Oxfordshire close to ‘high’ COVID-19 alert level

Oxfordshire close to ‘high’ COVID-19 alert level

People in Oxfordshire are being advised to be extra vigilant, particularly over half-term, as cases of coronavirus continue to spread across the county.

Evidence shows that, in the past two weeks, the virus has spread to a much wider age range across the county and is no longer confined to younger people in urban areas. Hospital admissions have begun to increase as a result.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health Ansaf Azhar said: “Across all areas of the county, we are starting to see a significant shift in the spread of the virus from people in their teens and 20s to older and more vulnerable age groups. This is a really concerning development. We know that, once the virus starts to spread to more vulnerable groups, then hospital cases will rise and deaths will inevitably follow. 

“We have seen what’s been happening across the north of England and how the virus has quickly taken hold across huge swathes of the community. Based on the current trajectory of the virus, we could well find ourselves in a similar position in just a few weeks’ time if we do not take collective action now.”

“With half-term approaching, as well as events such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali coming up, it’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of meeting up and celebrating with friends and family. But we mustn’t forget about COVID. We need to do everything we can to keep our families and communities safe and stop the spread. 

“I know the temptation will be to meet up and socialise over half-term. However, the virus thrives when people are in close contact with one another. So I would strongly urge everyone to limit their social interactions and focus instead on the many COVID-secure family activities that are taking place over half-term.”

Oxfordshire is currently at the ‘medium’ or tier 1 level in the COVID-19 alert system. This is the national three-tier system, which classifies areas as medium, high or very high based on their numbers of infection and overall risk level.

Discussions have taken place this week with central Government about whether Oxfordshire should move to the ‘high’ alert level, given concerns over the spread of the virus to age groups beyond people in their teens and 20s to potentially more vulnerable groups. 

The decision has been taken not to move the county to a high alert level at this stage. However, the situation is being monitored extremely closely and Oxfordshire’s Director of Public Health and Council Leaders are pushing for a move to happen as soon as possible. 

Moving to a high alert level would mean that residents could not socialise with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

Leader of Oxfordshire County Council Ian Hudspeth said: “In light of the escalating situation across the county, we are pushing hard for Oxfordshire to be moved to a high alert level. This would be a preventative measure to stem the spread of the virus and protect the county’s most vulnerable residents. 

“We are aware that some businesses, particularly the hospitality sector, would be affected if we moved to a high alert level, and we welcome the announcement from Government today that additional support will be available. 

“However, we must do everything we can to keep residents across the county safe. We know that the majority of transmissions occur when different households mix, so increasing our alert level to high, which prevents households from mixing socially in indoor settings, is one of the best ways we can help our residents at this critical time.”

Sewage Works – Bicester Road

A break in the pressurised foul water sewer on Bicester Road, at the entrance to Heythrop Park, was identified a number of weeks ago and repair works began.

The road had to be closed for safety reasons and a signed diversion route implemented.

It was hoped to complete this repair quite quickly but it has proven to be more complex. The delivery of an essential component on Wednesday 21 October will speed up the process and it is forecast that the works should be finished by the end of October or sooner.

To manage the flows during this time, tanker vehicles have had to be used 24 hours a day to prevent any flooding to properties, restricted facilities, pollution to the environment and to carry out the work safely. The vehicles use warning beacons due to health and safety and can be noisy whilst they are pumping the waste water into their vehicles.

Thames Water are committed to finishing the works as soon as possible and would like to thank the villagers for their patience during these operations, which can be amplified during the night.



Sunday Market 18 Oct

Enstone Sunday Market
Another Sunday Market for you to enjoy is on Sunday 18 October at the Art Yard Cafe from 10am to 1.30pm.
Come along and see what is on offer from:

  • Two Jolly Cooks
  • Team Tea
  • Chillis 2U
  • More & Lyon
  • Tess’ Brilliant Bakes
  • Smorgas Tarta
  • Organic Veg

…. and much more!

Sunday Market

A new Sunday Market begins on Sunday 20 September at the Art Yard Cafe from 10am to 1.30pm. The intention is to hold these on the 3rd Sunday of every month.

Come along and see what is on offer from:

  • Two Jolly Cooks
  • Team Tea
  • Chillis 2U
  • More & Lyon
  • Tess’ Brilliant Bakes
  • Smorgas Tarta
  • Organic Veg

…. and much more!

Coronavirus Latest

Local information about services affected during the Coronavirus

Updates about critical frontline services such as fire and rescue, waste collections, highways and children’s social care: Click here to learn more:

For information and updates about other services, click here to learn more:



It is essential, in times like this, that we ensure all in our community are supported. This note gives details of help and support that is available in the Enstone parish community.


