The latest information, updates and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19), including local restrictions in Northumberland, changes to national restrictions across England, testing and testing sites, travel advice, and more.

This page was last updated on 25 September 2020 at 12:30

 

⚠️IMPORTANT⚠️

Please read our guide to the local resctrictions in Northumberland here. 

 

⚠️CLARIFICATION ON FOLLOWING LOCAL OR NATIONAL RESTRICTIONS⚠️
There were new national measures announced on September 22, what does this mean?

Residents in the region should follow the most restrictive measures – so this means following the local restrictions at this time.

 

Click the links below to be directed to the relevant information:

From 00:01 on Friday 18th September the following local restrictions will come into force.

This information was last updated on 25 September 2020 at 12:30


⚠️CLARIFICATION ON FOLLOWING LOCAL OR NATIONAL RESTRICTIONS⚠️
There were new national measures announced on September 22, what does this mean?
Residents in the region should follow the most restrictive measures – so this means following the local restrictions at this time.

⚠️IMPORTANT UPDATE ON CHILDCARE ⚠️
Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has announced on 21 September 2020 that informal childcare for example grandparents looking after children, is now allowed for children under 14 or vulnerable adults where this is necessary for caring purposes. See our updated FAQ here

 

Your Questions Answered:


Key information:


Reporting Northumberland individuals or businesses who are breaking the rules:


Household:


Education and childcare:


Travel:


Activities, events and hospitality:

 

Transportation:


Information for businesses


Information about testing sites in Northumberland


Current infection rate:

 

View all questions and answers:

 

1. What are the new measures?

From Friday 18th September, regulations will lawfully ban the following:

  • Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households in private homes and gardens
  • All hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only
  • Late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with venues required to close between 10pm to 5am.

Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:

  • Residents should not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in all public venues.
  • Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
  • Holidays should be taken within your own household or support bubble
  • Residents are advised against attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

 

2. What areas does it cover?

The whole of North Tyneside, Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead, County Durham, Sunderland and South Tyneside.

 

3. When are the measures being introduced?

Friday 18 September at 00:01.

 

4. Why are the measures being introduced?

These measures will help to address the significant rise in coronavirus cases in the region in recent weeks.

There is an increased risk of transmission the more people who gather together. Our data shows an increased rate of transmission in homes, hospitality venues and through grassroot sports.

We are doing everything we can to protect our most vulnerable, keep businesses open and children in school, which these measures will help with.

 

5. There were new national measures announced on September 22, what does this mean?

Residents in the region should follow the most restrictive measures – so this means following the local restrictions at this time.

 

6. Why is Northumberland subject to these measures when they’re not on the Government’s ‘watchlist’?

Infection rates have risen significantly in all areas, with increased numbers of outbreaks, leading to more community transmission across the region. While our rates of infections are different, all local authorities in this area are seeing significant rises in positive cases.

People also travel frequently between the different areas for work and leisure, so it makes sense for us to come together to contain this latest increase in infections.

 

7. How long will it last?

It starts from 00:01 hours on Friday 18 September and will be monitored closely and reviewed on a weekly basis. The next steps will depend on the impact the measures have.
 

8. What are the household changes?

You must not meet people who do not live with you, or are not part of your support bubble, either indoors or outdoors, unless for the specific purposes mentioned below.

People should only come inside your home for specific purposes:

  • where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble
  • to attend a birth at the mother’s request
  • to visit a person who is dying (the visitor can be someone the dying person lives with, a close family member, friend or, if none of those is visiting, anyone else)
  • to fulfil a legal obligation
  • for work purposes (see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes), or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services
  • for the purposes of education or training
  • for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • to facilitate a house move
  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents.

 

9. Do these measures affect childcare?

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.

Children of parents who are separated can continue to move between households.

‘Informal’ childcare, for example grandparents looking after children, is allowed for children under 14 or vulnerable adults where that is necessary for caring purposes (see questions 9 - 11 for further information).

