Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and guidance

National restrictions due to coronavirus

National restrictions are currently in place in England until 2 December. This means:

  • you must stay at home, except for specific purposes

  • you must avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes

  • certain businesses and venues must close

These restrictions will be replaced with a local tier system from 2 December.

The Government will announce which areas are in which tier on 26 November. 

Read about the national restrictions on GOV.UK

How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus

To protect yourself and others you should remember:

  • Hands - wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • Facewear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • Space - stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).

Read more about staying alert and safe on GOV.UK.

What to do if you think you have symptoms

You should stay at home and self-isolate for at least ten days if you have:

  • a high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms you should:

Anyone you live with and anyone in your support bubble must also stay at home until you get your result.

Read the NHS guidance for staying at home if you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms.

Support bubbles

If you live by yourself or are a single parent with dependant children – in other words, if there is only one adult in your home – you can expand your close support network so that it includes one other household of any size. This is called making a ‘support bubble’ and means you're able to have close contact with them as you could if they were members of your own household.

Find out more about making a support bubble on GOV.UK.

More information

You can find more information and guidance about coronavirus on GOV.UK and NHS.UK.

Mencap also has lots of useful easy read information about coronavirus for people with learning difficulties.

Get a test for coronavirus

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) you should get a test and self-isolate.

The symptoms are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have any of these symptoms.

If you have symptoms, however mild, you must get a test and self-isolate until you receive your test result. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.

When to apply for a test

You need to have the test within the first eight days of having symptoms.

On days one to seven of your symptoms you can get tested at a test site or at home. If you're ordering a home test kit on day seven, you need to do it by 3pm. On day eight of your symptoms you'd need to go to a test site to be tested as it's too late to order a home test kit.

What the test involves

The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.

Testing sites in Barnsley

In Barnsley our main local testing site is in the town centre on the lower Courthouse car park, County Way, S70 2JW. This is site is accessible on foot and is open 12 hours a day, seven days a week from 8am to 8pm. We also have a second walk-through testing site in the car park at the Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre, Cudworth, S72 8LH.

You need to book an appointment to get a coronavirus test on NHS.UK before visiting a testing site.

How to book a test

You can book a test on the NHS website or call 119 if you're not able to access the internet.

When requesting a test you'll be asked:

  • for details such as your name, mobile phone number and address
  • how you want to get the test – by going to a testing site or getting a home test kit.

Getting your test result

You'll receive your results within 24 to 72 hours.

If you don’t have an email address or a phone number you can call 119 for your results.

Testing dos and don'ts

What you should do

  • Do get a test if you have one or more of the following symptoms: a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
  • Do self-isolate for at least 10 days if you can’t get a coronavirus test straight away.
  • Do self-isolate if a member of your family has symptoms of coronavirus.

What you shouldn't do

  • Don’t get a test if you don’t currently have symptoms - you could be taking a test away from somebody who really needs one.
  • Don’t stop self-isolating if you have symptoms of coronavirus but can’t get a test; you must isolate for 10 days.
  • Don’t get a test for yourself if only a member of your family has symptoms of coronavirus. Only the person who has symptoms should get a test.
  • Don’t stockpile tests. There is plenty of stock and if you develop symptoms in future you'll be able to book a test. There's no need to order a test in case of future use.
  • Don’t call 111 to book a test; either get a coronavirus test on NHS.UK or call 199.

Get the NHS COVID-19 app

The NHS COVID-19 app is available to download for free and is the fastest way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community.

The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in. Find out more about the NHS COVID-19 app.

NHS QR code posters for businesses

Some businesses are required to display NHS QR posters in their venues. These allow customers with the NHS COVID-19 app to use their smartphones to check-in to a location.

Find out more about NHS QR code posters for businesses.

How to get help and support 

Temporary changes to council services 

Due to national restrictions, we've made some changes to how some council services are delivered and to our opening times. You can see a full list of the temporary changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19) here. Please revisit this page, as we'll be updating it with the latest information about any service changes or closures during the pandemic. 

You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for regular updates.

Businesses and other organisations

Available support

Operating your business


Care homes

Children and schools

Bubbles within schools

All children that are currently attending school will be assigned to a 'bubble'; this is a group of children which your child will be in contact with while they're in school. If a pupil tests positive for coronavirus in your child’s bubble and they've been in the setting during the infectious period, you'll be informed by the school and may be asked to keep your child off school to isolate for 14 days.

You don't need to get your child tested for coronavirus unless they start displaying symptoms, such as a new continuous cough, a fever or loss of taste or smell. 

