Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The NHS, Government, Cumbria County Council and ourselves produced the information linked to below to help you, through the current coronavirus pandemic.
Find out about the testing sites in Cumbria on NHS website, which is available to anybody with COVID-19 symptoms in Cumbria.
Read the COVID-19: advice for smokers and vapers on GOV.UK on the current evidence of the increased risk of developing the disease if you are a smoker.
Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on an update to coronavirus symptoms: 18 May 2020 on GOV.UK. Government news story on the lose of taste and smell the latest symptoms connected to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
See coronavirus COVID-19 on the NHS website to get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).
Find out about testing and tracing for coronavirus on the NHS website. NHS information about testing for coronavirus and what to do if you're contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.
Read about online health and prescription services on the NHS website for anyone registered with a GP surgery.
Find out what to do when someone dies during the COVID-19 pandemic on GOV.UK. Government guidance, you may find useful if you have lost someone during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information is applies to deaths from COVID-19 and deaths from other causes.
See bereavement advice and support during coronavirus COVID-19 on the NHS website for anyone who has lost someone.
Telephone 0800 2600 400 the NHS bereavement helpline for guidance and support if someone you know has died.
Shielding clinically extremely vulnerable people
Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 on GOV.UK. Government updated guidance for people who are shielding, taking into account the decrease in COVID-19 disease levels over the last few weeks leading up to 31 May 2020.
Find out about the plans to ease guidance for over 2 million shielding on GOV.UK. Government press release announcing that millions of people shielding from coronavirus (COVID-19) will be advised they can spend more time outside their homes from Monday 6 July
Staying alert and safe (social distancing)
See staying alert and safe - social distancing on GOV.UK as everyone’s actions help to reduce the transmission of Coronavirus, as the UK moves to the next phase in our fight against coronavirus.
See staying alert and safe - social distancing guidance for young people on GOV.UK. This government guidance applies to young people in England.
Staying safe outside your home
Find out how about staying safe outside your home on GOV.UK as customers, visitors, employees or employers need to make changes to lower the risk of transmission of Coronavirus.
New guidance on spending time outdoors on GOV.UK. Government press release providing details on a range of outdoor activities which will are allowed in England from 13 May 2020 subject to social distancing rules.
See Meeting people from outside your household on GOV.UK. Government guidance on how you can see people that you do not live with while protecting yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19).
Outdoor sport and recreation
Groups of up to six from different households can exercise outside under new rules on GOV.UK. Government press release announces groups of up to six from different households can exercise outside under new rules from 1 June, 2020.
See guidance on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England on GOV.UK as the government increases people’s access to outdoor physical activity for the purpose of health and well-being.
See Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice on accessing green spaces safely on GOV.UK for advice on using green spaces and protecting yourself and others from coronavirus.
Transport and travel guidance
Read about the new rules on face coverings coming in on Monday will help keep passengers safe on GOV.UK. Government new story announcing passengers who don't follow the new rules on face coverings will not be allowed to travel on public transport.
Read about face coverings to become mandatory on public transport on GOV.UK. Government new story announcing from 15 June, passengers are required to wear face coverings while using public transport in England.
See Coronavirus (COVID-19): transport and travel guidance on GOV.UK. Government information for people using transport or working in the transport sector during the coronavirus outbreak.
Read the new guidance published to ensure transport network is safe for those who need to use it on GOV.UK. Government news story providing guidance for safer travel and safer transport operations during the next phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
See Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers on GOV.UK. Government guidance on walking, cycling, and travelling in vehicles or on public transport during the coronavirus outbreak.
See travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK. Government guidance for British people travelling overseas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
See Coronavirus (COVID-19): requirements to provide public health information to passengers travelling to England on GOV.UK. Government information on the regulations for travellers entering England so they are aware of the public health advice and related duties for entering and staying within England.
See Coronavirus (COVID-19): travellers exempt from border rules in the UK on GOV.UK. Government guidance on following the same rules as people who live in the UK, even if you’re exempt from self-isolating for 14 days after you arrive.
Check if you can get Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare during coronavirus (COVID-19) on GOV.UK. Find out about temporary changes that may affect you if you're applying for, or already getting, Tax-Free Childcare or 30 hours free childcare.
Police and enforcement powers
Read Police given new powers and support to respond to coronavirus more on GOV.UK. This government press release dated 26 May announces new public health regulations will strengthen enforcement powers to reduce the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives.
