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Coronavirus 22 May 2020 - 3.45pm

This is today's round-up of the latest Coronavirus news on Friday 22 May 2020.

#StayHomeSaveLives  #HereForSwansea

Support for Debenhams

We've agreed a deal with department store Debenhams to help secure its long-term future in the city centre.

We're deferring the retailer's business rates until March 31, 2021, while the company applies for a rating review. Unlike most city centre shops, Debenhams is not covered by the new Welsh Government retail, leisure and hospitality rate relief scheme.

The decision will enable Debenhams to continue discussions with the Welsh Government which could reduce its liability and enable Debenhams to access the Covid-19 retail rates relief support scheme in line with other retailers. The company has also been advised to apply to the Economic Resilience Fund.


Help us to help you when the recycling centres re-open

Residents are being urged not to all come on Tuesday for the first day of the re-opening of our recycling centres. We need everyone to play their part in helping ensure the re-opening goes smoothly and the best thing to do is to stay away unless it's absolutely essential to go or put off the visit to another time.

We're expecting big queues and should they get too long we may have to turn people away. Please make sure you check our updates about what materials we'll accept. Black bags will not be accepted. There's full information here:


Stay At Home this Bank Holiday, protect the NHS and save lives

Despite the good weather all council beach car parks are closed. Our civic enforcement officers will be patrolling the car parks and areas including Langland, Caswell Bay and Port Eynon.

Rules on accessing Wales' green space and beaches for exercise are clear: Stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible; do not travel unnecessarily.

The council is urging people to follow the Welsh Government guidance here:


Free school meals

More than 5,000 parents and carers whose children are eligible for free school meals have successfully applied online to receive direct payments of £39 a fortnight into their bank accounts so they can provide lunches themselves.

We're offering those who qualify the choice of continuing to receive weekly food bags, having direct payments or opting out of the scheme entirely should they wish.

Families who have decided to continue with the weekly food parcels will receive them on Tuesday, rather than Monday, for next week only as it is a bank holiday.

Those not receiving free school meals can check if they are eligible at:


Half-term holidays

Keep the children entertained at home this half-term with a range of activities on offer from the council on  Online activities are also being put together by teams from a number of our venues.

As well as that the Enjoy team is also staging a virtual, half-term treasure hunt headed by their mascot Jo Joio. She's heading off on a virtual mission around Swansea's cultural venues and services to discover a mystery word by the end of the week and there'll be prizes on offer. To find out what's happening go to for more information.


Working from home

A task group has been set up to look at the tools staff need to continue to work from home during this time. Areas being considered will include ICT equipment, health and safety guidance and what we can do to support staff with their health and well-being during this extended period of working at home.

Staff are reminded to complete the mandatory e-learning DSE training and speak to their line managers if they have any concerns.  

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