Coronavirus Update (26th Mar 2020)


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The update below includes new information regarding the following:

  1. Important Message from Haringey Council
  2. Haringey Response Update
    1. Parks
    2. Royal Mail & Post
    3. Reuse & recycling centres
    4. Council Services (disabled parking, customer services, highways)
    5. Carers
    6. Housing Association tenants
    7. Connected Communities (Need help? Want to volunteer? Organisation that can help?)
    8. Donations needed
    9. Food banks need supplies
  3. Preventing Food Waste
  4. National Response Update
    1. Self-employment Income Support Scheme
    2. Business loans, grants, insurance and job retention scheme
    3. Government text messages
    4. Shared parenting
    5. MOTs
    6. Contactless card limit increase
    7. Moving house?
    8. Self-report your symptons
    9. Warning: Coronavirus scams
  5. Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
 

IMPORTANT Message from Haringey Council


"A number of individuals are ignoring government advice and still assembling in large groups across the borough. It is imperative that you do not meet up with friends at this time as you are potentially spreading the virus and this could affect your loved ones.

Can you please stay at home during this period and only go out if you need to buy essential goods or medicine. We cannot stress enough the damage that is potentially being done by having social contact in large groups at this time. You are allowed to go out and exercise once a day BUT please stay two metres away from others at all times.

These measures will save lives and protect our health services from being overwhelmed so we can all get the help we need."

HARINGEY RESPONSE UPDATE


Parks

Parks remain open in Haringey, but cafés, toilets, play equipment, outdoor gyms, skate parks, paddling pools and sports courts are all CLOSED and should not be used in any circumstances. Please only use parks for your one form of exercise a day, and maintain social distancing rules.


Parks should not be used for gatherings, picnics, sunbathing, socialising, or any other activity with the exception of exercise. The Met Police are routinely monitoring all parks and will disperse or utilise enforcement powers on anyone not following Government issued guidance. As with other boroughs, if people do not follow the social distancing advice Haringey Council will not hesitate to close the borough's parks completely.


Royal Mail & Post

Royal Mail are continuing to operate, however, due to a high level of staff shortages due to sickness, particularly at the Finsbury Park delivery office which serves the west of the borough, many rounds are currently without a postman. Royal Mail are doing all they can to ensure post is delivered as soon as possible.

Some rounds may be reduced to letters only to ensure some delivery is able to continue.

 
Closure of reuse and recycling centres

In response to the latest government advice, the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has closed all reuse and recycling centres (RRCs) to the public for the foreseeable future. The council is working hard to maintain waste collection services but the closure of the RRCs is likely to increase pressure on local waste collection services. Residents should therefore avoid producing unnecessary waste as this will help the council keep critical waste services running. For further information on the closures of RRCs, please visit the NLWA Wise Up To Waste website.
 

Council services
  • Disabled Parking: The NHS have suspended all assessments for Blue Badges so:
    • Renewals: All Blue Badge Holders who need to renew are being given a 6 month (instead of 3 year) Blue Badge. All those awaiting for processing - Traffic Wardens are not ticketing any Blue Badges which expired after 1st March 2020
    • New Applications:  The council are still working this through with the Department of Transport.
  • Customer Services: 
    • Marcus Garvey and Wood Green customer service centres are now closed.
    • The call-centre is fully functioning, and staff who would have normally worked in the Customer Service Centre are being diverted to answering calls at our customer service contact centre (as all staff are working via a remote switchboard).
    • Please note the following key Customer Service numbers
      • 0208 489 4431: This is for Connected Communities for any resident who needs help for any issue (food, rent, job loss, benefits etc.).
      • 0208 489 5611: This is for Homes for Haringey for people facing rent issues or have emergency repairs. 
      • 0208 489 0000: This will get people through to a switch-board to get diverted.
  • Highways: Currently "Business As Usual" but expecting a growth in drain issues. Utilities are still operating and the council continues to issue permits for works.


Carers

If anyone is a carer we have attached a Covid 19 Advice to Carers leaflet from Haringey Council (click here for leaflet) together with a copy of the letter that the council will be sending to carers (click here for letter).
Also here are some important phone numbers for carers and vulnerable residents:
  • Where a carer becomes unwell and is unable to care for their loved one: Haringey First Response Team : 0208 489 1400.
  • For accessing essential items, or accessing other support : Haringey Connected Communities helpline 020 8489 4431 (Monday - Friday 9.30-4.30). Email: connectedcommunities@haringey.gov.uk 
  • Carers First : 0300 303 1555 provide telephone, email, webchat and online support to carers (Monday-Thursday 9am – 5pm. Fridays 9am – 4:30pm).

Housing Associations Tenants

We have written to the council requesting that Housing Associations offer tenants rent holidays/breaks if they are facing financial hardship. The council continues to liaise with its housing associations in the borough to ensure the welfare of all residents.

Many housing associations are offering advice, support and guidance to tenants, including putting payment plans in place or supporting tenants to claim benefits they are entitled to, and new, emergency Government legislation will mean no one can be evicted from their homes during this period (more info). If you are struggling to pay your rent due to Coronavirus we would recommend contacting your Housing Association in the first instance.

If you require further assistance after this, please use the Connected Communities service (details below).


