Regular Coronavirus updates from James Sumner

COVID-19 Update 22/05/2020

It’s been another reasonably full week of announcements, although in the main not affecting us directly, so I’m only going to cover the points that seem most relevant.

Government is continuing to flesh out its plan to gradually ease the lockdown, and as with all plans this may be altered.

Updated symptoms

Government has now added to the list of official symptoms linked to COVID-19.  These are symptoms which had been identified reasonably early on.  However, there was a lack of clarity on when they tended to occur once someone contracts COVID-19.  Having conducted a significant amount of research, Government now feel confident to add them to the official list of symptoms.

Those symptoms either individually or in combination are as follows:

  • A new continuous cough
  • high temperature,
  • loss or change in, your normal sense of smell (New)
  • loss or change in, your normal sense of taste (New)

Testing

Government announced this week that anyone over the age of 5 years old and with symptoms can now book a test to see if they have COVID-19.  Should anyone need to book a test the link to do so is here.  The instructions on how to conduct a swab test using a home test kit are available here.

Please take the time to read the instructions as there are reports of home testing kits becoming invalid when sent for analysis where samples have been incomplete, damaged, or incorrectly sealed.  Those tests have had to be sent out afresh, conducted again, and the results have been consequently delayed.

Government have also announced that they want to be able to increase the number of daily tests available to 200,000 by 1st June 2020 and they appear to be on target to reach that goal.

As some of you may have heard last night (21/05/2020), Government now have access to an on the spot test which gives a result in approximately 20 minutes. This is going to be trialled in Hampshire to ensure that it works effectively and consistently before it can be rolled out more widely.

Anti-Body tests

After reaching agreement with Roche, Government has announced that they will be rolling out 10 million anti-body tests from next week with a focus quite rightly on front line NHS and social care workers before rolling this out more widely.

Contact tracing

Government is currently on track to have 25,000 contact tracers in place by 1st June 2020, this will give Government the ability to track around 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day.  This is in addition to Government’s contact tracing app, which will be able to do a lot of the heavy lifting and be more likely to trace those who are casual encounters which traditional contact tracing has trouble in tracking down.

Vaccine

Government has provided backing to a global licensing agreement signed between Oxford University and AstraZeneca for producing any vaccine that becomes available.  This is anticipated to produce 100 million doses once a vaccine is proved to work and has been signed off as safe by regulators.  This is very good news but a vaccine is far from proven so we mustn’t get our hopes up too soon.

Email invoicing

We’ll be going live with our email invoicing next week.  I’m pleased to say the majority of you will be getting your invoice via email.  Thank you to everyone for responding and letting us know your preferences.

Bank Holiday

And finally, it’s another Bank Holiday on Monday so can I ask everyone to continue acting responsibly by following Government guidance.  We’ve come a long way and we can’t let our concentration slip.

As ever stay safe and keep up the good work.

Kind regards

James

 

COVID-19 Update 15/05/2020

This week has been rather full of announcements so I will try and keep this as short as possible to save everyone from information overload.

COVID-19 continues to provide challenges, but through everyone’s collective efforts the virus is now coming under control to such an extent that Government now feels satisfied that it can ease the lockdown in a very measured and deliberate manner.  We have now very much moved into a phase of managing the risks posed by COVID-19 by controlling its spread and staying alert.

Developing a vaccine is still a high priority for Governments around the world but, as always, a note of caution is needed as scientific research is rarely straightforward.  The World Health Organisation has signalled that if a vaccine cannot be found COVID-19 may stay in the general population for many years and it will need to be managed with treatments rather than a cure.

Changes to Lockdown

Perhaps the most important update for people on a day to day basis is that from Wednesday 13th May 2020 the Government eased Lockdown with the following changes:

  • You are no longer limited to leaving your home for exercise once a day; this is now unlimited.
  • Garden Centres are now allowed to open with social distancing measures in place.
  • Golf courses have now been reopened with social distancing measures in place.
  • House viewings are now allowed with social distancing.
  • One member of a household can now meet one member of another household in a public space i.e. parks, whilst observing social distancing measures.

Further information can be found on the following links:

Staying Alert and Safe Social Distancing

Staying Safe Outside Your Home

We still need to stay alert of what’s going on around us and not allow ourselves to become complacent too soon.  As I’ve said previously this is a marathon not a sprint, and a steady determination will play a big part in getting through this.