It does not allow for play-dates or parties.

This informal arrangement exemption was announced by government on September 21 after initially not being permitted. The seven local authorities had asked for informal childcare to be exempt from the restrictions and lobbied for this to change.


10. Can grandparents from the same household (i.e. grandma and grandad) both provide childcare?

Yes. Grandparents who live in the same household, i.e. grandma and grandad, can link with one other household so that the parents of the children can work.




11. I have two sets of grandparents who live in separate households looking after my children. Is this allowed?

No. You can only link with one other household at any time, so the parents of the children can work.

 

 

12. I am a grandparent, how many of my grandchildren can I look after?

One set from one household, so the parents can work. 


13. What is a support bubble?

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 being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.

Once you make a support bubble, you should not change who is in your bubble.

You should not have multiple bubbles.

 

14. Do these measures affect access to education?

No. Schools, colleges and universities remain open and are operating in a COVID-secure way.

 

15. Does my child need to wear a face covering at school?

Unless exempt, in education settings where students in Year 7 and above are educated, including middle schools, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and students when moving around in corridors and communal areas.

 

16. Can I travel outside the area for work or school?

Yes, people living inside and outside of these areas can continue to travel for work or school. Workplaces and schools themselves should also be implementing covid-secure measures.

 

17. Can I go to someone’s house in an area not subject to the restrictions?

You should not visit anyone’s home inside or outside of the restricted area (except for your support bubble).

 

18. Can I go to a care home?

Care homes in the region have been advised to stop non-essential visiting, excluding health care professionals and those involved in end of life care (including family members).

If you are planning to visit relatives in care homes outside the affected areas (see question 2), then check with the care home prior to travelling to ensure that they are still open to visits from family members.
 

19. What are the changes for the hospitality venues?

The following must close from 10pm to 5am:

  • Pubs
  • Bars and restaurants (including hotel dining rooms and members’ clubs)
  • Cafes including workplace canteens (but not including cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes, prisons, establishments intended for the use of naval, military or air force purposes and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
  • Social clubs
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Casinos
  • Bingo halls and concert halls
  • Amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
  • Static/fixed funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks, and adventure parks and activities
  • Travelling funfairs are also prohibited

During opening hours (5am to 10pm), venues serving alcohol must operate table service only for food and drinks – this includes ordering. Those venues who don’t serve alcohol can operate counter service, but the consumption of food and drinks should take place at a table as much as possible.

As elsewhere in the country, venues must also take details of customers for NHS Test and Trace from September 18.


 

20. What about takeaways?

Hot food takeaways should close to walk-ins between 10pm and 5am each day, but they can continue to operate a delivery service during these hours, via a website, telephone, text message, post, or by ‘drive-throughs’.


 

21. Can I still go to a hospitality venue, like a pub or restaurant, or meet up outdoors for example in a park or at the beach with family and friends there who don’t live with me?

You are advised to only visit these venues with other members of your household (or support bubble).

 

22. Why can I visit the pub but not my relative’s house?

This is because the hospitality industry has enhanced measures, such as risk assessments and test and trace, which private homes don’t have.

 

23. Are there restrictions on weddings, civil partnerships and funerals?

There are no changes to the national guidance for funerals – up to 30 people can attend a funeral.

From Monday 28 September, weddings and civil partnerships and receptions are limited to up to 15 people.



24. What are the changes to playing sports?

The Government has announced that indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six. There is an exemption for indoor organised team sports for disabled people (from 24 September). This is a national restriction. Click here to read the changes to national restrictions, announced 22 September.

You can continue to take part in organised sporting or licensed physical activity. This can be in any public place – indoors or outdoors – but not in a private outdoor space like a garden or inside a private home.
 
You should only be playing team sports where the relevant governing body has published guidance on how to do so safely. See a list of team sports governing bodies which have developed guidance. Activities must be organised by a national governing body, club, registered instructor/coach, business or charity, and/or involve someone who has received an official licence to use equipment relevant to the activity. In all cases, the organiser must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with COVID-19 secure guidance.

