Updated 25.11.20 12:20
For information about businesses please see our support for business section.
We understand that the measures to control the virus can be confusing and frustrating. Our Coronavirus page contains lots of information about the local restrictions, testing, Covid-19 related data, the Help Hub, support for business, support for residents, and schools information. Please check these pages for the latest updates.
- What Council services are open/closed?
You can find out about the Council services that are open and those that have closed here.
- What is a support bubble and who can make one?
A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.
Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as a single household with the people from the other household. It means that you can have close contact with them as if you lived together.
It is very important that you only make one support bubble and you should not change who is in your bubble.
Who can form a support bubble:
- If you are a single-adult household living by yourself or are a single parent with children who were under 18 on 12th June 2020 you can form a support bubble with one other household of any size that is not part of another support bubble.
- If you live with other adults, you can form a support bubble with another single-adult household as long as they are not in a support bubble with someone else.
- If you share custody of your child with someone you do not live with, they do not need to be included in your support bubble.
You should try to limit how far you travel to your support bubble.
For more information please read the government guidance.
The government have published guidance on making a Christmas bubble with friends and family between 23 and 27 December. This means that you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ with people from no more than three households. Please read the guidance for further details.
- What are the social restrictions?
You must not leave or be outside your home except for specific purposes such as shopping for basic essentials (food/medicine), for childcare or education or work, to exercise, to go to a place of worship, for medical appointments, to visit someone in your support bubble or to provide care for vulnerable people or volunteer.
You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household – meaning those you live with or in your support bubble.
In general you must not meet people socially. You can exercise or meet in a public outdoor space with one other person outside of your household, but continue to maintain social distancing.
- Can I visit family and friends?
You can meet them if they are part of your support bubble. You can only have one support bubble. You can exercise or meet in a public outdoor space with one other person outside of your household.
- What about childcare?
You can form a childcare link with one other household for childcare purposes where a household has at least one child aged 13 or under.
This means that grandparents/family members can look after your child. However, this must always be between the same 2 households.
Friends or family you do not live with and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare.
Childcare bubbles are to be used to provide childcare only, and no to enable households to mix indoors otherwise.
You can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders and providers offering before or after school clubs or other out-of-school settings for children. You can also continue to employ nannies, including those living outside of the region.
- Can I go for a walk or a run with my friends
Yes, but this can only be with one other person from outside of your household. Children under school age or those dependent on round-the-clock care who are with their parents/carers will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside.
- Who is allowed in my home?
You must not meet people who you do not live with inside your home (except those in your support bubble). However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule listed below.
- Official/registered tradespeople for work purposes as long as they follow national guidance on how to work safely
- To provide emergency assistance
- To attend a birth at the mother’s request
- To visit a person who is dying
- To fulfil a legal obligation
- For work, volunteering or charitable purposes
- For education or training purposes
- For the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider
- To provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
- To facilitate a house move (this includes viewing a property)
- To continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as one or more of their parents.
- Can I get a takeaway from a pub, restaurant or café?
Yes, if the venue is offering food and drinks to be consumed off the premises.
- Do I need to shield again?
Please read the restrictions section for advice on shielding and protecting those most at risk.
- Can I still go to the gym and pool?
Unfortunately gyms and pools are closed. Some gyms are offering on-line classes – please get in touch with your gym directly. Find out more information on the Council's leisure provision.
- Should I use public transport or share a car?
Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work. Face coverings must be worn unless exempt.
You are advised not to share a car with those outside your household or support bubble, and to use public transport for essential journeys instead.
- What about out-of-school and recreational sports activities?
These should not take place, except as part of childcare to enable parents/carers to work, seek work or attend training. Recreational sports such as martial arts should not take place.
- What information is there about covid-19 hospital activity?
You can read information published by the NHS on their website.
- How do I report a business that is breaching the rules?
If you have concerns that a retail business, office or warehouse does not have proper social distancing precautions in place please email email@example.com.
- How do I report a person that is breaching the rules?
- Fines and enforcement
The police have a number of enforcement options including dispersing illegal groups and issuing fines to people aged 18 or over. These are £200 for the first offence, lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days and; £400 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £6,400
Businesses that don’t comply with the new rules are likely to receive a fixed penalty notice from the Council, starting at £1000 and then going to £2000, £4000 and £10,000 for each subsequent fixed penalty. If a business doesn’t pay the fixed penalty it will be taken to court. The penalty on conviction is an unlimited fine.