Many businesses which have closed voluntarily are now being encouraged to reopen and Government has released detailed guidance on how they can safely reopen.

On reading the government guidance for the easing of the lockdown restrictions, I was rather pleased to find that we had already put in place the majority of the measures suggested for businesses before lockdown was announced.

Changes to the Furlough Scheme

The Chancellor announced on Wednesday that the Furlough Scheme was being extended to October, although changes are anticipated with employers likely to be expected to pick up some of the costs.  Estimates suggest a quarter of the UK workforce is benefitting from this scheme, and its extension may well prove pivotal in how quickly as a country we can bounce back from this.

Sky Lanterns

The releasing of sky lanterns is to be discouraged.  There are discussions ongoing in Government whether they should be banned because of the havoc that they can cause especially in the semi-rural and rural communities by setting fire to woodlands and grassland.  Farmers in particular have been badly affected with loss of crops and in some instances livestock.

As the saying goes “what goes up must come down”, and you don’t know where it will come down!

Dogs on Leads

If you’re taking your dog/s for a walk please could you keep them on a lead.  Please refer to Park Rule 30 below:

  1. You must keep any dog on a leash not exceeding 1.5 metres in length and must not allow it to despoil the park.

Face coverings

Government has announced that the use of face coverings (homemade masks) can be of limited benefit in certain circumstances namely when using Public Transport or when social distancing cannot be followed effectively.  They’ve also published a guide on how to make your own face covering.  Government are discouraging the use of medical grade masks as they want to make sure the supply of those are secured for the NHS and Social Care settings.

Antibody Tests

Yesterday Public Health England approved an antibody test developed by Roche which is being marketed as 100% accurate in detecting COVID-19 antibodies – the markers that show you’ve had the virus.  However, due to the variation in severity of the symptoms it’s not clear how long antibodies remain and what level of protection they offer.  So very much a positive, but a note of caution is still required.

Email invoicing

On the 28th May many of you will be receiving an email invoice for the first time.  I will be giving a specific update next week on what you can expect.

Household waste

And finally, Bracknell Forest’s waste recycling facility at Longshot Lane will be open on Monday 18th May 2020 with limited capacity. They will be offering a new service called Click and Tip where you book a timeslot online to visit.  Further information can be found here.

As ever, stay safe and keep up the good work that has got us this far.

James Sumner

COVID-19 Update 07/05/2020

As I mentioned last week tomorrow is a bank holiday and I thought it was an ideal opportunity to send an update ahead of time rather than disturb you over the weekend.

Government is preparing to ease the terms of the lockdown.  We should not expect to see any drastic changes at this stage and it is more likely that the existing framework will be tweaked.  The Prime Minister is expected to announce changes to the lockdown on Sunday, with a likely change to the phrase we’ve all become used to of late, “Stay at Home.  Protect the NHS.  Save Lives”.

As part of the easing of the lockdown Government has also been developing a smart phone app as part of their emerging strategy of Test, Track and Trace.  This is currently being tested on the Isle of White.  If this is successful it will form a key part of Government’s strategy as it will allow greater automation of the Track and Trace elements of the strategy and will allow Government to see if there are any “hotspots” of infection appearing.

Energy suppliers switching

As many of you will be aware the oil price has dropped drastically in the last few weeks.  This presents an opportunity for those of you not in a contract with your gas provider to negotiate potential savings.

Box hedge Caterpillar

We’ve been made aware that one of our residents has recently had their box hedge ruined by Box Caterpillar and we’ve asked our ecologists to give residents a steer on how best to deal with it.

As a species Box Caterpillar is a new arrival to our shores, and it seems increasingly likely that they will become an issue in this country.  There are various websites suggesting methods of getting rid of them, but it seems ‘hand picking’ is good in the first instance.  We don’t have any information if, like some other caterpillars, they have a self-defence mechanism making being picked problematic to you so I would suggest wearing a pair of gloves as a precautionary measure.

If you are disposing of cuttings from a box hedge it would probably be best to hot compost them (if possible) which should get rid of any caterpillars and their eggs.

Further information can be found on the Royal Horticultural Society website.

