COVID-19 (coronavirus) advice and guidance

Stay alert

We can all help to control coronavirus if we stay alert. To protect Barnsley you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • continue to follow the rules on social distancing
  • wash your hands regularly
  • self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms


Read more about what you can and cannot do

Keeping Barnsley moving

We're #KeepingBarnsleyMoving by safely re-opening our high streets and supporting businesses to get ready to re-open.

How to protect yourself

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus

To protect yourself and others:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often; do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Visit the Public Health England website for handwashing information in large print, Easy Read, British Sign Language and Braille.

Mencap has lots of useful easy read information about COVID-19 on their website for people with learning difficulties.

What to do if you think you have symptoms

You should stay at home and self-isolate for at least seven 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.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you think you have any of the symptoms. 111 will tell you what to do and help you get a test if you need one. You can call 111 if you cannot get help online. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. 

Anyone you live with should also self-isolate and not leave your home for 14 days from when the first person in your home started having symptoms. Read the NHS guidance for staying at home if you, or someone you live with, has coronavirus symptoms.

Advice for protecting older people and those at high risk

You can read the governments advice for people who are at an increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

Pausing the shielding list

Find out more about pausing the shielding list.

NHS coronavirus status checker

To help tackle coronavirus nationally, the NHS want to understand people's experiences of having COVID-19. They're asking members of the public to fill in this online form to tell the NHS about coronavirus symptoms. You don't need to have been tested and confirmed as having the virus to use it. The information is required to help to develop the UK response to coronavirus, so you'll be supporting the NHS by completing the form. 

More information

You should follow the NHS and GOV.UK guidance if you have any concerns about COVID-19.

Testing for coronavirus

You can ask for a test to check if you have COVID-19 (coronavirus):

  • for yourself - if you have coronavirus symptoms:
    • a high temperature;
    • a new, continuous cough; or
    • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • for someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms

When to apply for a test

You need to have the test within the first five days of having symptoms. It's best to ask for the test within the first three days as it may take a day or two to arrange.

What the test involves

The test usually 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 or someone can do it for you.

How to ask for a test

You can ask for a test to check if you have coronavirus on the NHS website:

If you're not able to access the internet to request a test you can call 119 instead.

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 – you might be able to choose between driving to a regional testing site or getting a home test kit.

COVID-19 recovery

COVID-19 recovery plan

We’re doing everything we can as a council to support our residents and businesses across the borough. Find out more about our COVID-19 recovery plan.

Barnsley Outbreak Control Plan

We have produced and published an Outbreak Control Plan (OCP) outlining its strategies to prevent, detect, respond to, and reduce the impact of COVID-19 among the borough’s population. Find out more about the Barnsley Outbreak Control Plan.

Barnsley Outbreak Control Engagement Board

We now have a Barnsley Outbreak Control Engagement Board, which will help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 within the borough and effectively manage outbreaks if and when they do happen. 

Your health and wellbeing

Disruption to our services

There's currently disruption to some of our services, such as appointments, which may now be cancelled or postponed. Some of our facilities may also be closed.

See a full list of disruptions to services and facilities.

Emergency contact centre

How you can help

Finance and housing

Businesses and other organisations

Support for businesses reopening

From Monday 15 June 2020 non-essential retail was allowed to return to work. You must not reopen if your business is closed under current government rules. Find out whether your business venue can open and read the advice about working safely on GOV.UK.

Schools, children and adult education



Adult education


Scams and staying safe

Useful support services

Find out how we process your personal data in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).