Last updated: 31 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Overview

Our Public Health team is working closely with Public Health England (PHE), which is leading the national COVID-19 response.

Situation in the UK

The Government has now enforced new measures, telling people to stay at home.

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work;
  • Stay two metres (6ft) away from other people;
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home.

See the GOV.UK website for links to the latest social care and health information to the outbreak:

Find the latest UK Government information (GOV.UK) (external link)

It includes links to guidance about:

  • How the virus is spread;
  • How to prevent the transmittion of COVID-19;
  • Social distancing and vulnerable people;
  • Staying at home.

You will also find the latest number of cases of coronavirus in the UK, which is updated every day at 2.00pm.

Updates from your local district or borough council

For the latest updates on local services run by your district or borough council, please visit the relevant website:

Find my local district or borough council

Status of our services

Communities

Communities

Ceremonies

Marriages and Civil Partnerships

The latest Government advice means all weddings, civil partnership formations and appointments to give notice are postponed with immediate effect for three weeks, beginning 24 March. We will keep this under review according to Government advice.

If you have a ceremony or notice appointment in the next three weeks, someone in our team will be in contact shortly to discuss your options. We are working our way through, prioritising the most imminent first.

If you wish to postpone or cancel your booking after those three weeks, given the current uncertainty, please be assured that we are working our way through the list. From 24 March, we are giving full refunds for anyone wishing to cancel their ceremony and we do not charge for like-for-like postponements.

New Citizens – Citizenship Ceremony    

If you have a letter from the Home office advising you to attend a Citizenship Ceremony you have a six-month window to attend from the date on your invitation letter. This has been extended from the standard three months.

Libraries

All West Sussex Libraries are now closed until further notice. However, our teams are working hard to ensure you can still access the service online. 

View our current offer to read books, magazines and newspapers digitally, listen to audiobooks and learn from home. We are also working on filming some of our regular library activities, such as Toddler Rhyme Time, for you to use.

Library FAQs

Registration Services

Registration offices are currently closed in Midhurst, Burgess Hill, East Grinstead, Littlehampton and Storrington.

Registering a death:

All registration appointments will be conducted by telephone with immediate effect. Please book your appointment as normal, but do not attend the Registration Office.  

Whilst we will do our best to contact you during the allotted half hour, this may not be possible, so please bear with us and you will get a call that day. 

If the doctor has already handed you the Medical Cause of Death Certificate, please drop it in to one of the following registration offices, as soon as possible: Crawley, Chichester, Haywards Heath or Worthing. This must be done before the time of your appointment. 

Registering a birth:

We will not be carrying out any birth registration appointments for the next three weeks, beginning Wednesday 25 March.

Record Office

The West Sussex Record Office is now closed for foreseeable future.

Fire Service

Fire Service

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service

We have robust plans in place to ensure we can continue to deliver our emergency response.

However, we are reducing some of our non-critical work in the community to help prevent the spread of the virus.

We are also carrying out our free Safe and Well Visits via phone, Skype and by posting a useful resource document, instead of face-to-face visits. Call 0345 8729 719 or email safeandwell@westsussex.gov.uk to book yours.

Be assured: if you dial 999 and need the fire service, we will be there.

 

Waste

Waste

Household Waste Recycling Sites

All Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) across West Sussex are now closed until further notice.

Waste and recycling collections

Please look for information and updates by your local district or borough council, as they operate these and will be able to advise of any disruption or changes.

Children's

Children's

Children and Family Centres

We have stopped delivering our normal offer from Children and Family Centres and Youth Centres, until further notice. This includes stopping all groups and events for children, young people and families.

Children’s Social Care

This service is currently running as usual and our staff are working hard to prioritise our vulnerable residents.

Fostering

We continue to welcome enquiries and applications to foster with us, visit our fostering website or call our recruitment team on 0330 22 27775.

For the time being, our monthly information sessions have been suspended.

School admissions

You can contact our school admissions service by emailing admissions.north@westsussex.gov.uk or admissions.south@westsussex.gov.uk.

Adults

Adults

Adults’ Services Day Services

We have suspended all of our day services across West Sussex - including Rowans Gym in Worthing and all groups using space in our buildings.

However, we’re working on delivering a service for families and carers who fall into the keyworker category, and those who’s critical needs can’t be met any other way. 

Talk Locals and Community Drop-ins

These have been suspended for the foreseeable future.

Meals on Wheels

Our deliveries are currently operating as normal and we're accepting new clients. Call 01903 718893 to find out more.

Support for family and friend carers

We're working with Carers Support West Sussex, as well as the voluntary and community sector on increasing support to family and friend carers.

Travel

Travel

Highways

During this time of national crisis there is some work that needs to continue to ensure we keep the county running both now, and as we come out of this period.