VE Day

Last week I mentioned that Government changed the day of the Bank Holiday to tomorrow (8th May 2020).  The circumstances we find ourselves in do somewhat negate the fact that this is a day of celebration, however, the national organisers of VE75 hope that some aspects of this anniversary can still take place in ways that allow people to celebrate while following the essential social distancing advice that ensures everyone remains safe.

One of the suggestions is;

While the Pipers are playing Battle’s O’er, and the recorded speech by Prime Minister Churchill is being broadcast by the BBC into our homes at 3pm on the 8th May, we would still like to encourage the people of our great country and abroad to stand at 3pm within the safety of their living rooms, front or back gardens, outside their front doors or balconies if they have one, and undertake the Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW II, using the following words. “TO THOSE WHO GAVE SO MUCH, WE THANK YOU,” using this unique opportunity to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we can all enjoy the freedom we share today.

Further information can be found online.

There are also discussions of the celebrations being reorganised for later in the year, but we will have to wait and see if that’s feasible.  As a reminder to everyone this is not an opportunity to organise a party with your friends and neighbours.  We’ve made a lot of good progress as a country and we can’t let that unravel now.

Email invoicing

I’d like to remind everyone who has registered their email address with us that we’ll be switching to email invoicing this month.  This will automatically come into effect unless you have ‘opted out’.

As ever, stay safe and keep up the good work that has got us this far.

James Sumner

 

COVID-19 Update 01/05/2020

The Prine Minister is back at work following 3 weeks recovering from COVID-19.  It is good to have him back at the helm and this will certainly help in setting the direction from Government over the coming weeks and months.

Testing

Government is continuing to roll out testing to more of the population and guidance on who is eligible is now available. If you are an essential worker and are displaying symptoms you can now book a test on this link.  At the same time Government is now trying to establish the spread of the virus within communities and 100,000 people are being randomly selected to take part across 315 Local Authorities.

A little after this email is sent out, we will find out if Government has hit the target it set itself at the start of April of conducting 100,000 tests a day by the 30th April.

Park Operations

As you will all be aware, we are keeping our processes under ongoing review and adapting our operations as appropriate.  We are still operating at reduced staffing levels to more effectively follow social distancing guidelines.  Our grounds team are prioritising urgent jobs and cyclical maintenance items which can be conducted individually.

Just a reminder if you want to come into the office to pay your rent or pitch fee, we are only doing this on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Park Assembly

Yesterday, members of the Park Assembly successfully held a test meeting via Zoom to establish if using video conferencing is a viable method of holding meetings while we are unable to meet in person.

Zoom

Following on from a conversation I had on the Park yesterday, many of you are now using video conferencing applications to communicate with friends and family.  Before the current crisis these where mainly the preserve of large businesses.  I’m conscious that using these may be a little daunting for some.

Video tutorials for Zoom can be found on this link.  Other options are available for example Skype, WhatsApp and others.

May Bank Holiday

Something that took me by surprise is that the upcoming Bank Holiday is officially on Friday 8th May 2020 (rather than Monday 4th May) to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.  Further information can be found on the following link.  Please be reminded that the office will be closed on Friday 8th May 2020.

Stay safe and keep up the good work that has got us this far.

 

COVID-19 Update 24/04/2020

We have reached the end of a less frantic week, but a lot is happening in the world at large.

It’s hard to believe that over a month has passed since the Prime Minister announced the lockdown restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Human trials of a possible vaccine started in the UK yesterday, but realistically this is still some way from providing a viable solution.  In the meantime, we need to continue to follow the guidelines on social distancing, self-isolation etc. that have helped to bring about a drop in the number of daily deaths and confirmed cases.

The figures are starting to indicate that we may be through the worst of it but, as I said last week, this is a marathon not a sprint and we’ve still got a way to go before the finish line is in sight.

Governments around the world are now considering the best way to come out of lockdown and some have started to ease restrictions where possible.  I am certain this will be a regular topic for the daily government briefings, especially now as testing has been increased to provide frontline key workers with the reassurance that they are not infected.

Thankfully this is a short update from me today.  Stay safe and keep up the good work that has got us this far.

 

COVID-19 update 17/04/2020

We find ourselves at the end of another week and the world is not the same and quite possibly won’t be for quite some time.  Government announced (yesterday 16/04/2020) that lockdown will be continuing for another 3 weeks until they can be certain that the data is showing a drop in the number of cases of COVID-19 being transmitted from person to person.  This proves that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we’ll need to live with this for quite some time.

