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e-connect 23 December

Date published: 2021-12-23

Cllr Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council

Let's look after each other. Covid hasn't gone away.

Coronavirus update 23 December 2021

A message from Cllr Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council

As I look back on 2021, it has been a rollercoaster of a year and this week has been no exception. All our lives have been affected by the pandemic, yet what has been striking has been the incredible sense of community spirit it has invoked.

As many look forward to the Christmas break, I want to pay a special tribute and express my thanks to all the council staff who have kept services going in these challenging times, and to all our residents, who make Bath and North East Somerset such a special place.

There are many, many other people who also deserve our gratitude: our local health and social care workers who, alongside an army of unpaid carers, support the most vulnerable in our communities; the voluntary and community groups, who give their time to make a difference to people’s lives; everyone involved in the incredible ongoing vaccination effort; and all those who’ve supported the Community Wellbeing Hub in Peasedown, which I visited in November.

Where it can, the council works hard to support jobs and our fantastic local businesses which have shown resilience and innovation and make a huge contribution to local jobs and local life. On Tuesday the government announced additional support for business. We now have to wait for the detail and the money, and we’ll work to set up arrangements as soon as we possibly can.

This week we were also told about additional funding to support rough sleepers this winter. Currently there is enough provision for anyone in the city who is sleeping rough to have a bed each night. With our partners Julian House and Developing Health & Independence (DHI) we are highlighting where people can go for help, whether for themselves or someone else, and what they can do to make a difference this Christmas.

Our Director of Public Health, Becky Reynolds has an update on the latest rules and guidance to help stop the spread of Covid, but the simple message is to please get vaccinated, test, wear face coverings, and self-isolate if you have symptoms or test positive.

I look forward to continuing to work with our communities to improve the lives of residents.

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.


A message from Becky Reynolds, Director of Public Health at Bath & North East Somerset Council


We’ve heard in the news this week, some very early signs that the Omicron variant may cause milder illness than the Delta variant. It’s good to hear that, but we need to be cautious not to read too much into it just yet. The sheer number of people getting Covid-19 could still mean a big impact on hospitals even if a smaller proportion need hospital care. Our rates in B&NES are increasing rapidly, so all we can do to slow down the spread of infection and reduce the impact it has through vaccination will help greatly.

If you’ve got an appointment booked for new year and can bring it forward, please do so. Check here to find out where your nearest walk-in vaccination site is, and to check which age groups can be vaccinated there – they don’t all offer walk-ins to under 18, so do check.

Walk-ins at the Bath Racecourse tend to be advertised locally only and not put on the national portal. This site doesn’t encourage walk-ins for under 16 year olds it isn’t able to guarantee the availability of children’s clinics.

You should also check here to find out how long you need to wait between doses – there are different rules for different age groups.

If you haven’t yet had any of your vaccinations, please respond to the invitation from your GP or book through the National Booking Service. If you have an appointment booked for the new year and end up having your vaccination sooner, please remember to cancel your appointment so that someone else can take it up.

This week we’ve seen changes to the length of time people with Covid need to self-isolate announced. People with Covid can now stop self-isolating after seven days rather than ten by providing negative lateral flow results on day six and day seven, and if they don’t have a high temperature. These changes don’t apply to children under five who will still be required to self-isolate for ten days.

Finally, as the Leader of the Council Kevin Guy says, it’s been a roller coaster of a year. And hasn’t it just? Thank you for the valuable part you’ve played in helping your family, friends, and local community safe, positive and connected during this pandemic. Wishing you and yours the best Christmas you can.

These are the latest Covid case figures for B&NES – please play your part to drive the number down.

Covid-19 update


Self-isolation changes

Changes to the length of time people with Covid-19 need to self-isolate were announced this week.

If you test positive, you can now stop self-isolating after seven days rather than ten by providing negative lateral flow results on day six and day seven, and so long as you don’t have a high temperature. These changes don’t apply to children under five who will still be required to self-isolate for ten days.