We advise that you should not spectate at any sports events, including at professional and semi-professional sports events. Spectators are defined as people who are not present for childcare responsibilities. The rule of 6 applies to those present with childcare responsibilities.

Updated guidance from Northumberland FA
 
Northumberland FA guidance - restrictions beginning Thursday 24 September 2020. 


25. Can I travel to play sport outside of the areas with restrictions?

Yes. Please wear a face covering if using public transport unless exempt.

 

26. Can I go to the gym, gym class, leisure centre or a swimming pool?

Yes, as long as these venues have the required Covid-secure risk assessments and guidelines in place.

 

27. Can I have someone in my house (or go into someone’s house) to do repairs or other work?

Official/registered tradespeople can go to other people’s homes for work purposes as long as you follow national guidance on how to work safely there.

 

28. Can I still go on holiday?

You can still go on holiday within the UK or abroad, but you should only do this with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with). You need to follow any rules in the area you visit and be aware of the self-isolation rules when travelling to and from certain countries.

People can visit the region on holiday but must comply with the local restrictions.

 

29. What about public transport and car sharing?

Residents are advised to walk or cycle when possible and when travelling by car to only travel with those in tour household and/or support bubble.

It is advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work.

Face coverings must be worn unless exempt.


 

30. Are the airport, train stations and ports still open?

Newcastle Airport, train stations and ports remain open and members of the public are permitted to travel to and from these locations.

 

31. Can I move home?

Yes

 

32. What support is available for medically vulnerable residents?

Northumberland Communities Together Response Hub can connect residents with the support they need if family or friends are not nearby. Phone 01670 620015 between 9am to 6pm, seven days a week.

  • Website: www.northumberland.gov.uk/communitiestogether
  • Email: communitiestogether@northumberland.gov.uk
  • Facebook@nlandtogether
  • Twitter: @NlandTogether
  • Language translator: If English is not your preferred language you can ask the advisor to use a translator while on the call.
  • Type talk: 01800 10845 600 6400

If you are deaf or can’t speak on the phone, contact us using Relay UK. Download the Relay UK app or using your existing text phone prefix our dedicated text Relay number: 018001 01670 623 515

British Sign Language users can now contact the Northumberland Communities Together Response Hub using SignVideo Web Access, an online sign language interpreting service. To contact us using this service use: northumberlandcc-covid.signvideo.net

 

33. What do I do if I see someone breaking the rules in Northumberland?

Concerned about a person breaking the rules?

Where people are breaking the rules, we will seek to engage, explain and encourage them to adhere to the restrictions. However, enforcement action will be taken where appropriate.

If an individual is breaching restrictions, you can report it to Northumbria Police. To do so, where possible, people are asked to use the reporting tool on the force’s website www.northumbria.police.uk. Alternatively, you can call 101. The police will assess the circumstances to determine the appropriate action.

Once the legislation is in place, the police or the local authority will be able to take action against those who break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at £100.

People aged 18 or over will be able to be fined:

  • · £100 for the first offence, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days
  • · £200 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200

Concerned about a business in Northumberland breaking the rules?

If you have concerns that a business or venue in Northumberland is not following the guidance, you can report it to Northumberland County Council by completing this online form

 

 

34. Where do I find information on infection rates?

Your questions about testing sites

Are testing sites run by Northumberland County Council?

No. Testing sites are run by the Government’s Department of Health and Social Care as part of the drive to improve the accessibility of COVID-19 testing for communities, as such they are responsible for the operation of all sites.

What are testing sites?

These testing sites are semi-permanent, purpose-built locations where members of the public who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested for the virus. These sites are walk-through sites which means they are accessible on foot, as opposed to drive-through. However appointments are still required before attending.

Where are the testing sites?