Click here to join the Enstone COVID-19 Community Support Group, where those that wish to, can offer help to neighbours and those that need it can ask. If you are able to help either join the group and look out for requests for help or pick up a #viralkindness postcard from inside Adam’s Stores (also available to print on the FB group) to put through your neighbour’s doors.



The shop remains open.

Click here to go to Adams of Enstone Facebook Page for the latest information.



The council is still working, helping the community and meeting by video conferencing. The following members of Enstone Parish Council are available and happy to help:

  • Nikki Knott – 07711 545 594                  Carole Glendinning – 07977 506 209
  • David Robottom – 07768 511 108          Philip Shaw – 07771 594 927
  • Anthony Ward – 07540 960 592             Andrew Lee – 07867 783 459


  • Rev Mark Abery, Holy Trinity Church, Ascott, 01608 676 572



For the latest information and advice on services from West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) go to www.westoxon.gov.uk/coronavirus.










Oxford University Hospitals.



Citizens Advice – West Oxfordshire

Lines are busy, so start by visiting www.citizensadvice.org.uk. If an answer cannot be found, call the Adviceline on 0300 330 9049.

Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire is keen for people to know that the charity is still here for everyone. Citizens Advice is not able to provide face-to-face advice but is bolstering the Adviceline telephone service to help anyone who is in need of advice.

Citizens Advice website is constantly updated with the latest advice on what the coronavirus could mean for people on topics such as:

  • Sick pay
  • Rights to work from home
  • Flights, accommodation and event cancellation
  • People’s rights if schools are closed
  • Scams
  • Losing work because of coronavirus


Age UK Oxfordshire

Telephone support service for older people and carers

A new telephone support service has been launched by Age UK Oxfordshire and Action for Carers Oxfordshire. The aim is to offer advice and assistance to older people and carers. The service will provide a friendly weekly telephone call and an opportunity to help, or if appropriate direct people to other sources of help.

Call: 01865 411 288. Leave your name and phone number. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.


Community First Oxfordshire (CFO)

The CFO office itself is now closed and staff are working from home. They all have access to email and if you are unsure as to the correct email address, please forward to: info@communityfirstoxon.org and they will direct your email to the most appropriate person (or ask someone to give you a call).

Direct phone calls are currently more limited: please phone: 07935 888 638. if you need to speak to someone. visit the website at www.communityfirstoxon.org.


Government Business Support

For the Government Business Support Hotline call: 0300 456 3565

For the Universal Credit Hotline call: 0800 328 5644

The breakdown of all the financial support currently available for individuals and business can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19



  • Police – Emergency: 999, Non-Emergency: 101
  • Volunteer Link-Up: 01993 776277
  • Crime Stoppers: 0800 555 111
  • UK Visas & Immigration: 0300 123 2253
  • Shelter: 0808 800 4444
  • Debt Advice (Stepchange): 0800 138 1111
  • Law Society (Find a solicitor service): 020 7320 5650
  • If you require legal advice, please call the CLA to establish if you are entitled to Legal Aid: 0345 345 4345
  • HMRC: 0800 015 9559
  • School Closures: 0800 046 8687

Ash Trees to be Felled at Enstone Firs West on the Ditchley Estate

Ash Trees to be Felled at Enstone Firs West on the Ditchley Estate

Ash Dieback Disease has been confirmed as affecting nearby woodland in the plantation known as Enstone Firs West by the Forestry Commission last summer, and as such forestry operation now need to take place to clear fell and re-plant this area.

Infection causes ash trees to become weaker, brittle, structurally unpredictable and more likely to shed limbs, making felling even more dangerous. The expectation is that the vast majority of ash trees in an ash dominated woodland, such as this, will be dead within 10-15 years of infection. The implication for health and safety, and the owner’s associated duty of care, are thus very serious for all users of the woodland, both private and public. But most especially where roads run alongside the wood and public have rights of ways within the wood.

Following consultation with the Forestry Commission and local authorities, a felling licence has been issued permitting the felling and subsequent replanting. It is intended that a significant portion of maturing Beech along the southern edge of the woodland will be retained. Replanting is planned to be in a similar style as adopted in the 1950’s, with a predominantly native broadleaved planting together with a coniferous nurse.

Felling works are expected to commence this summer. The Estate has allowed the local community to use a permissive footpath through the woodland, however in the interests of public safety, the use of this must cease during these felling and replanting works, which is likely to be for several months. Forestry operations will be signed and adherence to the warning notices during the period of work will be required. It is very important that members of the public keep clear of the woodland during this period. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact:

Tim Shardlow at Nicholsons, 07909 530482, tim@nicholsonsgb.com.