Covid: Council advice and help

Rother District Council headquarters,

An update from Rother District Council was sent to RDC councillors, town and parish councillors and local MPs.

A new national lockdown was announced on Monday evening, with the restrictions becoming law from … Wednesday 6 January.

Before Christmas the rates of Covid-19 in Rother were among the highest in the county, this remains the case. If you keep up to date with the Coronavirus statistics for East Sussex, you will see the rate of positive cases is currently falling, though it still remains above the national average. This drop in cases is likely due to fewer tests taking place over the Christmas period and the expectation is that numbers will increase again as we begin to see the effect of household mixing over Christmas.

Hospitals and emergency responders in the county are now under immense pressure and we must all play our part.

All of us should stay at home whenever possible. The exceptions include to buy essential supplies, to exercise, if it’s impossible to do your job at home, or for urgent medical or safety reasons.

National lockdown; what you can and cannot do

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to shield themselves.

Our services

As always you can find out about the latest impact on our services on the service disruption page on our website.

With the spread of Covid-19 much higher than we have seen in Rother before, the impact on our staff is becoming more apparent with an increasing number of staff experiencing symptoms or having to self isolate due to close contact. Inevitably, this will have an impact on our services and may mean a delay in response times, we ask for your understanding and support as we work hard to prioritise essential services.

Under these lockdown restrictions the following places are closed:

  • Bexhill Leisure Centre, Rye Sports Centre, Bexhill Leisure Pool
  • Bexhill Museum
  • all outdoor sports pitches, ballcourts, skateparks, BMX tracks, tennis courts and outdoor gyms

Remaining open are:

  • Town Hall Reception – open via the intercom though customers cannot enter the building
  • Public toilets
  • Car parks (charges continue to be waived for NHS workers and professional carers when used for work purposes).
  • Parks, children’s playgrounds and open spaces – for the ‘once a day’ allowed recreational activity only. All users should continue to follow government guidance.

Financial support

There are a number of support grants already available to businesses impacted by the Tier 4 restrictions introduced before Christmas – details of these and advice on how to apply can be found on our website.

We have received some initial information from Government on grants available to support businesses affected by the National Lockdown but as yet have not received confirmation of our share of the £4.6bn of funding being provided. This is likely to be received late next week.

There will be a combination of a fixed one off grant of between £4,000 and £9,000 depending on the rateable value of the business premises, plus there will be a further payment to cover the six week initial period of the lockdown.

For businesses without their own business rates (e.g. shared office space) there will be a discretionary scheme which is likely to mirror existing discretionary schemes.

The Council website will be updated regularly with information received from Government including details of the application process.

Information for businesses – Rother District Council

The Covid-19 Vaccine

The Covid-19 vaccine roll out in East Sussex is underway.

Vaccinations have started at GP led vaccination services in the county and hospital hubs, and further services will be going live over the coming weeks.

Priority is being given to the most vulnerable members of our communities, those in care homes, people over the age of 80 and those working in health and social care. The roll out will then continue to the rest of the population in order of age and risk.

You don’t need to do anything, the NHS will contact you when it’s your turn for the vaccine.

Stay up to date with the Covid-19 vaccination programme by visiting the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website and we will share more information as soon as we have it.

Help and support

Coronavirus community support
If someone is in need of support due to the Covid-19 pandemic, local volunteers, the community hub and East Sussex County Council are on hand to help. Find out about Community Support on our website.

Rough sleepers
Anyone concerned about someone who is sleeping rough in Rother should let us know via Streetlink

Useful links

Get the latest information on help and support and service disruption from Rother District Council
Get the latest information on the Covid-19 help and support available from East Sussex County Council
Check if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and book a test

Source: Rother District Council


  1. I live in Winchelsea Beach, registered with a GP in Rye. Our allocated vaccination centre is in Etchingham, 14 miles away, 40 mins by car, over two hours one way by bus (one per hour, day time service only £6.60 return) and then train, (hourly, £8 return) + walking. Really!?

  2. Pleased to see an explanation from our representatives that the Etchingham centre is for the Pfizer vaccine and that we will have nearer facilities later on for the Oxford/Moderna vaccines. It would have been helpful to everyone if this had been stated in the first place.

  3. The Etchingham vaccination centre is not in an accessible location for elderly residents of Rye. Would it not be possible for local hospitals to start offering the vaccine to the over 80s? At present this is only being offered to elderly inpatients or outpatients of hospitals in East Sussex. The roll out of the vaccine to all of the over 80s has been successfully implemented in hospitals in other parts of the country, and the Conquest Hospital at Hastings would offer better transport links from Rye than Etchingham.


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