COVID-19 update: 24 March 2020

It is essential communities follow the up to date guidance from government and the NHS and that they are not causing unnecessary anxiety and concerns due to misinformation being shared with them, however well meaning.  Therefore, please only use the information in the briefing below and/or information and advice from Government or the NHS.


The position in Gloucestershire

  • The Strategic Coordination Group (SCG), chaired by Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health at the county council is the multi-agency group consisting of partners from across the county who is leading Gloucestershire’s response to Covid-19. The group is currently meeting weekly. It is supported by a “Tactical Coordination Group” (TCG) that is responsible for delivering the actions from the SCG.
  • Public Health England (PHE) has formally confirmed:
  •  32 cases in the county
  • 1 death in the county
  • 278 cases in South West


Total UK Tests: 83,945

Total UK Cases: 6,650

Total UK Deaths: 335

PHE is now prioritising testing for Covid-19 for those who require hospital care for pneumonia or acute respiratory illness. Wider community testing is no longer happening as a matter of course but PHE will continue to investigate if there are specific outbreaks, i.e. where several cases are connected, especially in a particular setting such as care homes.

Latest Government Guidance

As you will know: “The government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

    Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings. These measures are effective immediately. The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.”


    ·         Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

    ·           guidance on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises

    ·           Guidance about visiting prisons

    ·           Operational guidance for further education (FE) providers

    ·           apprenticeship programme response

    ·           Foreign Secretary advises all British travellers to return to the UK now

    ·           Coronavirus bill: summary of impacts

    ·           Guidance for British people travelling overseas

    ·           letter from the Minister of State for Care to recruitment agencies

    ·           guidance for domestic abuse safe accommodation provision

    ·           Updated guidance for health professionals

    ·           Updated guidance for employees, employers and businesses

    ·           Extra protection for businesses with ban on evictions for commercial tenants who miss rent payments 



    ·      A message went to all staff yesterday Monday 23 March with an update from the ICT service, encouraging staff to contact the digital desk, rather than phoning in and that monitors will be delivered on request, in order of priority


    ·      Following last night’s announcement a message to all staff 24.03.20 from Pete Bungard asking staff in essential services who can work from home to do so and all staff in non-essential services to stay at home, even if they cannot yet work from home


    ·      A further message to managers providing further advice and guidance will go out today



  • Sarah Scott was on BBC Radio Gloucestershire yesterday (Monday 23 March) giving advice re social distancing, isolating and shielding

Household Waste and Recycling Centres

  • All household waste recycling centres have closed with immediate effect. Residents should make full use of their kerbside waste collection service for recycling, green and food waste and general waste, which the district councils are making every effort to keep operational



  • All staff have now been advised to stay at home except where we are covering lone working for Registration Offices, which is being managed on a rota basis


  • Registration


  • All ceremonies are now being cancelled with immediate effect.  All birth registration appointments are being cancelled with immediate effect.  All death registrations will go ahead but with only one informant




  • There are a selected number of roles within the highway team that are considered key workers. The county council has moved to a temporary safety inspection policy which enables us to focus available resources on emergencies and priority repairs. In general, the approach will be to maximise the level of labour resources available by diverting resources from planned or programmed works to deal with reactive works as necessary



  • In light of new guidance on school closures issued by the Department for Education on Friday 20 March and over the weekend, the education team updated the advice developed on 19 March for county schools (attached). Following last night’s announcement (Monday 23 March) we have confirmed with schools that that these arrangements should continue for vulnerable children and children of key workers who cannot keep their children at home. Please note the situation is changing regularly and schools are being update daily on thw latest information and guidance
  • Schools have reported that many parents have heeded the latest guidance  and many have decided not to send their children into schools, with a lot fewer children arriving at school yesterday (Monday 23 March) than had applied for places on Friday
  • Free Schools Meals (FSM) for children attending school will be provided a meal through Caterlink, which will continue to be prepared and delivered as usual. This service will be extended over the Easter Holidays to ensure all children continue to have a midday meal
  • Some schools and academies are still trying to work out the best way of getting Free School Meals to eligible children – they have been offered advice and information but need to manage this locally
  • Advice for parents is now on the GCC website Community Hub
  • The care requirements of the Easter holiday break and Bank Holiday dates are being considered

 Other Government guidance:

The NHS in Gloucestershire is taking responsible steps to plan ahead and respond to the unfolding Covid-19 situation. Here is a link to the latest information from the NHS on service advice and developments: NHS update

This will be updated daily, Monday to Friday.

Amy Davies

Senior Consultation Officer

Communications Team

Gloucestershire County Council

Block 3 Floor 2, Shire Hall, Westgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2TG

Tel: 01452 583813


Note: there is a problem with the Gloucestershire web site at the moment, giving the following message


" Due to an administration error this Order will be re-advertised shortly

   Links will not work until then. "




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