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 necessary.

  • 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 you can and cannot do

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) 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 taste or smell

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 sites are at:

  • Lower Courthouse car park, County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW
  • Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre car park, Cudworth, S72 8LH
  • Summer Lane car park, Wombwell, S73 0DD

These sites are accessible by car and on foot. They're open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.

We also have temporary mobile testing sites at:

  • Queen Street car park, Goldthorpe, S63 9ND. Open every day until Sunday 7 March, from 9am to 3pm. This site is accessible by car and on foot.

  • Burleigh Street car park, Barnsley, S70 1LW. Open every day until Sunday 7 March from 9am to 3pm. This is a drive-through testing site accessible by car.

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.

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 currently 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.

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

Schools and colleges must close to most pupils during the current national lockdown from 5 January.

They're open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers only. There's guidance about which children can access schools and other educational settings  during this period of lockdown on the government website. 

Nurseries, early years and other child care providers can remain open. 

For further information you should contact your school. 

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'll find their contact details on 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.