Here’s the latest news and updates (as of 15th May 2020) from Dorset Council, regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak:

Visitors asked to think twice before coming to Dorset

Councillor Spencer Flower, leader of the council, issued a clear message earlier this week for any potential visitors or day trippers thinking of coming to Dorset as a result of the government easing of lockdown restrictions: “Thinking of visiting Dorset now? Please think twice. We really look forward to welcoming visitors back to our beautiful county in future, but it’s too early to take the risk right now.”

Dorset residents have co-operated well with the government’s lockdown over recent weeks. Even on sunny bank holidays, the vast majority of people have stuck to the rules and stayed at home. As a result, beaches and beauty spots have remained very quiet and the infection rate across Dorset is low compared to the rest of the country.

Find out more here.

Car parking charges reinstated

Although car parks at visitor destinations, including beaches and country parks, across Dorset will stay closed for the time being, we have reintroduced parking charges in our car parks that have remained open through lockdown. This follows the easing of lockdown restrictions by central government.

To reduce physical contact with ticket machines, all open car-parks across the Dorset Council area will only accept cashless payment methods until further notice. This can be by either smartphone (by downloading the Just Park app); by mobile phone; or by text.

Cashless payments are being enforced to remove physical contact with keypads and coins in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, protecting our residents and employees. Re-introducing charges is essential to maximise the amount of people who can use our car-parks, as well as restore a vital revenue stream during this financially challenging time.

More information and details of how to register, here.

Do you need medical help? Remember the NHS is still here for you

During the coronavirus pandemic, people have been asked to stay at home to help protect the NHS.

Whilst GPs in Dorset have changed the way they work – making the most of available technology including online consultations – you should still talk to your GP if you feel you have a medical need. The current Covid-19 pandemic shouldn’t stop you seeking medical advice if have symptoms that you are worried may be related to cancer, heart conditions or stroke or other conditions.

GPs will be carefully advising patients individually on any routine or urgent procedures and blood tests that should go ahead. They are doing all they can to ensure that if patients are brought to the surgery, it will be done in as safe a way as possible.

Read more about accessing services in Dorset

If you are concerned about a young person please #TellSomeone

A new campaign is asking children and young people to tell someone they trust, or call national charity Childline, if they feel unsafe in their environment during the current conditions associated with Covid-19.

For some children, this period of isolation has left them without their usual support systems such as teachers, extended family and friends. This lack of regular contact with trusted people can put children at increased risk of abuse or neglect.

Please check on family, friends and loved ones and contact the relevant teams should they or you need support.

If you use social media, please share the #TellSomeone messages. This could help a child or young person who is stuck in a situation where they feel unsafe to seek the help they need.

Find out about fostering

As well as celebrating the amazing work of foster carers, a current campaign is highlighting the need for more carers.

Our fostering team are on hand to answer your questions about fostering during online drop-in sessions. If you think you could make a difference to a child’s life, please take a look at our webpage. We want to hear from people from all walks of life, all you need is love, energy and a spare room.

Read more here.

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