Coronavirus

WELCOME TO OUR CORONAVIRUS WEB PAGE

In an attempt to provide relevant information for club members on the pandemic as it impacts on motorists and classic car owners in particular, we have added this Coronavirus page to the club website.

It will include topical advice, both national and local, and we hope that members will find it useful.

VACCINE PASSPORT SCAMS

Action Fraud has received over 700 reports from members of the public about fake emails purporting to be from the NHS. The emails claim to be able to provide people with a “digital passport” that “proves you have been vaccinated against COVID-19”. These emails are fake, and the links within them lead to genuine-looking websites that steal your personal and financial information.

How to protect yourself:

In the UK, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.

  • The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
  • The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking passwords.
  • The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
  • The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.  
  • Your vaccination status can be obtained for free through the official NHS app, NHS website, or by calling the NHS on 119.


How to report scams:

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, you can report it by forwarding the email to: report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages can also be reported by forwarding them to the number: 7726 (it’s free of charge).

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

CHANGES TO RULES ON SELF ISOLATION

The rules on self-isolation have now changed. 
 
People who are double jabbed or aged under 18 are no longer legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. 

Instead of self-isolating, those who are double jabbed and under 18s identified as close contacts are advised to get a free PCR test as soon as possible.
 
Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age.
 
Please remember that if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time, you must still self-isolate and arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible.

DON’T BECOME COMPLACENT

Dorset Police is reminding residents and visitors not to become complacent and to continue to stick with the current COVID-19 restrictions to help halt the spread of the virus.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases is increasing across England, mainly involving the Delta variant, and cases in Dorset are highest the younger age groups, particularly among the 15 to 24 year olds.

There are still some limited restrictions in place. People should only meet others inside in groups of up to six people or with members of two households. This rule is also in force in pubs and restaurants. Local authority licensing teams will be visiting venues to ensure compliance continues. 

People can also meet others outside, such as private gardens or public spaces, but this is capped at 30 people. 

Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya, of Dorset Police, said: “I understand some people are frustrated that we did not enter Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap as predicted on Monday 21 June. However, we are seeing a steep rise in cases in Dorset and elsewhere in the country and it is imperative we all do our bit to limit the spread of the virus.

“We are asking all members of our community, including young people and visitors, to continue to follow the rules on meeting others indoors and outside. Whether it be catching up with friends and family or watching the Euros tournament over the coming weeks please remember to wash hands regularly, give each other space and throw open windows and doors to provide fresh air.

“If we all stick with these rules and advice together, we stand a far better chance of reaching the next step of the roadmap and seeing greater freedom.”

FREE RAPID COVID TESTS

Every adult in England can access free rapid COVID-19 tests. They’re quick and easy to do, and can be sent directly to your home. 

You can find out how to obtain a test kit at https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

You can also collect testing kits from local pharmacies – a list of pharmacies can be found on the government website.

EVERYONE CAN HAVE TWO COVID TESTS A WEEK

Every adult in England can now access twice-weekly rapid COVID-19 testing, either at home, at a test site or through their employer (if they provide testing).

As we move through the roadmap out of lockdown, vaccines alone won’t be enough to prevent further spikes of COVID-19, so regular testing is key to be sure you’re doing all you can to protect yourself, your family and your friends.

You can find out more information by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS EASING FROM 17 MAY

The government has announced that step 3 in the roadmap out of lockdown will go ahead on Monday 17 May.

Groups of up to six people or two households can meet indoors (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible) 

Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30 people 

If you are meeting friends and family, you can make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance from them, but you should still be cautious. 

CHANGES TO REGULATIONS FROM MONDAY 12 APRIL

 Non-essential retail can reopen

Personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons can reopen

Public buildings such as libraries and community centres can reopen

Outdoor hospitality venues can reopen, with table service only

Most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks and drive-in performances can reopen

Indoor leisure and sports facilities can reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household/bubble

Self-contained accommodation will be able to open for overnight stays with your household/bubble 

Indoor parent and child groups of up to 15 people can restart

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events can take place for up to 15 people

Care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits

Libraries and other public services will begin to reopen from 12 April: 

  • Libraries will be reintroducing browsing and borrowing in person, bookable public computers and bookable study tables in three careful stages during April.
  • Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre will reopen some facilities: the gym, swimming pools, sports hall and squash courts (accessed in line with government guidance)
  • Tourist Information Centres in Bournemouth and Poole will reopen 
  • Hengistbury Head, Kingfisher Barn and Stanpit Marsh Visitor Centres will reopen, including shops 
  • Self-catering accommodation at Bournemouth Beach Lodges and Steamer Point Lodge will reopen 

Retail facilities and some outdoor catering facilities will reopen at Highcliffe Castle, Poole Museum and the Russell Cotes Museum 

CHANGES FROM 29 MARCH 2021

On this date, the ‘stay at home’ rule was lifted, but many restrictions still remain in place. 

The key rules are: 

Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either six people (the rule of six) or two households are now allowed  

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, can reopen  

People can take part in formally organised outdoor sports  

People should continue to work from home where they can  

People should minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes  

Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.  

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR COVID VACINATIONS

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council and Dorset Council, in partnership with Public Health Dorset, are offering support to help people get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments safely.

