*Last updated 21.10.20
Read on to find the latest Coronavirus information from Somerset County Council.
Somerset County Alert Level: Medium
Alert Levels Explained:
|All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-19 Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.||This is for areas with a higher level of infections. This means the following additional measures are in place:||Pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant – which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.|
|Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am.||People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place||Wedding receptions are not allowed|
|Schools, universities and places of worship remain open||People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.||People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.|
|Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees||People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.||People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.|
|Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed||People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.|
|People must not meet in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors|
For more information about the COVID-19 Alert Tiers, visit:
The UK COVID-19 situation is ever-evolving and can change very suddenly. For the very latest guidance and advice, please visit:
Somerset County Council
Somerset County Council has implemented its Local Outbreak Management Plan. For the Local Outbreak Management Plan to be as successful as possible, it relies on the co-operation, goodwill, and perseverance of everyone living, working or visiting the county. By working together, everyone in Somerset can play their part in reducing the spread of Coronavirus.
While it’s reassuring to know there are plans in place at local level to manage Covid-19, local Somerset residents might also like some practical information to go with it. We’ve done some research to see what’s currently happening with Somerset essential services: Recycling Centres, Libraries, Car Parks, Markets, Parks and Public Toilets.
Recycling Centres in Somerset
Somerset Waste Partnership reports that all 16 of its recycling centres in Somerset are open and accepting all materials as usual. As from September 30th, they will be open according to the normal winter scheduled hours.
You can check up-to-date Recycling site opening hours here.
Please abide by the Covid-19 safety restrictions, which include floor markings and other signs to help maintain social distancing. Staff also cannot help carry items. A maximum of two people per household can be on-site at a time, and they must wear gloves outside their vehicles.
You can get up to date information and any local changes by following Somerset Waste Partnership on Facebook.
Somerset Council Libraries
Most library buildings in Somerset are open for business, but some have limited services available. Library opening hours might be different from pre-COVID times. Library members are encouraged to use online services, such as downloading books, audiobooks and magazines.
You can also use the “Library Choice” service which means you can avoid going to the library to browse for books. Fill in the online form and a staff member will make a selection for you to pop in and collect.
If you are already a member of Somerset Libraries, you can access tonnes of audiobooks, e-books, magazines and comics all for free with RBDigital. Download the app on Google Play, App Store and Kindle Fire to start reading and listening.
You can see which libraries are open when on the Somerset libraries webpage.
Car Parks in Somerset
Somerset’s off-street car parks are run by the four district councils of Somerset – Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset and Somerset West & Taunton.
For several months during the COVID-19 lockdown parking charges were dropped by all the district councils. However, they have since been reinstated. Most remain free for key health workers who display permits provided by their NHS Trust. Nearly all council car parks operate on a pay-and-display system, and parking can be purchased via a phone and pay service.
For up to date information on car park opening times, charges, and more click on the relevant link to access each council’s online parking information:
- Parking in South Somerset (Yeovil, Bruton, Castle Cary, Chard, Crewkerne, Ilchester, Ilminster, Langport, Martock, Montacute, Somerton, South Petherton, Wincanton).
- Parking in Mendip (Frome, Glastonbury, Shepton Mallet, Street, Wells).
- Parking in Sedgemoor District (Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Cheddar, Highbridge).
- Parking in Somerset West & Taunton (Taunton, Wellington, Minehead, Dunster, Dulverton, Porlock, Watchet, Williton, Wiveliscombe).
Markets in Somerset
Somerset is famed for its attractive market towns and where you can shop for local produce at regular indoor and outdoor markets. Somerset’s food markets are still doing a roaring trade, with appropriate one-way systems and social distancing measures in place.
Some of the larger markets – like the Frome Independent and Taunton Independent – have not gone ahead this summer and are unlikely to return physically until next year. For the latest news on your favourite local market, try searching for their Facebook page, where they are most likely to have up-to-date information.
Find out more about the popular Somerset Farmers’ Markets at Axbridge, Keynsham, Midsomer Norton, Burnham on Sea, Glastonbury, Frome and Crewkerne.
Parks and Play Areas in Somerset
Somerset’s towns and villages have an abundance of pleasant parks and play areas, all of which are currently open for use for leisure as long as Government social distancing rules and other Covid-19 guidelines are adhered to.
Mendip District Council manages 45 park play areas; Sedgemoor has around a dozen; South Somerset has numerous parks; Somerset West and Taunton District Council look after the many parks in Taunton, Minehead and Wellington.
If you want to get into the great outdoors, safely, the Somerset Play Forum has some suggestions for places to go and things to do when you get there.
Public Toilet Availability
Public conveniences in Somerset are provided and managed by the four different district councils.
Mendip District Council has contracted a private company for ongoing cleaning and maintenance of its toilet blocks in Frome, Glastonbury, Shepton Mallet, Street and Wells, which are cleaned and checked twice a day, including sanitising of door handles and touch surfaces.
In South Somerset there are public conveniences in nine locations across the district, most in Council car parks, all open and available for use.
There are nine public toilets in Wellington and Taunton managed by the Somerset West & Taunton District Council, and others managed by parish and town councils. All are open after being temporarily closed during the Covid-19 national lockdown.
Sedgemoor’s public conveniences are open during the day across the area, with facilities cleaned at least twice a day.