For further details visit here, and all the latest guidance visit the government website.

Vaccines for 12 to 15-year-olds

Don't forget that if your child is aged 12-15 they are now eligible for a second dose ‒ providing they had their first dose at least 12 weeks ago.

Children who missed out on an in-school vaccination can still receive their coronavirus jab from vaccine centres, including Bath Racecourse. The full guidance is here.

Who can get a booster?

All adults aged 18 and over can book an appointment for their Covid-19 booster. The national booking system is open to everyone aged 18+ to arrange a booster three months on from their second dose. You can also call 119 to book.

For more information, please go to the B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG website here.

Information about the local rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, including details of vaccination centres and an extensive list of frequently asked questions, is available here.

Please remember to be kind and patient when getting your jabs this winter. Staff and volunteers are working as hard as they can to keep you and others safe.

Need transport to Bath Racecourse?

Don't forget a new temporary bus service will operate over the Christmas and New Year period, running every hour from Bath Abbey bus stop to Bath Racecourse from 09.00. The last bus will leave the Racecourse at 18.20. This service will run on the following days:

•    Monday 20–Thurs 23 December
•    Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 December
•    Tuesday 4–Friday 7 January

The shuttle service from the Park and Ride at Lansdown is still running Monday–Friday, however there will be no service on Monday 27 December. View the full timetable here.

What if I've tested positive but not had my vaccine?

If you’re 18+ or under 18 and at higher risk from Covid-19, and have tested positive for Covid-19, you need to wait four weeks (28 days) before getting a vaccination.

If you’re under 18, not at higher risk from Covid-19 and have tested positive for Covid-19, you need to wait 12 weeks before getting a first or second dose.

The four or 12 week period starts from the date you had symptoms, or the date of the positive test if you did not have any symptoms. Please cancel and rebook your appointment for a later date if needed.

Test and collect vanPick up a lateral flow test kit

Our test and collect van has lateral flow tests and will be out on various dates over the Christmas and New Year period. However, stock is limited and there may be some disruption to the service during this time. Locations and dates are published on our website.

You can also order lateral flow tests online for home delivery.

If you need to, you can also get supervised lateral flow tests at New Bond Street in the centre of Bath. 

You should test regularly, particularly on days when you're in a busy place, or meeting vulnerable people, because you are more likely to catch or spread Covid-19.

PCR testing over Christmas

The local PCR test sites have confirmed their opening times for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day:
Mobile Testing Units
  • Paulton Rovers Football Club: 10:00-13:00
  • Odd Down Park and Ride: 10:00-13:00
Local Testing Site
  • Carpenter House: 10:00-14:00
These sites are all for PCR tests booked through the government website.

Latest council news


Public realm improvements at York Street to begin

Essential works to improve and maintain York Street and complement the opening of Bath’s new state-of-the-art World Heritage Centre and Clore Learning Centre will restart on January 6.

Additional support for business in B&NES

Additional support for businesses impacted by the Omicron variant was welcomed this week by the council – and is now waiting on further detail before it can set up any payment arrangements.

Help for rough sleepers this winter

Local help for people who sleep rough or are at risk of becoming homeless this winter is being highlighted by the council's support agencies – and an urgent appeal is being made for some self-contained accommodation as part of the vaccination push.

Still time to have say on Liveable Neighbourhoods

If you want to have your say on the council’s Liveable Neighbourhoods project, you now have extra time to get involved following an extension to the engagement survey closing date.

Christmas tree recycling collections

Don't forget to dispose of real Christmas trees responsibly once the festivities are over.

Changes to receiving free school meal vouchers

If your family has children who are eligible for benefit-related free school meals, you'll have more choice over where to spend your vouchers this Christmas thanks to a new way the scheme will be administered.

Council noted for increased recycling performance

New annual statistics for household waste and recycling released yesterday show that the council is coming in fourth out of 92 unitary local authorities and ranked 15th out of all 338 local authorities in England for its household recycling rates.