Stay at home: guidance for households with possible COVID-19
See Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus COVID-19 on GOV.UK. The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature.
Read Coronavirus (COVID-19): Accessing food and essential supplies on GOV.UK. Government guidance on how to get food and other essential supplies during the coronavirus pandemic for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable or self isolating.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
See Everyone in the United Kingdom with symptoms now eligible for coronavirus tests on GOV.UK. Government press release announcing that everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms can now get a test.
See Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested on GOV.UK for guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available.
Read Government expands expert team to rapidly roll out coronavirus test and trace programme on GOV.UK. Government press release announces the expansion of the expert team leading on the rapid nationwide roll-out of the coronavirus (COVID-19) test and trace programme.
Read Guidance for contacts of people with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person on GOV.UK. Government guidance for people who have been notified by NHS Test and Trace that they are a contact of a person who has had a positive test result for COVID-19.
See Coronavirus (COVID-19): antibody tests on GOV.UK. The government announces the start of a major new national antibody testing programme, with plans to provide antibody tests to NHS and care staff in England from the end of May.
Number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases
See the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK on GOV.UK and find what to do if you have symptoms, and what the government is doing about the virus.
Frequently asked questions on what you can and can't do
Read the Coronavirus outbreak FAQs about what you can and can't do on GOV.UK, updated to show the restrictions which are still in place.
Public advised to cover faces in enclosed spaces
Read, public advised to cover faces in enclosed spaces on GOV.UK a government press release. The press release advises the public to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
How to wear and make a cloth face covering
Find out how to wear and make a cloth face covering on GOV.UK, which covers your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably.
Read the new guidance on moving home on GOV.UK. Government news story announcing anyone in England, renters and buyers, can now move home as long as they can follow health guidance.
Read the Government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on GOV.UK. This Government guidance applies to people moving between private residential homes.
See Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information on the Cumbria County Council website for information regarding closure of schools and nurseries to all except essential workforce.
Keep up to date with any service changes
Use online and telephone services
Use the pay, apply and report links to online forms at the top of this page.
Telephone 01768 817817 to speak with a customer service advisor.
While our Town Hall and Mansion House offices in Penrith temporarily closed.
Council tax, benefits and financial support
See council tax, benefits and financial support to find out if you are entitled to council tax reduction or discount, housing benefit or universal credit.
Choosing an alternate way to pay your council tax may help you to budget.
What we are doing to prevent the spread of Coronavirus
Like many organisations, we have put in place our business resilience plan to protect our staff and customers and to ensure essential services continue to run. We are constantly reviewing the situation and may announce further changes in response to guidance from the Government and Public Health England.
Read our action plan statement dated 18 March, 2020 about accessing council services and working practices, implementing business rates holiday and business grants.
What are our staff doing to limit the spread of COVID-19?
In order to protect our staff and members of the public the council is making changes to the way it interacts with partners and customers. We have already postponed all external events organised by the council. We've recommended that any external staff meetings, or training be conducted remotely, or postponed, if this is not possible. The council is also implementing other changes to its working practices, including:
- Staff working from home where possible.
- Ensuring that staff vulnerable to infection are protected.
- Ensuring good hygiene by encouraging hand washing and clean surfaces.
- Closing or offices at Penrith Town Hall and Mansion House, Alston Town Hall, Penrith and Eden Museum and Penrith Tourist Information Centre to the public, although telephone and email enquiries are still being answered.
- Protecting yourself and others from infection.
Households where there is a confirmed, or suspected COVID-19 infection, should:
- Place all waste in a peddle bin liner or other rubbish bag and tie or knot the top of the bag when full.
- Place pedal bin liners or other rubbish bag in blue refuse bag, so waste is double bagged, and tie blue refuse bag in a double knot.
- Store full tied blue refuse bags in a secure location and mark for storage for at least 72 hours.
- After 72 hours the double knotted blue refuse bags can go out on your next collection day.
Waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. You should not put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known, or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.
If a test for suspected COVID-19 is negative, waste can be treated in the normal way.
Contact Customer Services on the details below, if storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate or possible. Customer Services will be able to advise you on how to arrange a Category B infectious waste collection by a specialist clinical waste contractor.
Our waste collection contractors will not collect waste placed in untied bin bags. Please ensure all waste is put out in tied bin bags.