Corona Virus update – 25th March 2020

Scam warning from Police

The Economic Crime Unit at North Yorkshire Police receive regular updates from Action Fraud, The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, National Trading Standards and other organisations highlighting new scams we are seeing which are preying on resident’s fear in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. I would draw your attention to a press release from National Trading Standards which summarises the current scams we are seeing (https://www.nationaltradingstandards.uk/news/beware-of-covid19-scams/ ). I have also attached a postcard from National Trading Standards which is a handy easy reference guide for you to print off or to circulate amongst your family and friends.

I would encourage readers of this email to visit the ‘Friends Against Scams’   website https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/ where you can sign up to become a Friend Against Scams. It is an online training session which will take around 20 minutes to complete. It will raise your awareness of fraud and give you valuable tips and tools to prevent you becoming a victim.

In addition I am doing a Facebook Live session tomorrow on the North Yorkshire Police Facebook page to advice residents as to the latest scams we are seeing here in North Yorkshire and how to stay safe. This will start at 4pm Thursday 26th March and I understand this is the first one of its kind by North Yorkshire Police. I hope you can watch.

Stay safe.

Andy Fox

Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer

Economic Crime Unit, North Yorkshire Police

Taxis can continue to operate – Government advice

Taxis and private hire vehicles can continue to work. But the advice is absolutely clear – people should stay at home if possible. That is the way to save lives and protect our NHS.

The public should avoid travel unless absolutely essential.

The only reasons to leave our houses are set out in the government guidance<https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others>.

Clearly if absolutely necessary to travel by taxi or private hire vehicle, best efforts should be used to follow the guidance as far as is practically possible, including washing your hands as soon as you get home.

Critical Worker Status

Taxi and private hire drivers should not generally be considered Critical Workers. Those undertaking Home to School transport or the transport of ‘extremely vulnerable<https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-new-measures-to-protect-people-at-highest-risk-from-coronavirus>’ people may be considered Critical Workers on a case-by-case basis. Critical Workers should also whenever possible make suitable arrangements for their children to stay at home; requests for children to attend school<https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers> should be discussed with the school.”

Off licenses can open

Off-licences have been added to the Government’s list of businesses essential to keep the country running during thecoronavirus crisis. With pubs and bars ordered to close to stem the spread of Covid-19, off-licences were added to the list of shops allowed to stay open on Wednesday.

Licensed shops selling alcohol, including those in breweries, also made the updated list of stores exempted from mass closures in the retail sector.

Corner shops, pharmacies, supermarkets, hardware stores, banks, petrol stations and bike shops can also stay open during the pandemic.

MOTs postponed

Vehicle owners in Britain will be granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

All cars, vans and motorcycles will be exempted from needing a test from March 30.

This will allow people to carry on with essential travel during the coronavirus pandemic, the DfT said.

New takeaway service from Golf Club

T he chef at Pike Hills Golf Club is offering a takeaway/ delivery service as the golf course has closed He is offering main courses for fixed £6.50 and desserts at £3.00 Good English food freshly sourced each day. Ring him or text on 07949550884 E Mail teeboxcatering@gmail.com

Report symptoms app launched

You can supply information and help to track changes in the pandemic using this App. https://covid.joinzoe.com/

Volunteer NHS responder

NHS Volunteer Responder scheme. Quick, easy, just upload passport/driving licence and they do DB check in 72 hours. You can sign up here: goodsamapp.org/nhs

The health secretary has announced the government is seeking 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.

The NHS has said the volunteers will support the 1.5m vulnerable people who have been asked to “shield” themselves from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Here’s everything you need to know if you want to become an NHS volunteer responder.

How do I sign up?

Those who want to help can register by visiting the following NHS website: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS

Potential volunteers are asked to fill in a form with their details.

Checks are then carried out before successful applicants are given login details for the “GoodSAM” Responder app.

Volunteers can then switch the app to “on duty” to find tasks to pick from nearby.

What kind of tasks will the responders carry out?

Four types of volunteers are listed on the NHS page which allows people to register.

They are:

  • Community response volunteers: This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating. The volunteer would also deliver these supplies to their home.
  • Patient transport volunteer: This position supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, and ensuring they are settled safely back in to their home.
  • NHS transport volunteer: This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites. It may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.
  • Check-in and chat volunteer: These volunteers will provide short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.

Who should sign up to be a volunteer?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said “if you are well and able to do so safely, I would urge you to sign up today”.

Volunteers must be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms.

Those in higher-risk groups (including those over 70, those who are pregnant or with underlying medical conditions) will be able to offer support by telephone.

The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing and volunteers will receive guidance through a “getting started pack”. Those who become ill can pause their volunteering.

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