New free bus service to Bath Racecourse

With the Covid-19 booster vaccination programme rapidly expanding, a new free temporary bus service is being introduced to make it easier for people to get to Bath Racecourse to have their jab.

Webinar offers support on Covid rules for businesses

Owners of local nightclubs and venues that are now required by law to check the COVID-19 status of customers as a condition of entry, can watch a webinar on implementing new Covid restrictions.

Travel survey deadline extended

The joint West of England Combined Authority and council survey to help put together proposals to improve transport on two key routes between Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Westfield and Bath/Bristol, has been extended.

The survey on the A37 and A367 now closes on Sunday 9 January 2022.

The aim of the work is to encourage people to be less dependent on their cars by improving bus services and walking and cycling infrastructure. Feedback from residents will be key to developing plans for the A37/A367.

To take part and find out more visit here. To request a paper copy or alternate format please call 07436 601889 or email.

Christmas & New Year recycling & rubbish collections

Recycling and rubbish collection dates across Bath and North East Somerset will be revised over Christmas and New Year.

Council meeting calendar

Do you want to know about decisions being taken by the council and have your say? Please follow this link to the council’s calendar of meetings.

Latest Government guidance


Covid-19 vaccination: women of childbearing age, currently pregnant or breastfeeding

Information for all women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant or breastfeeding on coronavirus vaccination.

Covid-19 vaccination observation period

Information on the observation period following Covid-19 vaccination.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): providing unpaid care

Information for people who are caring, unpaid, for friends or family during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 medical exemptions: proving you are unable to get vaccinated

How to apply for official proof that, for medical reasons, you're unable to be vaccinated or unable to be vaccinated and tested for coronavirus (Covid-19).

Coronavirus (Covid-19) PCR home test kit instructions

Find out how to do a PCR test for Covid-19 at home and check if you need to register a test kit.

Follow us online

You can follow us on twitterfacebook and instagram; subscribe to us on YouTube, read the latest releases on our newsroom and if you sign up on nextdoor we are there too.

For updates on our services visit our website.

Employment and Skills Pod

Are you returning to work after a short or long break? Perhaps you are already in work and planning to change the direction of your career? The Employment & Skills Pod can help you find the right opportunities.

Since launching in March, more than 70 B&NES residents have been helped with their job, business and training goals. Here is what some of them said about our services:
  • “People who work there are professionals and always do their best to help!”
  • “Straight to the point of the problem.”
  • “My recent experience with BATHNES Employment & Skills pod was very helpful, it opened my heart to what I would love to do and opened some doors to keep me progressing with my finances end career. 10 out of 10.”
  • “I thought it was very helpful, staff were clear, practical and very fast with support.”
Call us now on 0300 247 0050 or email us on You can also find out more on the website.

Live Well B&NES: information for all

A web-based resource providing information, signposting and support to residents in Bath & North East Somerset has launched. 
Live Well B&NES provides a wealth of useful information, signposting and resources for families, including Ofsted registered childcare, children and young people with additional needs (our SEND Local Offer) and adults needing care or support to live independently.
Information, services and groups are regularly added to Live Well B&NES. If you work with, support, provide services or run groups for children and young people or for adults needing care or support (such as older people, adults with physical disabilities and/or sensory impairments, people living with mental ill health), and haven’t already registered - make sure you’re included! It’s free and takes less than five minutes to register.
Find out more:

Future Bright

Do you know someone who is in work and wants to take the next step in their career? Future Bright offers FREE careers coaching, support and access to training. Future Bright Careers Coaches work with local residents to develop the skills and confidence needed to improve their work and pay. Check out the Future Bright newsletter to read about those who have already benefitted from the project.   
For more information go to or give us a call 01225 395555.

Specialised dementia groups in B&NES

Age UK Bath & North East Somerset are starting two new specialised Dementia Groups, which are now running weekly in Midsomer Norton & Bath.

