Thank you Barnsley for all you're doing

We want to say a big thank you to every resident that's worked with us to protect our borough through the pandemic.

Although restrictions have been eased, we all know that COVID-19 is still around and there are small actions we can all take to live safely with the virus.


How to stay safe and help prevent the spread

Ways to stay safe

There are lots of safe behaviours we can all continue to follow to protect ourselves and those around us from COVID-19.

  • Hand washing – wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser if you’re out and about.

  • Face coverings – whilst it's no longer law to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces, it's advisable to wear one where possible to reduce transmission. This is particularly encouraged in areas that are busier and where social distancing is harder, eg on public transport and in supermarkets. Find out more about face coverings, including the reason for using them, how to wear one correctly, and how you can make your own.

  • Make space – try to maintain a safe distance of two metres from people you don’t live with to reduce the risk of being a contact.

  • Let fresh air in – where possible try to meet up outdoors as this will help to blow away any coronavirus particles in the air. If you do meet up indoors, open windows and doors to let fresh air circulate.

  • Don’t be a contact – consider the number of different people you're meeting up with over a short amount of time. The more people you see, the higher the risk of you catching and passing on coronavirus to your family and friends.

  • Keep close contact to a minimum – consider the number of different family members or friends you’re getting close to and try to keep this to a select number of people.

  • Download the NHS COVID-19 appit's the fastest way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus, alerting you if you've been near another app user who's tested positive. You can also check symptoms, book a test and get your result, keep track of your self-isolation, as well as access relevant advice.

  • Get twice-weekly rapid tests - pick up your free twice weekly tests from your local pharmacy or order online and get your family testing twice weekly to help stop the spread of the virus.

  • Assess the risk - when you’re heading out, remember to assess the risk:
    • How busy is the area you’re visiting? If it's busy, try to spend as less time as possible in that area.
    • Consider wearing a face covering in busy and crowded indoor areas.
    • Can you meet up outdoors? The risk of catching and passing on coronavirus reduces if you meet up outside.
    • Are the people I’m meeting vaccinated or more susceptible to the virus? Remember to consider the risk of getting closer to people who haven’t yet had both doses of their vaccine or if they’re more at risk of serious illness from coronavirus.

Testing for coronavirus

If you have symptoms of coronavirus

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should get a PCR 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

Lateral flow home test kits if you don't have symptoms

Everyone in England can access free testing kits for coronavirus so you can test yourself for the virus at home twice a week.

Isolation support and advice


The coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective. They give you the best protection against COVID-19. Find out more about the coronavirus vaccine on NHS.UK.

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine

  • If you're aged 18 or over (or will turn 18 within three months) you can get a first and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • If you're aged 16 or 17 you can get a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Parents and guardians will get a letter with information about when the vaccine will be offered to their child.

How to get a COVID-19 vaccine

If you're aged 16 or over you can book an appointment to have your vaccine online or by calling 119. 

If you're aged 16 or over you can also get your first vaccine dose from a walk-in vaccination site without needing an appointment.

If you're aged 18 or over, or turning 18 within three months, you're eligible for your second dose eight weeks after your first. To receive your second dose you need to book to have a coronavirus vaccine on NHS.UK.

Children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine in their school, with alternative provision for those who are home schooled, in secure services or specialist mental health settings. Parental, guardian or carer consent will be sought by vaccination healthcare staff prior to vaccination, in line with existing school vaccination programmes.

Booster vaccines

A coronavirus booster vaccine dose helps improve the protection you have from your first two doses of the vaccine. It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

The booster will be offered to:

  • people aged 50 and over
  • care home residents
  • health and social care workers
  • people aged 16 to 49 years old with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19
  • carers aged 16 and over
  • people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is immunosuppressed

If eligible, you'll be offered a booster dose at least six months after you had your second dose.

The NHS (or your employer if you work in health or social care) will let you know when it's your turn to have a booster dose. It's important not to contact the NHS for a booster dose before then.

If you've been contacted by the NHS and are either aged 50 or over, or aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19, you can book a COVID-19 booster vaccine appointment online.

Vaccination for frontline social care workers

Health and social care staff working with clinically extremely vulnerable patients/service users were eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in January 2021. From 11 November 2021 all care home workers, and anyone entering a care home, will need to be fully vaccinated unless they're exempt under the regulations.

Why you should have the COVID-19 vaccine

Catching COVID-19 can be serious and may lead to long-term problems. Just under one in 100 people that catch COVID-19 will sadly die from it.

It can affect anyone, including young, fit and healthy people with no previous medical problems. One of the biggest challenges is some people can have COVID-19 without any symptoms, and pass it on to others without knowing.

Useful information links

COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy, breastfeeding, fertility and contraception


Finance and housing



Health and wellbeing

Getting Barnsley back in business

Travel advice and guidance

Coronavirus intelligence for Barnsley

You can find the latest coronavirus figures for Barnsley on the GOV.UK coronavirus dashboard:

Coronavirus stories

Each person in Barnsley has their own story of how they’ve managed throughout the pandemic. It’s clear from the COVID-19 stories shared with us that our communities working together has played a big part in this.

Coronavirus scams

A scam is a dishonest scheme designed to cheat you out of money. Unfortunately a number of scams around coronavirus have been reported to us so we urge you to take care.

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.

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