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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Service Updates

As the situation with coronavirus is constantly evolving, we are ensuring that essential services continue to be delivered as a priority. We request that you use our online services where possible. Regular updates are being provided on this page of the website.

Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of our residents, our customers and our staff.

Three Rivers House Rickmansworth will be closed until further notice. We have a number of services available online at my.threerivers.gov.uk. Also our Customer Services phone lines 01923776611 will be staffed but please keep calls to an absolute minimum as far as possible.

Please bear with us and look out for our updates about our services and what you may be able to do to help us and our local communities here in Three Rivers, whilst following the latest government advice.

Businesses

The Government has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Details are published here.

Three Rivers District Council is looking at doing everything it can to support local businesses of all sizes through these unprecedented times.

The ‘support finder' tool helps businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Council Tax

The Council's policy for Council Tax Hardship Fund Scheme can be downloaded below. The Council Tax team are now processing adjustments to Council Tax accounts.

Council tax: COVID-19 hardship fund 2020 to 2021 (pdf)

Elections

The Government has postponed all elections that were due to take place on 7 May 2020. They are now scheduled to be held in May 2021.

Hertfordshire Building Control

Hertfordshire Building Control is currently and will continue to provide a full building control service throughout the period of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you are carrying out building work of a controllable nature, including if you are doing it yourself, you will need to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations. Applications for Building Regulations approval can be found at the following link:  https://online.hertfordshirebc.co.uk/.   

Please also be aware that if you are in the middle of building work the current situation does not remove the requirement to ensure that Building Control inspections are carried out at the relevant intervals. They will advise how inspections proceed. Hertfordshire Building Control Limited are available to homeowners and developers to provide this service.

They are working closely with local partners to respond to and minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on our communities. This includes regular meetings with services and government agencies responsible for leading different parts of the response. The delivery of many of the council's services involves contact with residents in their homes and out and about in the community. They are following all latest government guidance and taking extra care to protect residents, and our staff delivering those services.

Housing

The service is focusing on priority services which is homelessness and temporary accommodation.

Allocations are still being done through the Housing Register, however, some Housing Associations have stopped letting properties during this time. Therefore, there are likely to be fewer properties advertised each week.

Medical assessment forms completed by customers will take longer to be assessed that usual. This is because the Council submits these to an independent GP, who is understandably dedicating the majority of her time to the NHS. Medical assessments can continue to be submitted but will be assessed as and when they are able to be. Please bear with us during this time and any priority awarded will be dated appropriately.

If you see anyone that you think may be rough sleeping, please report to Streetlink (https://www.streetlink.org.uk/). This will log the details of the location to send through to the team so that we can try to help.

Leisure Services

For updates on leisure venues please use the below links:

William Penn Leisure Centre

South Oxhey Leisure Centre

Rickmansworth Golf Course

Sir James Altham Swimming Pool

Watford Woodside Leisure Centre

Parking

See information about the re-introduction of parking charges and enforcement.

TRDC Parking - COVID-19 Q & A's (pdf)

Pest Control

External treatments only.

Planning

The face-to-face Duty Planning Service has been temporarily suspended. You can still e-mail enquiries@threerivers.gov.uk or telephone 01923 776611.

Refuse and Recycling

Refuse, garden waste, recycling and food collection services are running as normal. Click the following link to find out when your refuse and recycling will be collected by entering your postcode and choose your address from the dropdown box - Your Collection Day Information.

For latest updates and full information about the Household Waste Recycling Centres visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/HWRC 

Please follow the advice below on how to store your waste if you have confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • double bag all waste that contains tissues, face cloths etc and store this securely in your refuse bin
  • please do not leave this waste in communal areas until it has been stored for at least 72 hours

Please see Frequently Asked Questions for more information about changes to the refuse and recycling collections.

Collection calendars can be viewed at  www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/refuse-and-recycling-calendars

Shopping areas

Following the re-opening of shops, new safety measures to protect people walking, cycling and queuing for local shops are being introduced in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Textile Collections

This service has been suspended until further notice.

Trees and Landscape

No site visits are currently being undertaken.

All applications relating to Tree Preservation Orders and trees in Conservation areas, are still being validated, assessed and determined as normal, wherever possible. Timescales on applications are therefore unaffected unless an extension of time has been agreed between parties.