On a more positive note our grounds team have been back to working full days from Wednesday 15th April 2020 onwards.  There will be fewer team members on site each day to ensure that our team can follow social distancing practices effectively, but our productivity will remain as high as possible in these uncertain times.

This week we have also seen the announcement that two of the largest pharmaceutical companies, GSK and Sanofi, are working together to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

In more good news, many of you will have seen the efforts of those raising money to help the NHS, especially the well published story of Captain Tom Moore, a 99 year old war veteran who vowed to walk 100 lengths of his garden before his 100th birthday. At the time of writing he has raised more than £20m to support the NHS.  It is truly inspirational to see this kind of achievement and demonstrates the calm resolve that will be needed to help us all get through this.

Social distancing

With the announcement of a further 3 weeks of lockdown in place, please can I remind everyone of the social distancing guidance provided by Government.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow this as much as practically possible as ignoring the rules puts individuals and the wider community at risk.

Scams

As I’ve mentioned previously scammers are taking advantage of the situation so please be extra vigilant.  Further information can be found on Which and Ofcom websites.

Change to the Furlough Scheme

And finally, just as I was about to send this out I’ve had an email from our trade body outlining the changes to Governments Furloughing scheme, in short these are as follows:

  • Government has changed the cut of date from 28th February 2020 to 19th March 2020, the day before the Chancellors announcement, meaning more workers are eligible for the furlough scheme
  • Government have also changed their RTI (Real Time Information) criteria, amending the date on which employees must have been on the payroll to benefit from the Furlough Scheme. Further information is available here

As always, please stay safe and take care of yourselves.

Kind Regards

James Sumner

 

COVID-19 update 16-04-2020

I hope you are all well.

Since I last wrote, the impact of coronavirus on our everyday lives continues.  I know how difficult it has been for many, and my first thoughts are for you and your loved ones’ wellbeing.  I’d also like to share my appreciation for the continuing efforts of NHS staff, and other key workers, doing a really amazing job in such difficult circumstances.

We will all be aware that the Prime Minister has been admitted and released from hospital after contracting COVID-19 and we wish him and all other patients a speedy recovery.  We also offer our condolences to the families of those who have lost the battle.

Visitors

Please, please follow the appeal letter from the Prime Minister as to staying at home and social distancing – so please no family visits (unless dropping off supplies) and no parties.

Please can everyone bear in mind that as many residents and tenants are now at home more often you will be seeing people who you wouldn’t normally see around park.  We are aware that some non-residents have been using the Park as part of their daily exercise and as a precautionary measure we have put up signs at our entrances asking them to restrict the use of the Park.

I’ve included links to Government’s advice including Staying at home and away from others (social distancing) and Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do.

If you or your family are caring for yourself or others I include advice from Government on this link providing unpaid care.

Pets

What is the advice for residents who own pets?

There is currently no hard-scientific evidence to suggest this is a likely means of COVID-19 transmission. However, until there is evidence confirming or disproving this Public Health England are advising that people with pets wash their hands before and after touching them. Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people with animals.

Email invoices

Many of you will have received the email I sent regarding our switch to email invoicing. I will provide an update before we go live with this to explain a little more on how the system will be working.

Our emergency out of hours telephone number is 07710 823991. Please only call if it is an emergency.

Stay safe everyone.

James Sumner

 

COVID-19 update 03-04-2020

I hope all of you are keeping well.

Since I last wrote to you, the impact of coronavirus on our everyday lives has become even greater.  I know how difficult it has been for many and my first thoughts are for yours and your loved ones well being.  I’d also like to share my appreciation for the heroic efforts of the NHS staff, and other key workers, doing an amazing job in such difficult circumstances.  What a truly incredible effort!

This week has been a little less frantic than last week with most of the announcements from Government being focused around the testing regime they are taking forwards, while additional guidance has also been given for businesses and healthcare.  As a result, this is a shorter update than previously but I hope you still find this useful.

Mental Health and Well Being

With many needing to either distance or isolate themselves completely from their friends and loved ones, Government has published a guide to help with individuals’ mental health and well being on this link.  A great deal of the advice is about keeping your brain engaged and yourself occupied; be it reading a book, playing a game, gardening or setting yourself goals – the possibilities are vast if your put your mind to it.