Northumberland has two testing sites;
  1. Peoples Park car park, Institute Road, Ashington, NE63 8HP - operational from Saturday 19 September
  2. Marine Terrace car park, Blyth, NE24 2LL - operational from Tuesday 22 September

When are they open?

8am to 8pm, 7 days per week.

Are the testing sites safe?

Yes. Sites will have detailed clinical operating procedures in place which have been developed in collaboration with clinical experts. Layouts at walk-through testing sites have been carefully designed to ensure people can move around them safely and prevent spread of the virus. Social distancing will be maintained throughout the testing process, and people attending the sites are asked to wear a face-covering.

Do the testing sites pose any risk to the surrounding areas?

No. Both testing sites have been risk assessed, to ensure they do not pose any health and safety risks to the surrounding areas. This has been confirmed by the Council’s Health and Safety team.

Do I need an appointment to attend?

YES. It is important that anyone requiring a test makes a booking before attending any test site. This will ensure that sites have enough capacity to meet demand and prevent them from becoming overcrowded.

When should I request a test?

You should only book a test if you have been asked to do so by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council, or if you are showing one or more symptoms of COVID-19. These are;
  • A new and persistent cough
  • Fever
  • Sudden loss of sense of taste or smell

How do I book a test?

You can book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by phoning 119.

Can I book a test through the Council?

No. The Department of Health and Social Care is responsible for the operation of testing sites, and any appointment slots must be booked online via nhs.uk/coronavirus or gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by phoning 119.

Can I request a test even if I don’t have symptoms?

No. It is essential that tests are reserved for those who are currently showing symptoms of COVID-19.  Even if you have been instructed to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace system, you should only book a test if you yourself are showing symptoms of the virus.

Should I get a test if I have come into contact with a person who has suspected COVID-19?

You should only request a test if you have developed symptoms of COVID-19. If someone you have been in contact with tests positive for COVID-19 you will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, at which point you will be instructed to self-isolate for 14 days. Again, you should only request a test if you yourself are showing symptoms of COVID-19, otherwise you should carry out the full period of self-isolation as instructed. Remember, you will only be contacted by the Test and Trace service if someone you have been in contact with has been confirmed to have the virus.

How do I get to the testing site?

If you are attending a site for a COVID-19 test, it is essential you do not use taxis or public transport to get there. Walking or cycling is recommended if you are unable to drive. Be sure to wash your hands before you leave the house and avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily on your way.

Do I need to bring anything with me to the test?

You will be asked to bring your booking confirmation and a form of ID. You should also wear a face-covering at all times when attending the test site, only removing it at the moment you take your test.

What will happen when I arrive for my test?

You will be asked to sanitise your hands upon arrival and ensure you maintain a 2-metre distance from others. You may be asked to queue and there may be bags checks in place. When inside the testing tent, your confirmation message and ID will be checked, and you will be given a testing kit. A member of staff will then direct you to a testing booth where you will carry out your test.

Who will conduct the test and what does it entail?

You will conduct the test yourself, which will consist of 2 swabs – one from the nose and one from the mouth. Full instructions will be given, and staff will be there to offer support should you encounter any issues.

How long do the tests take?

Slots for testing are 20 minutes, although you may be required to queue before entering the site.

Do I need to do anything after my test?

You should return straight home after your test without stopping anywhere else. You should then register online using the link on your test registration card and the remaining barcode from your test kit.

When will I receive my result?

You should receive your result within 72 hours. There are 3 types of result you can get:
  • negative
  • positive
  • unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive

What should I do if my test is positive?

A positive result means you had coronavirus when the test was done.

If your test is positive, you must self-isolate immediately.
  • If you had a test because you had symptoms, keep self-isolating for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.
  • If you had a test but have not had symptoms, self-isolate for 10 days from when you had the test.
Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must self-isolate for 14 days from when you start self-isolating.

What should I do if my test is negative?

A negative result means the test did not find coronavirus.

