Kevin Fosters Residents’ Update Friday 7th August 2020


Many thanks to Kevin Foster for permitting us to use part of his weekly Residents’ Update.

This is an abridged version and the full version can be found on his website.

61 Bus Returns,

A community bus service which links isolated communities with Torquay Town Centre has been relaunched this week after being suspended during the coronavirus crisis.

The number 61 service which links Livermead, St Lukes and the town centre was saved by its passengers who became subscribers in a scheme believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

The round-robin service ran six times a day and was popular with locals who nicknamed it the mobile community centre after making new friends on the half-hour journey into or out of town.

Sadly the service which relaunched last November had to be halted at the beginning of lockdown and was only able to restart again this week, subject to a passenger limit of six, all wearing facemasks.

Initially, the scheduled service which is paid for by weekly subscriptions of between £3.00 and £6.50 a week will run for the month of August to gauge demand and viability. But already it is proving a hit with some regulars.

It is great to hear the 61 is back on the road and well done to the team at the Torquay Community Development Trust for their work in achieving this.

Eat Out 2 Help Out,

The Eat Out To Help Out Scheme, which will give people up to 50 per cent off their bills in restaurants, cafes and pubs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August started this week.  

The scheme applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks, with a maximum discount per person of £10. Across the South West Region there are 5,033 participating independent establishments, and outlets from smaller chains (those with 25 restaurants or fewer).

You can find all the details of the scheme, plus which local venues are taking part on the Government website by clicking here.

Testing Centre,

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you can go to the mobile testing site at Lymington Road in Torquay, TQ1 4BD, but you will need to book online first.

You can request a test via the Government website by clicking here or by calling 119. The mobile testing centre will not be in Torquay on Monday 10 August but will be returning on Tuesday 11 August, until at least Friday 14 August. Results are usually available within 24 hours. 

You will need to provide photo ID when you attend the centre.

Anyone who has symptoms can request a test to check if you have coronavirus symptoms just click here to visit the relevant section of the NHS website.

Face Coverings Change,

Face coverings will have to be worn in a range of new settings including cinemas, places of worship, bingo halls and salons when fresh government rules come into force today (Saturday 7th August).

There are exemptions for those with medical conditions which would make the wearing of a face covering difficult. You can read full details of the guidance on this from the Government website by clicking here.

I would like to thank the vast majority who have respected the rules since they were introduced in shops and on public transport. Like many update readers I am not a big fan of wearing them myself, but with some of the most vulnerable in our bay who have been shielding for months now being able to get out and about again this is a small thing to do in order to further reduce the risks for them in doing so.

The aim of the rules is not to filter the air you are breathing, but to capture the droplets we all breathe out and which can carry the virus. Hence this issue cannot be one of personal choice as the decision not to wear one (without good reason) does not affect the person concerned’s risk of catching the virus, but others near them.

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Author: StLukesRA

St Luke's Residents' Association

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