These groups are a safe, fun environment for people to come for activities and friendship. Staff are trained in Maintenance Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which helps concentration, confidence, memory and wellbeing.

You can find out more here or call 01225 466135.

Do you look after someone else?

If you support someone who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, addiction or who needs extra help as they grow older, Bath and North East Somerset Carers’ Centre is here for you.

Their friendly team will listen to any concerns you have, offer practical advice and access to free wellbeing activities to ensure you’re happy and healthy in your caring role. Contact our freephone support line: 0800 038 8885 or email us. We’re available 8:15am-12pm, every weekday.

Support available from the Community Wellbeing Hub

Anybody who is a resident of Bath and North East Somerset can benefit from support from the Community Wellbeing Hub, including those people who are isolating due to testing positive for Covid-19 or being in contact with someone who has Covid-19.

A collaboration between Bath & North East Somerset Council; HCRG Care Group; the 3SG; Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group; and other third sector organisation representatives. The team can offer a range of support services such as mental health, returning home from hospital, income, housing and benefits advice, emergency food, as well as lifestyle services for help with stopping smoking, getting active or losing weight.

To contact the Hub:
Phone: 0300 247 0050.
Text: 07870 868368
Opening hours: Monday–Friday, 9am until 5pm

If you need to contact the council about its services please ring Council Connect on 01225 394041 or email

Domestic abuse

Southside provides help to people who live in Bath & North East Somerset who are at risk of domestic violence and abuse. The working hours are 9am-5pm Monday-Thursday, and 9am-4pm Fridays. Local support services can be found here.

Sight loss support

Sight Support West of England provides emotional and practical support to help people adjust to living with sight loss. Since lockdown this has been either online or over the phone. Now following careful planning, some Covid-secure face-to-face support sessions are resuming on an appointment only basis.

Your Community Sight Loss Adviser will be available at Manvers Street Baptist Church, Bath on the first Wednesday each month and at Midsomer Norton Town Hall on the 4th Thursday each month. 
To find out more, or make an appointment please call  0117 3224885 or email For more information on the full range of services visit

For more useful information visit the RNIB website:

Local agencies and useful links

We have been working closely with local agencies and if you would like to find out more about their work please look on their website: RUHAvon and Somerset PoliceCuro, and Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG.
  • Public Health England updates a daily dashboard:  It includes deaths that have occurred in all settings where there has been a positive Covid-19 test, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community. 
  • Latest information on coronavirus:
NHS information on coronavirus:
Visit our Bathnes youtube channel

Tune in

Local radio is a great way of keeping up to date with essential information, if you don’t already you should tune into BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio Somerset or BBC Radio Wiltshire.
BBC Radio Bristol BBC Radio Bristol
BBC Radio Somerset BBC Radio Somerset
BBC Radio Wiltshire BBC Radio Wiltshire
Somer Valley FM covers Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Westfield and surrounding villages including Farrington, Paulton, Peasedown, Coleford and Stratton.

Broadcast online and on 97.5fm you can contact at or call 01761 411 755
Somer Valley 97.5FM Somer Valley 97.5FM
Bath Radio is a community radio station which has been operating as a hospital radio station for the past 50 years. It now broadcasts to the wider Bath community. Listen online.
Radio Bath provides local news and information, promotes the city and supports its businesses, charities and community organisations.
Keynsham’s KTCRfm 105.8FM is now broadcasting 24/7.

KTCRfm covers Keynsham, Saltford, Hanham, Bitton, Warmley, Clutton, Timsbury, the Chew Valley and as far south as Temple Cloud. East to the eastern edge of Bath. North across South Gloucestershire to the M4 corridor and west into many parts of Bristol.
KTCRfm 105.8FM KTCRfm 105.8FM

BA1 Radio have been established for a year in Bath and operate from a studio in Southside Youth Hub, broadcasting twelve hours of shows every weekday, focusing on Bath and the local community, including hourly news reports.


call: 01225 941 080
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B&NES Council Website

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