All future tree work applications must be submitted online, either via the Planning Portal or emailed to enquiries@threerivers.gov.uk  

To be able to process applications, applicants must provide photographs and/or videos at the time of submitting their application.

Any queries relating to trees that are suspected to be dead, dying or dangerous, photographs and/or videos must be provided at the time of submitting an email to enquiries@threerivers.gov.uk

These photographs or videos will need to show:

  • Trees from bottom to top
  • Tree within its location as a landscape photo
  • Evidence of the reasons mentioned in the “description of work"

Watch a short video that features the children of some of Three Rivers staff who wanted to let you know how the Council is serving the community during this challenging time.


Other guidance, advice and assistance

Please visit the government website for the latest information on the COVID-19 situation in the UK

If you think you have symptoms, visit www.111.nhs.uk to check what action you should take.

Stay at home advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

Frequently asked questions and answers on what the public can and can’t do during the COVID-19 outbreak

Q&A from Public Health England on coronavirus: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

Hertfordshire County Council has also compiled a set of useful links from trusted sources. This page includes information on how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19.

The situation is fast-moving; please make sure you check regularly for the latest updates.

Affinity Water

Please visit www.affinitywater.co.uk to see how they can help.

Customers who may need extra assistance please join their Priority Services Register. Registeration ensures customers with communication, access, physical or mental health needs receive a great service, tailored to them. It also allows them to identify customers with medical needs to have water delivered to them in the event of a supply interruption. You can call on 0345 357 2406.

Boating, canals, rivers and towpaths

Some answers to frequently asked questions. 

Bereavement

A virtual Book of Remembrance on the Lieutenancy website has been setup - https://lord-lieutenant-herts.org.uk/remembrance/. As many people have been denied the possibility of mourning during lock-down, it is hoped that the word about the book will spread and people of all faiths and none may feel inclined to write a message to a lost loved one-whether as a direct result of Covid-19 or otherwise.

Businesses

A series of webinars are being run by UK Government departments to keep businesses updated with the latest advice and guidance:

For small businesses and changes to reporting, regulation and tax, watch recorded webinars.

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Visit Herts are working in partnership to offer small and micro businesses within the tourism, leisure, hospitality, retail, arts and cultural sectors the chance to unlock between £2000 and £5000 in match funding to help overcome the challenges of Covid-19: www.visithertsbusiness.co.uk/get-involved/crowdfund-hertfordshire-small-business-innovation-fund/

Guidance for businesses re-opening

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published a toolkit to share with local businesses.

Carers

Careers can find out about local carer organisations at Carers UK

To find local health care providers

Children and education

DfE guidance for school and colleagues to support them keeping children safe, including online, guidance on vulnerable children and young people, updated guidance on school children with new sections on vulnerable children and safeguarding in schools, colleagues and other providers.

DfE helpline offers guidance for anyone with education related questions.

DfE have launched the Skills Toolkit, a new online platform giving people easy access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help them build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects. 

The platform offers a range of courses at all levels, from introductory to advanced, which were chosen in consultation with top businesses and education experts. It’s open to everyone, whether they have recently been furloughed and want to learn new skills, are out of work and looking to build up their CV, or if they’re just keen to keep their mind healthy and skills sharp during this time. You can access the toolkit here (https://bit.ly/DfESkillsToolkit) - please note that all courses on the Skills Toolkit are UK wide. 

Please find full details of the announcement here (https://bit.ly/DfESkillsToolkitPN) and a tweet from DfE, which we would encourage you to share through your own social channels (https://bit.ly/DfESkillsToolkitTweet). 

Links to some useful websites to keep your children and you busy (pdf)

Guidance for households with possible infection, staying at home and away from others, and protecting vulnerable people (shielding)

Are you looking for ways to keep your kids busy during the day? We have created some colouring pages for you to download.

Get motivated and put your daily exercise to good use as you walk, dance, or even play your way along the route, and see hippos, giraffes and zebras up close! The Virtual Safari route is complete with challenge stations to show off your skills. Watch a video from Lake Naivasha and prepare to be amazed.

