places of worship across England will be permitted to reopen for individual prayer from next Monday (15 June). This decision follows discussions between the Government and representatives of major faiths through the Places of Worship Taskforce. New guidance will be published shortly to ensure the limited reopening of places of worship can be done safely and in line with social distancing guidelines. Read more information here.

Westminster Reopening

Reopening Businesses Safely: From 15 June, some businesses which are comfortable managing the requirements that will keep customers safe are able to reopen their premises.

Please share our reopening hub which contains information and guidance for managing queuing arrangements, sample social distancing stencils and markers and also covers specific issues such as fire safety, legionella and food safety. If you are a business, you can also find more advice and support for businesses in our most recent business newsletter
Bespoke guidance to help you reopen your business: As businesses move towards reopening from 15 June, the Westminster Business Unit is offering bespoke guidance to help you prepare. If you have questions or concerns about your business' path to re-opening, we're on hand to give advice. You can book a 15-minute telephone appointment with the Business Unit by contacting businessunit@westminster.gov.uk or calling 020 7641 2070. For more information on the service, please visit our website.

Discretionary Business Grants: The closing date for applications for the national Discretionary Grant Fund is 11 June 2020. The fund was set up by the Government to accommodate certain small businesses and charities that were previously outside the scope of the coronavirus grant schemes. Full guidance on qualification criteria is available online

Community Updates

Moving around Westminster: We’ve been implementing temporary measures across Westminster to safely support the easing of the lockdown and get the economy moving again. Temporary measures include increasing pedestrian space for social distancing, and also creating additional cycling facilities to help people move around safely. Barriers have been installed to widen pavements in Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Victoria, plus other sites across Westminster to encourage safer walking and cycling. Check out our list of temporary measures that are in place across Westminster to help people move around the city.
20mph speed limit: In line with these essential safety improvements, traffic speeds across the entire city will soon be limited to 20mph. Reducing speeds reduces the severity of accidents and makes it safer to travel on foot or by cycle, helping to improve public space and to encourage healthier, more active lifestyles. Read more about it here

The council has published a Traffic Management Order which sets out how the 20mph speed limit will be implemented around the city. Click here to make a comment on the order.
Carers Week: Do you know a carer in your community? For Carers Week (08 -14 June) the council will be promoting a series of events and support services available for those who are providing unpaid care to a family member or a partner.

We would like you to share this information to carers in your networks to shine a light on their hard work and to promote the events and activities hosted by the Carers Network across the week. 

Visit https://carers-network.org.uk/ to find out what support and activities are available and take a look at our social channels this week for key information to pass on to carers. 
Coronavirus Testing Centre: Help us to spread the word about the return of the testing centre for anyone experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. The coronavirus mobile testing unit on North Carriage Drive in Hyde Park(entrance via Victoria Gate) will return on Thursday 11th June and Friday 12th June from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

You can ask for a test:
  • for yourself – if you have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with – if they have coronavirus symptoms
The tests are available for all ages. Please ask for a coronavirus test through the NHS or by calling NHS 119. 

If you are an essential worker, or live with an essential worker, and have coronavirus symptoms, you should apply for a coronavirus test on GOV.UK.
Honouring George Floyd: Last week, City Hall was lit up in purple in memory of George Floyd, and to stand in solidarity with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across Westminster and around the world against racial injustice.
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