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Users of the NHS app now eligible to apply for £500 self-isolation payment

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THOSE asked to self-isolate via the NHS Covid-19 app will now be eligible to apply for the £500 self-isolation support payment, Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James has announced.
From today app users who have been notified as being exposed to the virus, are on low income and at risk of financial hardship are eligible alongside those who have been asked to self-isolate by Test, Trace, Protect or parents whose child has been asked to self-isolate by their education setting.
To be eligible to apply, app users will need to meet the criteria of the main scheme and be:

  • Employed or self-employed;
  • unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • (the applicant or their partner) are currently receiving, Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit; or
  • Have their application accepted under the discretionary element of Self-Isolation Support Scheme.

To allow as many people notified by the app to apply as soon as possible, a temporary workaround has been created until a digital solution is available. Users can apply for the payment by contacting their local authority. However until the app is updated to verify individuals who has been asked to self-isolate, users will need to show evidence that the app has asked them to self-isolate in addition to evidence of reduced income when applying.  Local authorities will be able to accept and process applications for payments from Friday 5 February and applicants will be able to apply up to three weeks from their last date of isolation.
The Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James said: “The Welsh Government is committed to protecting people’s health and wellbeing and we will continue to support the people of Wales during this difficult time. The £500 payment has already provided financial security to those asked to self-isolate, helping to break the cycle of transmission and ensure no one has to choose between feeding their family or going to work and potentially spreading the virus.”
“Local Authorities have once again risen to the challenge of ensuring all those who need financial support throughout this pandemic receive it whilst we finalise work to allow people to apply directly through the app. They have already been working tirelessly. I once again thank them for their hard work and dedication.”
“I will continue to keep the scheme under review to ensure that those most in need receive the support they need to self-isolate and reduce transmission.”

However, according to a statement, to allow as many people notified by the app to apply as soon as possible, a temporary workaround has been created until a digital solution is available.

 Shadow Minister for Health, Angela Burns MS, has described the implementation of the scheme as confusing – and disadvantageous for those who really need the payment.

 Mrs Burns said: Aside from the statement from the Welsh Government being confusing, the app should have been readied before this scheme was opened.

 “However, what is clear is that applications still cannot be backdated to September, meaning people in Wales who need this £500 payment – and who are likely to fall into the financially vulnerable category – cannot access it and are therefore badly disadvantaged.

 “The Welsh Government can’t congratulate itself over this, but must remedy both the ability to apply for a backdated payment and to sort out the app instead of the hybrid scheme it has put into place.”

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Judith Rhead murder investigation – Detectives given more time to question suspect

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POLICE have been given more time to question a 43-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder.

The man has been in police custody since Saturday night, after being arrested over the death 68-year-old Judith Rhead.

She was found in a residential property in Market Street.

The police now have until Thursday afternoon (Feb 25) to question the suspect.

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All people eligible for vaccination will get theirs by end of July

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PEOPLE eligible for the coronavirus vaccine will get theirs by the end of July, the Health Minister has said.

Wales achieved its target of getting everyone in the first four priority groups vaccinated by the middle of February and is now working on offering the vaccine to those in groups 5 to 9.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out that people with severe or profound learning disabilities or with a mental illness will be among priority group 6.

Mr Gething said that they were would make sure that no one is left behind.

The latest figures from Public Health Wales show that 878,506 people had received their first dose of the vaccine.

59,279 people have received both doses of the vaccine.

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “We have achieved our first milestone of offering everyone in the first four priority groups vaccination by mid-February.

“We are now making progress in achieving our next milestone, which is to offer the vaccine to all individuals in priority groups 5 to 9.

“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out that people with a severe/profound learning disability and individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or any mental illness that causes severe functional impairment, should be invited for vaccination as part of priority group 6.

“There are challenges with identifying individuals within these groups, particularly given the JCVI language is not generally in use in Wales, and we are working hard to make sure that no one is left behind. Today we have published guidance on identifying eligible individuals in these groups and on how to support them to take up their vaccine offers.

“The JCVI has also said that some of our invaluable unpaid carers should be included in priority group 6.

“Today we have also published guidance on identifying those unpaid carers eligible for vaccine prioritisation and the process around this. I am grateful to the national carers’ organisations for their support with this work.”

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Council want your help to keep Pembrokeshire active

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is asking residents to give their views on local walking and cycling routes.

The Council aims to make journeys on foot and by bicycle easier, safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

In order to design a network that works for all, the Council would like to get the views of as many people as possible, particularly those who don’t currently walk or cycle. This will help ensure the routes built for walking and cycling work for the whole community.

The consultation focuses on the main towns and villages in Pembrokeshire which have been selected by Welsh Government as the designated localities in the County. These are:

  • Fishguard & Goodwick
  • Haverfordwest
  • Johnston
  • Milford Haven
  • Neyland
  • Pembroke Dock
  • Pembroke
  • Tenby
  • Saundersfoot
  • Narberth

Pembrokeshire Council is currently undertaking an Active Travel Network Map consultation (ATNM) which will run in 3 stages

Consultation 1: Residents can take part in the consultation exercise online, hosted by Commonplace at https://Pembrokeshire.commonplace.is/

The interactive map allows participants to flag issues, problems and successes on a plan of the active travel settlement and add comments. Such points could be for example, a pavement that is too narrow or a newly built cycle route that is regarded as a success.

The first stage of the consultation will close on 31 st March 2021.

Consultation 2: Following this, the second step of the consultation will see the Council share the initial findings and ask people what they think of the plans
proposed as a result of the feedback received.

Consultation 3: The third stage of the consultation will give members of the public a final say on the Active Travel Network Maps before they are sent to Welsh Government for approval. These maps will have been produced taking into account public feedback and ideas from consultations 1 and 2.

By upgrading facilities and creating new walking and cycling routes, the Council plans to make Active Travel the popular choice for local journeys, to increase the attractiveness of local communities as places to live and work, improve health and well-being, and help tackle air pollution.

Cllr Phil Baker, Pembrokeshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “This consultation exercise will produce an Active Travel Network Map which will be a plan of routes the Council will use to inform where improvements to walking and cycling should be made in Pembrokeshire.

“It will help to make journeys on foot or by bicycle easier and safer for everyone, particularly those who don’t currently walk or cycle often and people who use mobility aids and will build on the increased level of walking and cycling that we have seen over the last 12 months during the pandemic.”

See more information on Active Travel at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/fitness-and-well-being/active-travel

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