Your child’s school should be your first point of information and they'll contact you directly, as well as providing information on their website. You can find a full list of schools in Barnsley.

Attending school

Other support

Clinically vulnerable people

If you're over 60 or clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

You should:

  • be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others
  • continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual, and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace.

Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:

  • aged 70 or over (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone told to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
    • chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    • chronic kidney disease
    • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
    • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
    • diabetes
    • weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they're taking (such as steroid tablets)
    • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
    • pregnant

Clinically extremely vulnerable people

There's a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (that is, people with specific serious health conditions).

Over this period, we're advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to work from home. If you can't work from home, you're advised not to go to work and may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

You're encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, but are encouraged to go outside for exercise. The government will write to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place.

Read more about protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK.

The government is sending a letter to everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice of what they need to do whilst the new restrictions are in place. 

The government letter will also tell you how to register your details for support by visiting their website. You'll need your NHS number (on the letter) to register. Registering will help you to:

  • get access to priority supermarket deliveries (if you've already got priority supermarket deliveries, you'll keep them
  • ask for someone to contact you about any local support that's available
  • update your details, for example your address 

We'll also be writing to you from the Council, if you're clinically extremely vulnerable to explain how we can help. The information on this webpage tells you all about what support is available. If you need some help from us, you can also visit how to get help during coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you, or someone you know doesn't have access to the internet to register on the government list, or to apply for some help from us, you can call:

  • (01226) 774444 - lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Finance and housing



Health and wellbeing

Keeping Barnsley moving

Pet care

The government has published some guidance about looking after animals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

If you're self-isolating you shouldn't go out to walk your dog. You'll need to ask someone to do this on your behalf.  

The following businesses can still operate with COVID-19 secure measures in place:

  • professional dog walking
  • animal rescue charities
  • businesses who hold animal activity licences for home boarding, dog day care, kennels, catteries and pet shops 
  • dog grooming (if it's to meet an animal welfare need) 

If you're a pet owner or work in a pet care business, you may also find this guidance from the Canine and Feline Sector Group useful. It includes some advice about walking someone else's dog

If you're a business and have some questions after reading this guidance you can email


Local cases and deaths in Barnsley

Our coronavirus (COVID-19) response and recovery plans

Barnsley Outbreak Control Engagement Board and plan

We have an Outbreak Control Engagement Board which will help prevent the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the borough and effectively manage outbreaks if and when they do happen. 

Our Barnsley Outbreak Control Plan (OCP) is driving our approach to prevent, detect, respond to and reduce the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) among our communities.

We’ll not be complacent in our approach; our focus is on:

  • using our local knowledge and expertise to boost the national NHS Test and Trace programme at a local level. We’re developing our COVID-19 support service to provide advice and guidance to residents, schools and businesses on self-isolation. The service is also following up the contact tracing of confirmed COVID-19 cases that have not successfully been contacted by the national programme.

  • building on the financial support and advice that we’ve already provided to our local businesses by making plans to further support those who are most affected by the government’s new additional measures.

  • prioritising support for Barnsley’s care homes and their residents, working with them to ensure they can continue to deliver safe and effective care. We’ll do this through financial support, help with guidance and advice from local NHS and social care teams, support with training and help to minimise the risks of increased infections. We’ll also do whatever we can to support families to keep in touch with loved ones living in care homes.
  • making sure that residents that need our support the most get it through a range of support via our hardship funds and community assistance.
  • supporting schools, colleges and early years settings to make sure they robust control measures in places, with updated risk assessments and outbreak control plans to keep children and young people safe. We continue to support them to deal with any positive cases and potential outbreaks quickly.
  • developing a process to support people to self-isolate properly when they have symptoms, test positive or are told to by Test and Trace. We’ll be looking at how we can ensure compliance and work with South Yorkshire Police to enforce this when people are repeatedly not following the legislation.
  • supporting our local businesses to operate safely, providing advice on how to follow the government’s legislation. We’ll be responding to concerns about businesses who are not following the legislation, working with colleagues at South Yorkshire Police to take enforcement action on those that are repeatedly putting people at risk.
  • provide information, so people understand their role in protecting themselves, their families and their communities by adhering to social distancing measures, washing their hands, wearing a face covering and getting a test and self-isolating if they have symptoms.
  • work closely with Public Health England and our local health partners to share information, resource and best practice so our response is the best it can be.
  • pay very close attention to what the data is telling us about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19); continuously reviewing our action plan so we can identify high-risk areas, target our support and respond to any changes, trends or potential outbreaks.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery plan

We’re doing everything we can as a council to support our residents and businesses across the borough.

Read our coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery plan.