Connected Communities

Haringey's Connected Communities service continues to offer help and support to those that need it during the current time. The service is only able to operate thanks to the generous volunteering offers from residents.
  1. If you are a resident who needs need help:
    If you are worried about the impact that coronavirus will have on your money, or if you or someone you know might need help – for example someone to talk to, get shopping, or health and care support – please contact Haringey Council's Connected Communities team on 020 8489 4431. The line is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.
     
  2. If you are a resident who can volunteer:
    To help those in need, Connected Communities are looking for volunteers who are healthy and at low risk. There is a range of volunteer roles on offer from shopping, phone calling through to dog walking. If you would like to offer support to someone in your community, you can sign up to the scheme using the online form: https://www.haringey.gov.uk/want-to-help or call 020 8489 4431. The line is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm
     
  3. If you are a business or organisation who can help:
    The council are grateful for offers of help and support from voluntary and community sector organisations and businesses. If you can help, please click the following link to register with Connected Communities, so the council can utilise your support as quickly as possible: https://www.haringey.gov.uk/i-want-help-organisations-or-businesses


Donations needed

Haringey Giving (a fund managed by people in the Haringey community and endorsed by Haringey Council) is trying to raise £50,000 to support the borough’s most vulnerable people, and the community initiatives responding to the Covid-19 crisis.

Please do consider giving as all donations will be doubled up to a total of £40,000 by Linklaters LLP!  https://www.haringeygiving.org.uk/appeal/haringey-covid-19-appeal
 

FOOD BANKS are in urgent need of supplies

We advise ordering non-perishable food to be delivered directly to Muswell Hill Foodbank during opening times: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/muswellhill/ or you can donate money to them here: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/10986#!/DonationDetails

To view a list of alternative local foodbanks please visit this link.

PREVENT Food Waste


Many residents have stocked up on food supplies in the last couple of weeks, which may no longer be looking its best, or reaching its use before date. In the UK households waste 6.5 million tonnes of it every year, 4.5 million of which is edible. And many councils are bracing for a food waste surge hitting their collection services over the next couple of weeks, while running on skeleton staff.

That's why it is more important than ever that we reduce trips to the shops, stay home, stay safe and use the food that is already in our homes instead of throwing it away.

To learn more about how you can reduce your food waste in the next couple of weeks, visit the Love Food, Hate Waste (click here) website.

And if you have a surplus of food, why not share it out locally by offering it through your local Mutual Aid group or by using Food Sharing apps such as Olio. And remember, if it's non-perishable, you can donate it to your local Food Bank (see above).

NATIONAL RESPONSE UPDATE

         
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

This evening, the Government announced the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which will allow the 3.8million self-employed workers that earn less than £50,000 a year to apply for a grant of up to £2,500 a month to help them cope with the financial impact of the Coronavirus. You can find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/chancellor-outlines-new-coronavirus-support-measures-for-the-self-employed

We will provide further details on this scheme, including how you can apply when we have it.


Business loans, grants, insurance and job retention scheme

Lib Dem MPs are continuing to press the Government to act faster to help affected businesses with their cash flow and to issue granular guidance on how the various measures announced to support business will actually work in practice. We are aware that many businesses are being told by lenders and banks that there is not currently enough clear guidance for them to assist. Our MPs have relayed these concerns to the government, and they have pledged to issue further guidance in due course.


Government text messages

Many people have commented that they were concerned about getting a text from the government telling them to stay at home earlier this week. Especially if they were not at home when the message arrived.

Please be reassured that it was the mobile phone companies not the Government that sent the message out to every single number on their systems, no matter where you and your phone were at the time.


Shared parenting

Parents who live separately will be allowed to move children under 18 between their houses.


MOTs

MOTs for lorries, buses and trailers have been suspended for up to three months. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says vehicle owners (cars, motorbikes etc.) will be granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing enabling them to continue to travel to work when "this absolutely cannot be done from home" amid COVID-19 pandemic.


Contactless card limit raised to £45 from 1 April

Sky has reported that from 1 April, the new £45 limit - up from the current £30 - would be applied at many stores, though it would take longer to roll out across the retail network as a whole. This is intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 by pin touch pads.


Moving house

No official guidance has been given as to whether or not house moves can still go ahead under the lockdown. The Homeowners Alliance has updated its website with advice for people in the current climate, saying that all sales and purchases which have not yet exchanged should be postponed until after restrictions are lifted. Those who have exchanged are legally committed to completing the transaction, and should speak to their buyer/seller and conveyancer as soon as possible to decide how to proceed. Lib Dem MPs have written to the Secretary of State for Justice seeking legal clarification for those who have exchanged and are due to complete in next few weeks; and for those who have been mandated to move house by a certain date by the courts (e.g. in divorce proceedings).


Self-report your symptoms - help build the COVID-19 map

This app has just been launched with researchers at Guy’s & St Thomas’ & King’s college to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and identify at risk cases sooner by self-reporting your symptoms daily, even if you feel well. Please consider using the app to share your symptoms with these researchers. Download the app at: https://covid.joinzoe.com/


Warning: Coronavirus scams

National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in Coronavirus-related scams: https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/article/505/beware_of_covid_19_scams

And finally please remember:

Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
 
 
 

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