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Update on council services

Following the Government's announcement of the planned roadmap for recovery, Sunderland City Council has been reviewing its services, venues and facilities to look at their staged reopening against the proposed key milestone dates.

Council services update

All council services will work to Covid-secure guidelines and any restrictions in place. This may lead in some circumstances to a reshaped offer on reopening. 

While the City Council is still working through the relevant national guidance, it has set out its plan for re-openings during the first two steps of the Government's plan and will provide further information on the later steps when this is available. 

Under the two first stages:

 * Everyone Active Centres will follow a staged reopening based on national guidance. To keep up to date with the latest information visit www.everyoneactive.com 

* The city's three Football Hubs will also follow a staged reopening based on national guidance. Further information on the Hubs is available at:

- Washington Hub www.facebook.com/footballwashington
- Ford Hub www.facebook.com/footballford
- Downhill Hub www.facebook.com/footballdownhill

No earlier than April 12:

* In line with the next steps in the government's roadmap, the museum shop at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens will reopen from 12 April. Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and Arts Centre Washington will also open in later steps. More information on this will be provided at a later date.

* Houghton and Washington Libraries will also reopen following national guidance on libraries. The city centre library will open for click and collect only and it is expected that City Library will open fully when essential maintenance is completed. Digital services continue to be offered including books at home at www.sunderland.gov.uk/libraries Local History Library @ETR will open in the following steps.

* The City Council's Customer Service Centre at Fawcett Street will reopen three days a week for limited services. Services will also remain available online and the council will continue to run its freephone number for those without internet access. 

* Sunderland Care and Support run Adult Day Care Centres - the council is awaiting more detailed guidance from government on implications for services which will allow it to confirm timescales around opening SCAS run services to full capacity.

City Council Leader, Councillor Graeme Miller, said:  "I know we're all desperate to get our lives back on track and return to some kind of normality but Covid hasn't gone away. It's really important to recognise that the dates set out in the Government's roadmap aren't set in stone but are dependent on our collective efforts to drive infection rates down and keep them down.

"We still have high case numbers in our city, and are continuing to see people being admitted to hospital and very sadly some people dying. So it really is vital that we all continue to follow the rules by staying at home and following the hands, face and space guidance when we do have to go out, to protect ourselves, our families and our communities. 

"Only by all working together can we hope to get the rates down to the level required  by the Government to move forward with the key dates in its roadmap." 

Cllr Miller said the council was continuing to look at council run events but that any decisions would have to be balanced with the work underway to reduce the spread of Covid.

He added: "We very much want to see the return of events and activities to the city, but that can only happen when it is deemed safe to do so, and without impacting on the work being undertaken to reduce the spread of infection.

"In the meantime we're continuing to work through the national guidance and any further announcements on the roadmap, and will continue to update residents on what this means for our services across the city."

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