Anyone who needs support to get to their vaccination appointment can contact their council’s COVID-19 helpline for advice and information about local public transport, taxi services and community transport. Both Dorset Council and BCP Council are also offering support to those eligible towards the costs of a taxi journey to local vaccination appointments.

To speak to someone about the travel support available, BCP Council residents should contact the community response helpline on 0300 1237052 or complete the online form. Residents in the Dorset Council area should call 01305 221000 or complete the online form.

The transport companies involved in the scheme have been reviewed by Public Health Dorset to ensure they have the necessary COVID-secure measures in place. This includes the use of face coverings and plastic screens as well as enhanced cleaning measures.

For those who are housebound, a roving service is well underway and is being coordinated locally with GPs. Those who require this service will be contacted about when they’ll be visited for their vaccination.

Both councils can only answer questions about travelling to vaccination appointments. Dorset is working to the national guidance on priority groups so residents will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to book an appointment. More information about the vaccination programme in Dorset can be found on the NHS Dorset CCG website: https://www.dorsetccg.nhs.uk/vaccinations/.

COVID TESTING FOR UNPAID CARERS

Unpaid carers in Dorset now have access to weekly lateral flow device (LFD) testing.

One in three people who have Covid-19 show no symptoms and can therefore spread it without knowing. The aim of asymptomatic testing is to identify cases quickly and to break the chains of transmission.  

It is important that unpaid carers can commit to attending a test site up to twice a week for six weeks.

Unpaid carers can go online to book a test at one of the community testing sites.

Visit: https://www.publichealthdorset.org.uk/your-health/protecting-your-health/book-an-lfd-test.aspx

TRAVELING FOR YOUR VACCINATION

There are currently more than 20 sites delivering COVID-19 vaccinations across Dorset. Travelling to a vaccination appointment is considered an essential journey. If you are travelling for your appointment please follow this NHS guidance: Where possible, please use your own transport. If you are not able to do so and are relying on someone to transport you, use someone within your support bubble. This will reduce your risk of catching or spreading the virus and reduce the risk to other people within your household or bubble. If you need to use public transport or a known COVID-secure taxi service, please stick to the current guidance – for example socially distance where possible, wear a mask and use hand sanitiser.

VACCINATION SCAM WARNING

There is a warning about fraudulent text messages and emails many people in the Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (BCP) region have been receiving which claim to be from the NHS, offering the opportunity to sign up for coronavirus vaccinations.

The texts or email will ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online website form (which looks very similar to the real NHS website) where they are prompted to input personal and, most significantly, financial details.

Everyone should remember that the vaccination is free of charge and no official contact from the NHS will ask for your bank account or card details, ask for your PIN or banking passwords, arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine or ask for documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or utility bills.

If you receive a telephone call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk


WHEN YOU COULD BE FINED FOR DRIVING YOUR CLASSIC IN LOCKDOWN

We have received details on the following story from a fellow MG owner in the Winchester area which illustrates that the police are being very strict at the moment on non-essential journeys.

“A friend of a friend last month was out with his wife for a short drive in Winchester to exercise his old Land Rover which had not moved for a while and was stopped by the police and they were each fined £200 for being out without a lawful excuse.

“What more can I say, this time the lockdown means lockdown! We do not want to be labelled with the `can`t be bothered` part of society. “

LOCKDOWN MOTS

During the first national lockdown, the Government granted a six-month MOT extension to vehicles where the MOT certificate was due to expire after 30 March, this was done to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus and as a result of some MOT testing stations closing – although many remained open.

This time there is no such provision during the current lockdown with garages remaining open for essential repairs and clearing the backlog of MOTs caused by the last lockdown.

Therefore, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is roadworthy, taxed and MOT’d, and failure to do so may result in legal repercussions. Of course, driving during lockdown is only advised if essential, so if you don’t need to commute, and your local shop is within walking distance, then another option would be to take your car off the road and SORN it.

For those who are shielding, but need access to their vehicles for essential travel, the picture is a bit more confused. Currently, gov.uk states that: ‘You must not take your vehicle for its MOT if you’re shielding because you’re clinically extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus.’

However, it informs readers that some MOT stations will collect your vehicle, carry out an MOT, and return it if you’re being shielded. Contact your local MOT centre to find out if they offer this service.

As before, one big and contentious issue is tax, as motorists are unable to tax their vehicle without a valid MOT. Back in March 2020 those unable to MOT and consequently tax their vehicle due to self-isolation were advised to SORN their vehicles, but there was no advice for the extremely vulnerable who could not get their vehicles MOT’d, yet still required them to go to buy basic necessities. With supermarket delivery slots booked out weeks in advance, and no family nearby, not everyone has the option of completely self-isolating.

BCP COUNCIL UNVEILS AMBITIOUS BUDGET TO BOUNCE BACK FROM COVID-19

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole authority has announced its proposed budget for 2021/22 with an emphasis on supporting the local economy recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Among the highlights are: Council tax frozen where possible / £10 million to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) projects / £7.5 million to improve children’s services / £13 million for services for vulnerable adults / £340,000 to tackle anti-social behaviour, recruiting six additional Community Safety Accreditation Officers, Youth Anti-Social Behaviour Officers and resources to tackle unauthorised encampments / £2.25m in regeneration, economic development and planning / £1.1m extra for highways maintenance and street cleansing / £0.24m to support the climate and ecological emergency and the creation of a new £50 million Futures Fund for infrastructure investment.