That will include some construction particularly on key transport routes and in schools. Where this work continues, we are following Government advice and guidelines closely.

The situation is under constant review and we are ensuring that any contractors working on our behalf are also complying with Government advice and following social distancing guidelines.

Transport

We are working with the transport sector to understand what impact coronavirus (COVID-19) is having and how we may need to respond. Residents wishing to use public transport for essential travel should check with each operator before setting out on their journey.

On-street parking

Social care and NHS workers can park free-of-charge in West Sussex County Council on-street spaces during the outbreak.

Please display supporting evidence in your windscreen, such as a photocopy of your work pass (with sensitive information removed), or a letter of evidence from your employer.

Bus passes

Pensioners and vulnerable people with West Sussex County Council bus passes can now use them earlier on weekdays. This is so they can take advantage of some supermarkets’ first hour of trading being dedicated to older and vulnerable shoppers.

From now, and for the duration of the outbreak, residents can use their passes prior to 9.30am on weekdays. They could already use them at any time on weekends and public holidays. All bus pass holders are urged to please follow Government guidance on social distancing when travelling on public transport.

Environment

Environment

Countryside and Public Rights of Way

We have suspended routine inspection and maintenance work, and we are only taking action on Public Rights of Way where reported issues require work to ensure public safety on the network.

Any enquiries which fall outside of this remit will be logged, prioritised and addressed in the future when normal working practices are resumed.

Our countryside sites currently remain open for people to use via the Public Rights of Way network, but people must follow the social distancing guidelines when using our sites for daily exercise.

Buchan Country Park

The Visitor Centre and toilets at Buchan Park are closed, and the car park is closed at weekends. It remains open during the week, but this is being monitored.

If numbers of visitors are deemed too high to enable social distancing, the car park will be closed during the week as well.


School and education

The Government has asked parents to keep their children at home until further notice. Schools will only remain open only for those children whose parent(s) are classed as key workers, or children who are vulnerable.

COVID-19: closure of educational settings (GOV.UK) (external link)

Schools transport

Parents whose children are continuing to attend school via public bus should visit the bus operators’ websites to check the times and routes available. Please note:

  • Journeys at school times may have changed to run slightly;
  • Buses that usually divert to a school gate may no longer do so, meaning children may need to walk from the nearest stop;
  • A change of bus may now be necessary rather than there being a direct journey.

Children who travel on council-provided transport

Our suppliers have been asked to operate a full service from now until further notice. Due to possible staff shortages, some flexibility may be needed.

All parents who do not accompany their children are advised to have a contingency plan agreed with their child in case transport is late or does not arrive.

Prevention

General guidance on health protection is available on the Government website.

COVID-19: guidance on health protection in schools and childcare facilities (GOV.UK) (external link)

Public Health England’s School Zone also offers fun e-Bug resources aimed at primary school children, which share information on how to stop germs spreading.


Businesses and employers

The Government is providing up to date COVID 19 guidance for employees, employers, and businesses.

COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses (GOV.UK) (external link)

Government has also launched a package of measures to support businesses and the self-employed through the impact of COVID-19.

If you're a business, employer or self-employed, visit the Business West Sussex website to access support and information.

COVID-19: Business West Sussex website (external link)

Care homes and vulnerable people

The latest guidance for social or community care and residential settings is available on the Government website:

COVID-19: residential care, supported living and home care guidance (GOV.UK) (external link)

If you visit or work in a social, community care or a residential setting you should also follow Public Health England's hygiene and prevention advice.

Wellbeing

The West Sussex Wellbeing website provides a range of information, particularly useful for people in later life who are looking to maintain good physical and mental health during the outbreak: 

Coronavirus and older people (West Sussex Wellbeing) (external link)

Resources

Sign up to our newsletter and receive regular updates on COVID-19. Here you can also choose to be notified of general news in West Sussex: 

Register for the latest news from West Sussex County Council (GovDelivery) (external link)

There are a variety of COVID-19 resources available for you to download and print, please find them all below:

POSTER: Washing hands POSTER: Handwashing advice

Easy-read:

BOOKLET: Coronavirus advice POSTER: How to stay safe POSTER: Health issues POSTER: What if I get ill?

Translated guidance: 

The UK Government have translated the guidance for self-isolation and social distancing into the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese
  • Polish
  • Welsh

Community Hub

We've joined forces with local community groups to help and support vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.

See our community hub to:

  • tell us you, or someone you know, needs help
  • volunteer your services to help us in our response to this virus.
Find out more about the Community hub (COVID-19)

 


Wellbeing

There are numerous resources and top tips available to support you with your wellbeing during the outbreak.

Take a look at the advice on our website:

Stay healthy during COVID-19

The Government has also released guidance for the public, on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus: 

COVID-19: guidance on the mental health and wellbeing (GOV.UK) (external link)
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