Bracknell Forest Information Pack

We have received a delivery of several information packs from Bracknell Forest Council in relation to COVID-19.  The information pack includes health advice and a directory of services that you may find useful.  I have attached a PDF copy to this email for you to take a look at.

I would like to draw everyone’s attention to one saddening item included in the information pack.  Unfortunately there has been a sharp increase in the number of scams both locally and nationally in the last few weeks.  Please can I ask everyone to be vigilant.

On a related matter we have become aware that there were two thefts of cars in the Winkfield Row area.  I believe these thefts where vehicles with key less ignition where the thieves have scanned the keys remotely.  The Police advise you to always keep your car key fob as far away from the front door as possible, and preferably store your keys in a metal tin or Faraday security bag to prevent their signal being transmitted.

Payments

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to direct debit; this will really help reduce the need to visit the office at this moment.  For those who still need to visit the office to pay, please can I remind you that Wednesdays and Thursdays have been put aside for those coming in to make payments.  To keep everyone as safe as possible we are using a one-in one-out system for visitors to the office.

As you are all aware we are trying to limit the number of people coming into the office and have therefore introduced a staff rota to avoid having too many of our team in close proximity each day.  If you do need to speak with someone we would ask you to do this by phone or email if possible.

If it is absolutely necessary to meet in person with a member of the team then we will arrange an appointment with you at the office.  This must be scheduled in advance so we can ensure that we limit the number of people in our office at any one time and that our meeting areas are cleaned between each appointment.

Email Invoicing

The current situation has prompted us to bring forward the introduction of invoicing by email.  Thanks to our software developer we now have the ability to send invoices by email and I will be in contact with you again next week with further information about this.

And Finally…

It is very clear from walking around the park that everyone is making a big effort to observe the social distancing guidelines from the Government.  Thank you to each and every one of you for your efforts in this difficult time – we really appreciate your help.  The kind comments we have received from a number of residents have cheered up the team no end!

Stay safe.

James Sumner

COVID-19 update 27-03-2020

Concerns on paying the Pitch Fee or your Rent

The Government has announced help for individuals and businesses and published details of the support available online.

We are mindful that with the number of announcements being made in very short timescales that some information is not easy to find, or it has not been passed on as promptly as we would like.

Our trade organisation, the BH&HPA (British Holiday and Home Parks Association) and the Chamber of Commerce are following through with detailed practical advice on government announcements daily. This means that we are following the best advice available to keep the business as healthy as possible, and we will be using every endeavour to pass this on to residents and tenants alike.

This is an unprecedented situation across the country, indeed the world, and we will be applying as much forbearance as we can to help people by accepting part payments, or agreeing other individual terms.  The company will not be evicting people for payment shortfalls caused by this crisis as per Government’s policy of no evictions for 3 months, or where efforts have been made to manage the situation thereafter.

The 3 month “no eviction” policy is not yet set in stone as no one knows what the true scale of the pandemic will be, or how long it will take to resolve, and I will not be surprised to see further announcements on the subject.  We will endeavour to keep all of our staff, residents, and tenants abreast of developments by email updates as soon as practical.

If you have a specific query please let us know by telephoning us on 01344 884666 or by emailing us and we will try and help or advise you. We are all in this together.

Help for the Self Employed – Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

For those residents and tenants who are self-employed, the Government announced on Thursday (26/03/2020) that it will support self-employed individuals and members of partnerships by providing a grant of 80% of their monthly profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Further information is available online.

HMRC will calculate the size of the grant using the average monthly profits from self-assessment tax returns submitted for 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. The scheme will only be open to those with trading profits of less than £50,000 and where the majority of their income comes from self-employment.

The scheme will initially be open for a three month period and the self-employed will be able to make their first claim by the beginning of June 2020.

Individuals should contact HMRC now to check their eligibility and will be invited to apply once the scheme is operational.

Help in the Bracknell Forest Area

As I’m sure many of you will have heard there is a great drive to get individuals to help in these unprecedented times, and this has seen a surge in people offering to help the NHS in particular.  Bracknell Forest Council is following a similar process locally and is also looking for volunteers.  They are also asking any vulnerable people to make contact with Healthwatch Bracknell Forest on 01344 266911.