Help and advice about keeping kids safe online: 

  • Internet Matters has a range of ‘how-to’ guides, including age specific advice to help you get the conversation started.
  • The NSPCC has a wealth of ‘Be share aware’ and other online safety advice.
  • Net Aware is another excellent resource with reviews on the apps, games and sites children are likely to be using, along with any potential risks.
  • Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (CEOP) is a law enforcement agency and helps keep children and young people safe from sexual abuse and grooming online.
  • Thinkuknow has education materials for children, parents and carers to learn about online safety.

Coronavirus Research

University College London is running a study into the psychological and social effects of Covid-19 in the UK. The results are being used to understand the effects of the virus and social distancing measures on mental health and loneliness in the UK and to inform government advice and decisions. They ar looking for adults in UK who are happy to take part and spread the word about the study.

Participation involves answering a 10-minute online survey now and then answering a shorter follow-up survey once a week whilst social isolation measures are in place. To take part, visit:https://redcap.idhs.ucl.ac.uk/surveys/?s=TTXKND8JMK

Coronavirus Testing

Anyone in Hertfordshire with suspected coronavirus symptoms is encouraged to get themselves tested.  Residents who have a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste should either order a test kit to be sent to their home or book themselves a test at one of the drive-through centres. The website to arrange a COVID-19 test for yourself or a family member is www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

The range of testing locations and methods that are available to people who live or work in Hertfordshire can be found here (pdf).

Creative Ideas for the Communities who have no access to the internet

Recognising that many of those people most in need of social contact may not have access to the internet, Fun Palaces', which runs an annual celebration of culture organised by local people for their own communities, has organised a project called ‘Tiny Revolutions of Connection’. They have gathered together ideas that allow people to be creative while connecting with others locally. Ideas can be downloaded here to share with people who do not have access to the internet.

Domestic abuse

The Government has published guidance on support for victims of domestic abuse and domestic abuse safe accommodation provision.

Face Coverings

The new rules on mandatory face coverings on public transport in England came into force on Monday 15 June. There are some exemptions that are currently in place: non-exhaustive list of exemptions.

How to make a face covering: PHE has published instructions on how to make and wear a cloth face covering. You can find the guidance here.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing.

A new multi-agency group – which includes our mental health service providers - has been set up to oversee the mental health and wellbeing support available to Hertfordshire residents and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hertfordshire’s Behaviour Change Unit is supporting the group. 

Information for children, young people and their parents is available at www.justtalkherts.org

NHS

NHS information about Coronavirus

Changes at Watford General Hospital - Watford General Hospital has stopped treating patients with minor injuries and illnesses between 8am and 8pm. Until further notice, patients with minor injuries should attend the Urgent Treatment Centre in Hemel Hempstead instead, which is open between 8am and 10pm every day. Watford General is supporting Barnet Hospital by temporarily treating paediatric emergency patients from the Hertsmere area. 

Prepayment energy meter

Have a pre-paid energy meter - then your supplier will try to help you find ways to keep your energy supply connected if you can’t top up your meter because of coronavirus. If you can't top up, please tell your supplier as soon as possible, their contact details are on their website or on your bill. Advice on what to do If you:

Scams

Beware of Coronavirus scams and council tax scams - please do not give out any bank details.

Travel

New measures have been announced for UK borders to protect against a second wave of the coronavirus, COVID-19. From 8 June, there will be new rules in place for entering the UK, and these rules will apply to residents and visitors.

When these rules are in place, everyone will need to provide journey and contact details when travelling to the UK and self-isolate during their first 14 days once inside the UK. Full details are available here.

As the situation on COVID-19 evolves, Public Health England is liaising with Local Authorities and partners. Guidance for the public, as well as clinical and non-clinical settings is being updated regularly and can be accessed on the GOV.UK collection page. 

The latest travel advice.

Use of ibuprofen

The Commission on Human Medicines’ Expert Working Group on COVID-19 has concluded that there is insufficient scientific evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and susceptibility to contracting COVID-19 or worsening of its symptoms. They advise that patients can take paracetamol or ibuprofen when self-medicating for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever and headache, and should follow NHS advice if they have any questions or if symptoms get worse.

Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum (WISH)

WISH has published further advice relating to coronavirus and the waste management industry.


 This page was last updated on 2 September 2020