 You do not need to self-isolate if your test is negative, as long as:
  • everyone you live with who has symptoms tests negative
  • everyone in your support bubble who has symptoms tests negative
  • you were not told to self-isolate for 14 days by NHS Test and Trace. If you were, you must keep self-isolating for the rest of the 14 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested. However, anyone you live with and those in your support bubble can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms
  • you feel well – if you feel unwell, stay at home until you’re feeling better
Note: If you have diarrhoea or you’re being sick, stay at home until 48 hours after they've stopped.

What should I do if my test result is unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive?

An unclear, void, borderline or inconclusive result means it's not possible to say if you had coronavirus when the test was done.

You must get another coronavirus test as soon as possible if this happens.

If you had a test because you had symptoms, you must keep self-isolating and have another test within 5 days of your symptoms starting.

If you’re not able to have another test in time, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must self-isolate for 14 days.

If you had a test but have not had any symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate while you wait to get another test. People you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, do not need to self-isolate.

What should I do if I haven’t received my result within 72 hours?

When you book your appointment, you will receive a confirmation message that will include a contact number which you can phone if you do not receive your test result within 72 hours.

If my test is positive does that mean I’m now immune to COVID-19?

No. There is no evidence to suggest that a person develops immunity from COVID-19 after being infected.

Will this test tell me if I have had COVID-19 in the past?

No. This test can only tell you whether you are currently infected with COVID-19.

Find the latest updates and changes to restrictions announced by Government.

This information was last updated on 24 September 2020 at 17:14


Latest changes to national coronavirus restrictions

The Prime Minister addressed the nation on Tuesday 22 September to announce further changes coronavirus rules and restrictions.

Some key national changes were announced:
  • Office workers should work from home again where possible - although workers in "key public services and in all professions where home working is not possible", such as construction and retail, should continue to go in
  • From Thursday, all pubs, bars and restaurants must be table service only and close at 10pm - but delivery services can remain open
  • The requirement to wear a face covering has been extended to staff in retail, people in taxis and everyone using hospitality services
  • Fines for not wearing a face covering will now double to £200 for a first offence
  • Only 15 people can now attend weddings but 30 can go to a funeral
  • The rule of six has been extended to adult indoor sports teams
  • Phased reopening of stadiums for sports clubs has been cancelled

Read the full announcment and changes on gov.uk here.
 

IMPORTANT - Please read the local restrictions currently in place within Northumberland by clicking here

 

Latest information and advice:

Latest Government announcements:



We can all play a part by:

  • Following public health authorities’ advice, for example on hand washing
  • Reducing the impact and spread of misinformation by using trusted sources, such as that on www.nhs.uk/ and www.gov.uk/
  • Checking and following the latest FCO travel advice when travelling and planning to travel
  • Ensuring you and your family’s vaccinations are up to date as this will help - reduce the pressure on the NHS and social care, through reducing vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Checking on elderly or vulnerable family, friends and neighbours - while still following social distancing and shielding guidelines
  • ​Using NHS 111 online coronavirus service in the first instance if you have any concerns.
  • Understanding the pressures the health and social care systems may be under, and receptive to changes that may be needed to the provision of care to you and your family.
  • Accepting that the advice for managing COVID-19 for most people will be self isolation at home and simple over the counter medicines
  • Checking for new advice as the situation changes

Useful links to helpful information


The government have created a helpful FAQs webpage so you can clearly see the rules we should be following during the coronavirus pandemic.

This information was last updated on 24 September 2020 at 17:18.

What you can and can't do - FAQ's

See government FAQ's on what you can and cannot do during the pandemic here.

 

Face coverings

It is now mandatory to wear face coverings in more settings The list of places and people who must wear a face covering was extended on 22 September.. You can read the full list of locations here.  

Your face covering must cover your nose and mouth at all times.   

Please click here to see how you can make your own face covering.


We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible

  • work from home if you can

  • limit contact with other people

  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)

  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms. If you have symptoms, or if you test positive for the virus, you must self-isolate for 10 days.

