Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-StayHome_A4 Poster

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Newport City Council is following and implementing best practice as advised by the government and Public Health Wales.

Anyone with concerns should read the available information on the following websites, advice about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is being updated daily by government.

In general, critical council services will be prioritised and regular information on disruption to services will appear here.

The council's contact centre is working reduced hours of 9am-5pm and the Information Station is closed until further notice.

Please report or request services online or email queries to info@newport.gov.uk where possible, rather than telephone. 

Vulnerable groups

Around 4,000 Newport residents have been identified as being in the very high-risk category and need to take extra steps to avoid catching COVID-19.

Council staff are making direct calls to all recipients of a Welsh Government letter this week (w/c 6 April 2020).

"Our priority, working with our partners, is to maintain critical services and support the wellbeing of our communities. However it is inevitable that some services will be affected." Cllr Jane Mudd, Leader of Newport City Council.

We continue to monitor all advice from government including that relating to vulnerable groups - not only age, but also at risk groups with underlying conditions.

If you are not in this group, but need support, please call us on (01633) 656656 and we can advise what local support available.

Planning continues as part of the council’s work to ensure essential services are provided as the situation develops and key decisions will be communicated as soon as appropriate.

Part of that relates to how we could allocate staff to priority areas, and how we can work with partners and third-sector organisations to support those in our communities during this challenging time.

The following area hubs remain open Monday to Friday, between 9am and 4pm, for vulnerable people to access advice which cannot be provided via telephone: 

Age Cymru is offering a free check-in-and-chat telephone service for anyone over 70 who lives alone, to provide reassurances, answer basic queries and link people to local services and support during the Coronavirus outbreak.

All you have to do call the Age Cymru Advice Number on 08000 223 444 or email enquiries@agecymru.org.uk.  

School closures

The Minister for Education announced that schools across Wales would close for statutory provision of education from 20 March 2020.

Read a further statement from the Minister on the 2020 summer exams.

Childcare for prioritised key workers 

For eligible parents of mainstream school children currently in Reception to Year 7, read more...

For eligible parents of children aged between 2 and 4 years (children of school nursery age or below), read more... 

Social housing: the Welsh Government is taking action to make sure help and support is available for social housing tenants. Download the Letter to all social housing tenants in Wales (pdf).

Leisure and outdoor space

Some Public Rights of Way in Newport have been closed following Welsh Government legislation.

All gated parks and play areas are now closed. This decision was not taken lightly but we hope people understand that the priority has to be keeping people safe. Some residents have continued to ignore social distancing advice and this was taken into consideration as part of the risk-based decision on park closures.

If you choose to use areas of local, open-access recreational land, please follow guidance – unless you are with members of your household, gatherings of more than two people are banned and you should keep two metres apart from others at all times.

Newport's allotment sites remain open.  

Newport Museum and Art Gallery in John Frost Square is closed.

Adult Community Learning classes are cancelled until further notice.

Check the latest updates from Newport Live about leisure centres, sports facilities and The Riverfront Theatre.   

Business 

We have compiled a list of local businesses that are trading, which will be updated regularly.  You can also follow the Business Support Facebook page for updates.

If we have missed your business from the above list, or what you do has changed, please email business.services@newport.gov.uk  

Welsh Government has announced a package of support for businesses, including business rate relief, to help during the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more.

Food businesses: we are temporarily waiving our 'Paid for advice fees', find out how we can support you.  

Council retail and industrial tenants: We appreciate that some of our commercial tenants may be facing difficulties in paying their rent now, or in the near future, because of the impact of coronavirus on their businesses. Please contact corporate.premises@newportnorse.co.uk to discuss how we might be able to assist you.

Closure of businesses and premises: non-essential businesses and premises must shut from 23 March 2020. Please call us on (01633) 414970 if you believe businesses are open in contravention of the closure regulations and we will investigate. Opening in breach of the regulations is a criminal offence, view the list of businesses that must close.  

Applications for all new taxi vehicle and driver applications are on hold until further notice, read more...

Suspension of public meetings

In line with public health measures to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus and to enable the council to focus on the delivery of critical services for the vulnerable, all public meetings are suspended.

This includes Council meetings, meetings of full Cabinet and all committee and sub-committee meetings, including Scrutiny, Planning and Licensing. All other non-essential meetings will also be cancelled.

This will not result in any delays to key decisions, particularly relating to the council’s response to the current situation. Urgent decisions will continue to be made in accordance with the officer and members schemes of delegation detailed in the council’s Constitution and urgent decision-making procedures.

The council is also anticipating emergency powers legislation from both Westminster and the Welsh Government, which will suspend certain statutory duties and timescales during this emergency period. This would remove the need for an Annual General Meeting in May and will permit the continuance of existing appointments.

Other information

Statement from Gwent Local Resilience Forum

Joint statement by Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James, and leader of the Welsh Local Government Association, Cllr Andrew Morgan (19/03/20)