Face coverings now mandatory in shops
Latest government updates

From today (24 July): 

  • It is mandatory to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets. Under the new rules, people who do not wear a face covering will face a fine of up to £100. Read more about when to wear one and how to make your own.

From tomorrow (25 July): 

  • Sports facilities and venues, including indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks, can open

From next Saturday (1 August):

  • People who have been shielding will no longer be required to do so. The Government has published advice to help those who are shielding understand what this means for them. 
  • The Government will update its advice on returning to work, asking employers to make decisions about how and where their staff can work safely
  • Most remaining leisure settings, including bowling, skating rinks, casinos and all close contact services such as beauticians, will be allowed to reopen
  • Indoor performances with socially distanced audiences will be able to take place across the country
How we are responding to local COVID-19 outbreaks

Watch as our Director of Public Health, Steve Maddern, updates on how his team are working alongside Public Health England to support businesses with small cases of COVID-19.

It is important to note that COVID-19 numbers across Swindon and the South West remain low, especially compared to areas elsewhere in the country.

Anyone with a high temperature, new continuous cough or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste can book a free coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

Opening hours extended at the HWRC

On Monday (20 July), we changed our opening hours at the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) to include weekends and make additional slots available during the week. The HWRC will now be open 8am to 4.30pm every day, excluding Wednesdays when the centre will be closed.

In order to protect you and our staff from the virus, we are only able to offer a restricted service at this time. If you would like to visit the HWRC you can pre-book a slot on our website, if slots are unavailable, please return the next working day for more availability.

Our traffic lights are going green

On Tuesday (21 July), we started a programme of work to upgrade 67 of Swindon’s traffic light-controlled junctions from halogen bulbs to low power environmentally friendly LEDs.

The upgrade, which will take six weeks to complete, will save us more than £33,000 in energy and maintenance costs per year. It will also reduce our carbon footprint by 66 tons of carbon dioxide a year and reduce the level of maintenance required to upkeep the traffic lights - providing a more reliable experience for motorists and pedestrians.

The scheme will cost £193k and will take just under six years to repay. We expect to start realising savings by the end of 2020. You can find out more on our website.

Helping the homeless during lockdown
Members of our Rough Sleeper team at the hotel during lockdown

We would like to say a massive thank you to the GW Hotel for helping us to look after rough sleepers during the pandemic. When the lockdown was first announced in late March, 25 rough sleepers (including those at risk of rough sleeping) were given a room at the hotel.

As we begin to get back to normality, secure accommodation has, to date, been found for 14 of the guests and we will continue to look for accommodation for the remaining guests. 

Zurich to build new headquarters in Swindon

The regeneration of our town centre took a step forward this week as insurance firm Zurich appointed Skanska to start building the firm’s new, state-of-the-art office next month.

It’s the culmination of months of hard work behind-the-scenes with the Council making the land available to enable Zurich to become the anchor tenant in the Kimmerfields development.

Swindon has been home to Zurich for more than 30 years, the new, 100,000 sq.ft, eco-friendly building will provide a modern workspace for more than 950 staff and is key to transforming both the Kimmerfields site and Fleming Way.

Click, Call and Collect service at libraries to expand

From Monday (27 July), the Click, Call and Collect service available at Central Library, will also be available at all our five core libraries, including North Swindon, West Swindon, Highworth and Park libraries.

Customers can reserve books online or by phone before collecting them during the libraries’ opening hours. Books can also be returned during these times. COVID-secure measures will be in place during your visit and there will be no to access to other library services such as toilets, computers or study areas. 

Find out more about Click, Call and Collect and the gradual reopening of libraries, as well as information on the online library services available on our website. For information on your local community library, please visit their library website or social media page, contact them directly or visit our website.

Taking Swindon's Art on Tour

For those of you longing for an infusion of creativity, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s ‘Art on Tour’ project is still bringing fascinating art straight to you at home.

This week portraiture takes centre stage! A new episode of the Art Snaps podcast will highlight three fascinating portraits from Swindon’s collection, and Art on Tour reveals new portraits from their fantastic Young Artist in Residence and Young Photographer. Follow @ArtonTour2020 on Facebook or @swindongalleryartontour on Instagram to get all the latest info and resources.

Image: John Bellany, Self Portrait with Juliet, 1979, Oil on canvas, 165 x 106.7cm

Other news
More sources of information

Help for vulnerable residents to access food parcels and prescriptions

Latest status of all council services

How the Council is supporting residents and businesses

How you can support your community

See our daily report of waste and recycling collections

Pre-book a slot at the Household Waste Recycling Centre

Book a coronavirus test if you or someone in your household has symptoms

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