The government have put together expert guidance on travelling overseas during the coronavirus pandemic.

This information was last updated on 17 September 2020.

 

IMPORTANT - Please read the local restrictions currently in place within Northumberland by clicking here

 

Please click here for travel advice. This link will open in a new tab, and will take you to the gov.uk website.

You can find updates to the travel corridors for England at the gov.uk site here. This will take you to a list of countries and territories from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate.
 

Find out what to do if you develop Coronavirus symptoms when visiting Northumberland.

This information was last updated on 17 September 2020.

 

IMPORTANT - Please read the local restrictions currently in place within Northumberland by clicking here

 


If you become unwell and experience any symptoms of coronavirus while you are on holiday in Northumberland you must:
  • Self-isolate and stay indoors
  • arrange a test using your holiday address
  • notify your accommodation provider
You can get a test by visiting the NHS website by clicking here or by calling 119. You can book an appointment at a drive-through or walk-through test site or ask for a home test kit to be sent to your holiday accommodation although this may take longer. Test results are issued by text or email so you do not need to wait for your results if you are due to return home before your result arrives. You must return home the most direct way and must not use public transport.

If you’re staying or travelling with others, they must also self-isolate and take appropriate action based on your test result.

If you need medical advice whilst you wait for your test results please contact your regular GP or call 111. In the event of a medical emergency, call 999.


If you test positive

If you test positive for coronavirus and feel well enough to travel home - and do not need to use public transport -  you should return home as quickly and directly as you can. 

If you feel too unwell to travel, or cannot avoid public transport, you should continue to isolate and call 111 for further advice. You must also inform your accommodation provider that you have tested positive.


If you test negative

Enjoy the rest of your holiday as planned. If you need any medical assistance please call your GP or contact 111.

We all need to do our bit in the battle against Covid.  Protect yourself, protect others, and protect Northumberland.
We are aware that the Department for Health and Social Care are setting up a number of rotating COVID-19 mobile testing sites across Northumberland, supported by the military.

This information was last updated on 17 September 2020.

 

IMPORTANT - Please read the local restrictions currently in place within Northumberland by clicking here

 

 

When to get tested

It is very important that we all know when to get a test and when it isn't necessary to get tested. This is so we don't take a test away from someone that really needs it. 

The main symptoms of coronavirus are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

Get tested if you have the symptoms
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get a test. It's really important that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can get a test. This will help us stop the spread of the virus.
Do not book a test if you don't have the symptoms
  • If you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms and you are trying to book a test, do not come forwards for a test – you could be taking a test away from someone who really needs it.
  • This is increasingly important as we head into Autumn and Winter and more people will get colds and the flu. Only if you have one of the 3 symptoms should you book a test.
 

Testing

The council is not involved in the set-up or operation of tests, including their locations.

You MUST follow the registration process and book an appointment for a test. You can’t turn up to get a test without an appointment. 
 
Booking testing slots
Booking slots are made available the evening before for morning appointments, and in the morning for afternoon appointments. 
 
DHSC are continually seeking to release more booking slots, so returning to the website later or to the 119 service and re-attempting a booking can result in a test site being located closer to home. 
 
PLEASE NOTE: You may be offered an available slot which may not be near where you live. 
 

Self-isolating

It was announced on 30 July 2020, that if you show symptoms of coronavirus, or if you test positive for the virus, you must self-isolate for 10 days.

Please click here for the announcement from the BBC.

Please click here for more information from the gov.uk website.


NHS Test and Trace

If you test positive for coronavirus, the NHS Test and Trace system will ask you to share your most recent contacts with them. This allows your contacts to be 'traced' via this service, and they will be informed that they have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. They can then self-isolate for 14 days to stop the spread.

Please click here for more information from the gov.uk site.

Please click here for NHS Test and Trace.
This section provides information regarding financial support for Northumberland residents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This information was last updated on 17 September 2020.