Further information is available online and guidance at the end of this message.

Water and Electric Meter readings

In line with the government’s advice on social distancing, we’ll be making some changes which will affect your meter readings this month.  All residents’ accounts will be billed using estimated readings.  We will be keeping this process under review and will return to actual readings as soon as practical.

Invoicing

Invoices should be arriving on everyone’s doorsteps as usual in the coming days.  We have been working with our software developer to design a system that gives us the ability to send out invoices to residents via email.  We anticipate having this developed and ready to activate before the end of next month.  Obviously we will seek your permission to use this method.

I, once again, would encourage those residents who may be on email, but are not receiving our email updates currently, to send us your email address as soon as possible so that you can be added onto the round robin list.  Please send your name, home address and email address to:

enquiries@warfieldpark.co.uk

SCAMS

We would also like to make everyone aware that there have been instances where individuals and gangs have taken advantage of the heightened sense of concern over COVID-19.  It is saddening to see that in such an uncertain time there are those who are seeking to take advantage of such circumstances for their own selfish benefit.  We would encourage everyone to be vigilant in these unprecedented times.  Further information is available from the Public Protection Partnership online.

And finally…

Before I sign off, you’ll be seeing members of our Grounds Team conducting general maintenance of the Park (and some pre planned work) from next week.  Clearly there will be restrictions on what they can do because of the current situation, but we will aim to maintain the Park to the usual high standard as far as possible.  Please be respectful of the latest social distancing guidelines from government by ensuring you are at least 2m (6ft) away from our team members at all times.

The coming days, weeks, indeed months, will be filled with uncertainty, but rest assured that we will try to help support you and the whole Warfield Park community. The impact of this is touching all of our lives and we’d like to reassure you that we’re here to help where we can.

James Sumner
Business Operations Coordinator

Bracknell Forest Support Info

COVID-19 update 24th March 2020

As I’m sure all of you will have seen last night the Prime Minister has, in effect, declared an all but total lockdown of the country. This is an unprecedented action during peace time and speaks of the seriousness of the issue we are facing individually and as a Nation.

Following the Prime Minister’s statement last night key Warfield Park staff were discussing provisional arrangements at approx. 21:00pm last night.  The Company’s Directors were updated of those initial discussions at approx. 21:30pm.  Initial guidance was published by Government late last night, on what premises are permitted to stay open and we have reviewed that early this morning.  Government guidance is that Residential Parks are currently able to remain open.

Therefore, we will be remaining open whilst the Government allows us to, and we will attempt to operate with a level of normality where possible, albeit with reduced staffing levels in line with Government guidance on social distancing.  There will normally be 2 – 4 members of staff performing business critical tasks in the office and 2 – 4 members of the grounds team conducting pre-planned works.  We will, as always, try to respond to queries and issues as quickly as we are able to, however, please be aware that we may not be in a position to respond as quickly as we would like.

Naturally this will affect how we are going to be operating during the coming weeks and possibly months ahead.  We will be keeping this under constant review and we many need to change our approach with little or no notice.

We are aware that Bracknell Forest Council has had to suspend brown bin collections due to staff shortages and have been advised that they will be catching up on this as soon as possible.  As WP staff will be prioritising business critical tasks in the coming weeks, we will not be able to assist with green waste collections; however, we will temporarily relax the Park Rules in regard to garden maintenance and upkeep until normal services reconvene. Residents must manage their green waste themselves in the interim period

I wish everyone all the best at this unprecedented time.

 

Update THURSDAY 19th MARCH 2020

Further to my email to all residents regarding COVID-19 on the 12th March 2020 I am providing an update following on from that.

This is a frequently changing situation and at times it is difficult to keep pace with that, and I hope everyone appreciates it is difficult to give accurate up to the minute information when that changes on an almost daily basis, and what is correct today may not be correct tomorrow.

As I’m sure many of you will be aware Government has announced almost unprecedented measures to keep the country going.  Government is stressing that we all need to remain calm and act in a proportional and rational manner while listening to the scientific advice.  We have I believe some of the best scientific expertise in the world.

Government Guidance

Please follow the below link to review the latest advice from government for;

Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults.

