Weddings, civil partnerships, and funerals
Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance. Anyone working is not counted in these limits. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies should not take place except in exceptional circumstances, for example where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover ('deathbed wedding') or due to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. These weddings are limited to 6 people.
If you live in a tier 4 area and are going to a wedding, funeral or linked commemorative event outside the tier 4 area, the event must follow the tier 4 gathering limits on the events.
If you live outside a tier 4 area and are going to a wedding, funeral or linked commemorative event inside the tier 4 area, you must comply with the tier 4 gathering limits on the events.
How can I help my neighbours and the local community?
We have launched a Volunteering community hub, called Stevenage Helps to capture your donations and let you know how to volunteer. We are working with local partners including Stevenage Community Trust.
If you think you can spare a few hours, Stevenage Citizens Advice are always on the lookout for volunteers, even more so at this challenging time.
What steps are local Councillors taking to help support Stevenage residents?
A cross party Coronavirus Emergency committee was set up to address the concerns of the local community and review any actions that arise.
What economic support is available for local businesses?
We have been allocated £1.5 Million from the Government to launch a discretionary grants scheme to help small businesses during the current crisis. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. Our Covid-19 Support for Businesses provides information on how to apply.
Support is also available from the council and our partner agencies including the Citizens Advice Bureau, Department of Work and Pensions and many others to help those facing redundancy.
We have our own Redundancy Support page which gives information and advice on the following areas:
- Support and guidance for those facing redundancy - Factsheets on finance and accessing support from the government including DWP, redundancy calculator.
- Employment support - Support with access to new jobs, job search facilities including National Careers Service, Jobs Search.
- Developing your skills - Details of fully funded support from Skills Support from the Redundancy Programme, delivered by Serco for Herts LEP, North Herts College.
- Support for Employers.
- Financial Support - Universal Credit and Redundancy Calculator.
- Support with Budget Monitoring and Money advice.
- Housing Support.
- Support with Health and Wellbeing.
The Government has announced a series of economic support measures to coincide with the national measures:
- Business premises forced to close in England due to local or national restrictions are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 a month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.
- For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
- £1.1 billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable us to support businesses more broadly.
The LGA and councils are engaging closely with central government officials on what these business support measures mean for councils, including new burdens payments and what happens with grants previously announced such as the discretionary support for 'Tier 2' areas. We will update you on this in future bulletins as we receive further information.
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until April 2021 with employees receiving 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. The LGA guidance on the scheme has been updated. The Government has confirmed that partially publicly funded bodies may be eligible to access the scheme where their private revenues have been disrupted.
- The Government announced today that support for self-employed people will rise to 80 per cent of trading profits during November.
- Mortgage holidays will also no longer end. The Financial Conduct Authority will announce further information today.
Furlough Scheme Extension
The Prime Minister announced on 17 December 2020, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – also known as the furlough scheme – will remain open until April 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.