Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and guidance

National lockdown: stay at home

You must stay at home. This is the single most important action we can all take to protect the NHS and save lives.

  • Do not leave your home unless permitted by law.

  • Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or bubble.

One in three people who have the virus have no symptoms, so you could be spreading it without knowing it.


Find out what the rules are

How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus

There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other:

  • Wash hands - wash your hands regularly
  • Cover facewear a face covering in enclosed spaces
  • Make space - stay at least 2 metres apart - or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions

Read about social distancing on GOV.UK.

What to do if you think you have symptoms

You should stay at home and self-isolate for at least 10 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)
  • a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell – 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 self-isolation if you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms.

Reducing the spread of infection in your household

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, or you've had a positive test you should read this guidance from the government about the steps that you can take to prevent others you live with catching coronavirus.

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)

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should get a test and self-isolate immediately.

The symptoms are:

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

Rapid results tests for people who can't work from home and unpaid carers

Rapid results tests are used to detect positive cases of coronavirus in people who don't have any symptoms.

We're offering rapid results tests to people who:

  • can't work from home; or
  • are an unpaid carer for someone

If you're eligible you also need to commit to be tested twice a week.

Rapid results tests for households, bubbles and childcare providers of school pupils and staff

Households with primary school, secondary school and college age children (including childcare bubbles and support bubbles) can test themselves at home twice a week.

Households, childcare bubbles and support bubbles of primary, secondary and college staff can also be tested.

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.


Following extensive trials, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in the UK and are now being delivered according to the priority identified by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation.

Find out more about the coronavirus vaccine on NHS.UK

Receiving your vaccine

You'll be contacted by the NHS when it's your turn to have the vaccine. This may be via the phone or through a letter either from your GP or the national booking system.

Vaccinations might not take place at your GP practice; instead it may be through a local vaccination service led by GPs, practice nurses and community pharmacists who are responsible for delivering the vaccine to people in the community.

Vaccines for frontline social care workers

If you're a frontline social care worker working with clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) adults and/or children, you're eligible to be vaccinated.

Find out more about coronavirus vaccines for frontline social care workers.

How to get help and support 

Advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people

If you're clinically extremely vulnerable you're at a very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

You may be identified as clinically extremely vulnerable if:

  • you have a certain medical condition
  • your clinician or GP has added you to the 'shielded patient list' because, based on their clinical judgement, they deem to you be at higher risk of serious illness if you catch the virus.
  • you've been identified through the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment as potentially being at high risk of serious illness if you catch the virus.

There's additional advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus; you should not attend work, school, college or university, and you should limit the time you spend outside your home. You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it's essential.

Read the full guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK.

Businesses and other organisations

Available support

Operating your business


Care homes

Changes to council services 

We've had to make 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.

Children and schools

Pupils and students in all schools and further education settings will start being able return to face-to-face education from 8 March 2021. For further information you should contact your school; see our list of schools in Barnsley for their contact details.

Wraparound childcare will be able to reopen and other children’s activities can restart for all children where it's needed to enable parents to work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group. Vulnerable children can attend childcare and other children’s activities in all circumstances.

Bubbles within schools

All children 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'll find their contact details in our list of schools in Barnsley.

Further information

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

Barnsley coronavirus 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.