Today, we have outlined how the unprecedented measures announced by the Government in response to the coronavirus will affect its services, buildings and events, and how it will work with the voluntary sector and local communities to support elderly and vulnerable people in the city.
People across the country are being asked to avoid gatherings and public places such as pubs and theatres which will inevitably have a major impact on access to public buildings such as leisure centres, libraries, council offices and major venues as well as planned events over the coming weeks.
As a result, decisions are having to be made to either close buildings temporarily or reduce access to help reduce the spread of the virus and ensure all efforts can be focused on supporting essential services such as care for elderly and vulnerable people.
Government advice for all unnecessary contact to be avoided will particularly affect vulnerable and elderly people. The council is looking to ensure they get the help they need through its existing services and by working with the voluntary sector and faith groups to encourage local people and communities to look out for their neighbours and offer support where they can.
Council staff who are able to work from home such as support staff based in offices will be doing so from now to help reduce the spread of the virus and protect their front line workers who cannot work remotely.
Nottingham City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen, said: “The latest measures announced by the Government will have a major impact on how people go about their daily lives. We’ve had to take some difficult decisions to close buildings that are a major part of city life but it will enable us to help limit the spread of coronavirus and focus our efforts on essential services which support the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“The council already provides vital care services to elderly and vulnerable people across the city but clearly the advice to avoid social contact will affect many more of our residents. It’s really heartening to see how much goodwill there is out there from local people wanting to look out for their neighbours and offer help if needed. We’ll be working with the voluntary sector and faith groups to support those efforts however we can.”
Nottingham City Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Sally Longford, said: “It’s likely that further measures will be introduced by the Government over the coming days and weeks to try to limit the spread of coronavirus. We’ll provide regular updates on what these mean for the city and services as well as vital information from Public Health England via our website, social media and local media.
“We urge everyone to please follow the advice about hand washing thoroughly and regularly with soap for 20 seconds and staying at home if experiencing a fever or new, persistent cough. Nottingham is a city whose friendly, neighbourly residents we know will look out for one another, which is more important now than ever.”
Latest update on service, buildings and events affected
We are working hard to ensure that most council services will continue, such as bin collections, parks and support for those facing homelessness. However, the following buildings and venues will be closed until further notice from either tonight or tomorrow following the national advice to avoid social contact and large gatherings
- All leisure centres
- All heritage sites and museums including Wollaton Hall and Newstead (except parks/grounds)
- Day centres
- Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall
- National Ice Centre
All our Nottingham City Libraries will be closed from Friday, though will be open Wednesday and Thursday to allow people to borrow books and access some services before libraries close.
Any books, cds & loans services currently on loan will be extended to the end of April, and any fines for books will be suspended, so customers will not need to attend libraries to pay fines during this interim period.
Our Home Library Service and Asian Home Library Service have been suspended owing to the nature of the service.
Our computers will be available for customers to use during Wednesday and Thursday, but customers will be asked to request cleaning facilities from staff and clean after each use.
All library events & activities in March and April will be postponed and suspended with immediate effect to help minimise non-essential travel.
All Nottingham City Council outdoor events scheduled between now and the end of May are being either cancelled or re-scheduled to a later date.
Nottingham North Jobs Fair has also been postponed.