 

IMPORTANT - Please read the local restrictions currently in place within Northumberland by clicking here

 

Assistance for Northumberland Residents

Whilst it is right that the government has taken action to ensure that all those employed receive statutory sick pay and are paid if they need to self-isolate, what action is being taken to protect those with zero-hour contracts and the self-employed?
 
All individuals will be offered the opportunity to be supported to access benefits in line with government guidance.
 
Click here to learn more about claiming benefits during the coronavirus outbreak. This page includes information about statutory sick pay, universal credit, jobcentre appointments, and more.
 

 

Council Tax Support, Housing Benefit, and Universal Credit

Residents can make an application for:

If residents are otherwise experiencing hardship but are not entitled to benefits they may choose to contact the Northumberland Community Bank.

Northumberland Emergency Transition Support (NETS) provides crisis support to residents of Northumberland. Details of the support available and the application process can be found here.
 
Residents can also telephone 0345 600 6400 and follow the options for Benefits then NETS team. Lines are open from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday.

 

The Hardship Fund

The Government’s Hardship Fund will be used to reduce bills further for those already receiving council tax support, new claimants of council tax support and to establish a hardship fund in the county.
 
PLEASE NOTE: Residents already receiving support through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme don’t need to contact us, as the additional help will be automatically applied to bills in the next few weeks.
 
The Council Tax Hardship Fund will be allocated to qualifying residents. This is an additional £150 of funding for those who already receive support due to their financial situation.
 
The scheme will help towards the cost of Council Tax for people on a low income or those who claim certain benefits including Universal Credit. It means that those who may have lost work or money due to coronavirus, could now benefit from this means of help.
 

I am struggling with bills, rent, or mortage - what support is available?

Find out what you support you can get if you're affected by coronavirus here - this link will take you to gov.uk, where you can select what issues you are having and find support. 
This section provides information regarding financial support for Northumberland businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Assistance for Northumberland Businesses

Please visit our dedicated Northumberland business hub section of our website to access all of the support available. 
This section provides Northumberland residents with some of the answers to their COVID-19 questions. These questions relate to the virus itself.

What is coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus. Public Health England (PHE) have a comprehensive guide on what COVID-19 is and this is available, together with their associated professional advice.

Is coronavirus the same as COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses which cause a range of diseases. COVID-19 is the name given to the disease caused by a new coronavirus which had not previously been identified.

I'm worried about coronavirus, where can I get help and support?

Click here to access the range of information sources on COVID-19 provided by Public Health England and the government.

This section provides Northumberland residents with some of the answers to their education and school related questions, in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

 

This information was last updated on 17 September 2020.

 

IMPORTANT - Please read the local restrictions currently in place within Northumberland by clicking here

 


Please click here for all the latest information and frequently asked questions regarding schools and COVID-19.

This section provides Northumberland residents with some answers to their questions in relation to safeguarding and how it is impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated on 17 September 2020.

 

IMPORTANT - Please read the local restrictions currently in place within Northumberland by clicking here

 



Click here for Safeguarding Adults information & advice regarding coronavrius (COVID-19).

Click here for Safeguarding Children information & advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

A number of online groups are appearing, suggesting that people contact them if they require assisstance. Whilst we are sure the intentions of people setting these up is genuine, how do we ensure that the safeguarding of vulnerable people is not compromised?

We have made contact with key groups to ensure that support is provided in a co-ordinated way, and that the vulnerability of our communities is protected wherever possible. We are aware that some individuals may not have good natured intentions and if we become aware of these we will notify the police accordingly.

This section provides Northumberland residents with some answers to their health and wellbeing questions, in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Where can I get general advice about my health and wellbeing at this time?

We recommend that you seek general advice online from NHS.uk and NHS 111 online.

This section provides Northumberland residents with some answers to their social care questions, in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated on 17 September 2020.