For those who prefer a brief summary the most relevant points are:

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or a new and continuous cough.
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible.
  • Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information.
  • Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs.
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
  • Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

Government strongly advises you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:

  • are over 70
  • have an underlying health condition
  • are pregnant

I will reiterate what I have said in my previous email, please can we ask residents to look out for each other especially if neighbours have pre-existing conditions which could leave them vulnerable.  If you do need to visit, remember, wash your hands before, during and after.

If you do use your car wipe down your steering wheel, gear stick, door handles, boot release catch, for example.

What we are doing

We are planning for the eventuality that Government may need to institute a Nationwide lock down. We don’t know what shape that may take so we are having to work with an unknown factor.  Based on what has happened in Europe any lock down will likely restrict travel to visiting the shops for food or going to and from work.  If that is the case, we do not currently plan on closing the office unless absolutely necessary.

However, if the office is closed, we are currently talking with our IT provider and software developer on how we can continue to function as a business with as little interruption as possible.  We’re currently pushing forwards with how best members of staff can work remotely where this is possible, so that we can continue to answer queries as they arise.  If we’re unable to make that work effectively, we will likely need to run a skeleton staff in the office of 2 to 3 people at any one time and this will likely be reflected with our grounds team.

As we have the emails for a great number of residents, we are currently working with our software developer on how best to enable residents to receive invoices and the Warfield Wire via email.  We are hoping to have this tested and operational by the middle of April.

What we’ve said previously (12/03/2020)

  • Please do not be offended if we do not shake hands; that is a key means of the virus being transmitted.
  • Please can we ask residents to avoid coming to the office unless absolutely necessary.  Please use the phone or email us.
  • Please can we ask residents to make sure they wash their hands regularly.  Please see Public Health England’s YouTube video on how to effectively wash your hands.
  • We will be installing hand sanitisers in the office as soon as we are able to obtain them from our suppliers.  Once they have been installed, we will be asking visitors if they have used them.
  • If you do need to come into the office to make a payment or talk to us please be patient as we will need to wash our hands and wipe down surfaces between each visitor.
  • Please do not be offended if you come to the office and we ask you to return home if you have a cough or look unwell.
  • For those residents who pay by cheque, card or cash please can we ask you to consider signing up for a direct debit as it means you will not have to visit the office and you also receive £2 a month discount off your pitch fee.  This can help you, your fellow residents, and us to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Please can we ask residents to provide us with up to date contact details especially email addresses and telephone numbers as this will help us keep you informed and enable us to contact your friends or family if necessary.

What you can do to help us

In addition to the changes which I announced in my previous email (12/03/2020) we are making the following updates to that.

  • Please stand approximately 1 metre (3 steps apart) from each other as much as possible, this helps minimise the chance of spreading COVID-19.
  • The office entrance will be closed as a point of course to deter unannounced visitors, and we will only answer the door when the bell is rung.  We will be disinfecting the doorbell, door handles and desktops.
  • If you are wanting to visit us, please can we ask you to contact us via phone or email to make an appointment.  This is so we can make sure we can wipe down surfaces before a visit.
  • If you need to visit us to make a payment, we ask that you only visit to pay on Wednesday and Thursday only between 10:00 – 12:45 and 14:00 – 15:45, so that we can concentrate our efforts specifically on those days.
  • If you are paying by cheque, please could you deposit this in an envelope in the office letterbox, and we will process these through the day.  If you would like a receipt, please let us know on the envelope and if we have an email address we will email a copy to you.
  • Again, for those residents who pay by cheque, card or cash please can we ask you to consider signing up for a direct debit as it means you will not have to visit the office and you also receive £2 a month discount off your pitch fee.  This can help you, your fellow residents, and us to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission to everyone.  A Direct Debit form will be included with the next edition of the Warfield Wire.
  • Please can we ask residents to provide us with up to date contact details especially email addresses and telephone numbers as this will help us keep you informed.  If any of your neighbours do have email and are not receiving our email updates, please tell them to let us know.

What to do if you have symptoms

Please see the following link to see governments advice to the public.

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

Government have also produced illustrated guidance on self-isolation.

Our thoughts are very much with those who have been affected and continue to be affected by this virus around the world.

Stay up to date

Remember, if you would like to know more about COVID-19 please only refer to reputable sources such as the Government website. Should you need to contact us, you can call us on 01344 884666 or email us. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for regular updates.