 

IMPORTANT - Please read the local restrictions currently in place within Northumberland by clicking here

 

Social Care


How do we provide home care to residents, including those we do not yet know about, without compromising the health of residents and staff?

A robust plan is in place to ensure that those residents that need support receive it.

We are working with partner agencies to ensure that we minimise visits to each individual (i.e 1 visit instead of 3 separate agencies) and have met with carer providers to identify people they are working with that were not known to our service, so we can provide advice and support. 

What provisions are in place to protect the most vulnerable of our residents in residential care homes and sheltered accomodation?

Public Health, Adult and Children's social care, and Housing colleagues are working closely to ensure that there is strong communication, resources, and support available across the county, promoting good public health messages and ensuring that workers and residents are aware of the current resources available to them. 

How are we going to support families of those in 'at-risk' age and medical groups to care for their relatives, stay safe themselves and continue in their employment?

The Council has a lead role in providing support to those residents who are 'shielding'. Click here for information about how to access national support. 

Northumberland Communities Together has been launched in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. It will make sure our residents are kept safe and well throughout this crisis, and provide coordination to support individual volunteers, voluntary groups and communities across our county. Click here to learn more about Northumberland Communities Together, such as how they may be able to help you by delivering food and medicine.
 
The ‘How can I get help?’ section on our website features information about personal support, bereavement support, employment support and financial support during the Coronavirus pandemic. Click here to visit 'How can I get help?' web page. 

What is going to happen with community outreach programmes, particularly for those with physical and mental disabilities?

Senior managers reviewed all our services to assess which should be temporarily suspended or delivered differently within communities. Critical services will be maintained at all times, although these may need to be delivered differently.

Are there any plans to close the day centres that vulnerable and disabled adults go to?

As a result of Public Health advice about social distancing, many of the people who usually attend day services told us that they did not want to continue going during the crisis. Most of the organisations providing day services have decided as a result to suspend their operations, and the Council has also suspended operation of its own day services. 

We have reviewed the needs of all people who usually attend day services which have suspended their operation. Where day services provided a person with essential personal care or other support, we have made sure it will continue to be provided in other ways. 

The Council highly values the range of day services for people with care and support needs in the county, and is taking steps to ensure that their future is not at risk because of the COVID-19 emergency. 

This page provides Northumberland residents with some answers to their communication related questions during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Does the council have any social media pages that I should follow, which may be useful during this period?

The council's public Facebook and Twitter pages will provide comprehensive updates as they are known. The staff Facebook page will also have useful information. 

This section providers Northumberland residents with the answers to some of their housing questions in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

This information was last updated on 17 September 2020.

 

IMPORTANT - Please read the local restrictions currently in place within Northumberland by clicking here

 


Are there any plans to give tenants a rent and council tax holiday if they are unable to work?

There currently no plans to give tenants a rent and council tax holiday, but this will be reviewed in line with any national guidance recieved, and the council will carefully consider how they communicate with residents over any outstanding rent/council tax at this time.

Will there be a guarantee that tenants will not face eviction if they are unable to pay their rent due to illness, self-isolation, or unpaid leave?

We would like to reassure tenants that we will not be evicting people who are in rent arrears as a direct result of the coronavirus.

What support are we offering house owners and private landlords?

We are currently reviewing the infromation available to house owners and private landlords, but directing residents to the nationally available guidance. The Private Sector Housing Team has identified key services which we will aim to deliver for as long as possible, in order to support private landlords and their tenants. Click here to view these key services.

The above document includes links to important information for Private Landlords in relation to keeping themselves and their tenants safe, as well as information regarding new emergency legislation for eviction proceedings. The Private Sector Housing Team's contact details are also included for customers who have specific questions about how we may be able to help. 

What measures are we putting in place to ensure that residents know what benefits they are entitled to and how to claim them? For instance, Universal Credit claimants can also claim Housing Benefit. 

Our teams are well placed to advise residents over the phone on the the potential benefits they be entitled to and to conduct a claim on their behalf.