COVID-19 (coronavirus) advice and guidance

Protect our borough

We can all help to control the transmission of coronavirus and protect ourselves, families and each other.

To protect Barnsley you must:

  • work from home if you can
  • continue to follow the rules on social distancing
  • wash your hands regularly
  • wear a face covering where advised
  • get a test and self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms


Read more about what you can and can't do on GOV.UK

Keeping Barnsley moving

Find out how we're #KeepingBarnsleyMoving by safely re-opening our high streets and services.

How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus

To protect yourself and others you should:

  • keep your distance from people outside your household or support bubble
  • avoid being face-to-face with people if they're outside your household or support bubble
  • keep your hands and face as clean as possible
  • wear a face covering where required
  • avoid crowded spaces
  • work safely, either at home or in a workplace that follows the COVID-19 Secure guidelines
  • reduce the number of people you spend time with in a work setting
  • keep indoor places well ventilated
  • think about how and when you travel, and walk or cycle whenever possible
  • avoid shouting or singing close to people outside your household or support bubble
  • follow the advice on site when at work or in business or public premises

Read more about how to stay 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 COVID-19 for people with learning difficulties.

Get a test to see if you have coronavirus

If you have symptoms of 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 five days of having symptoms.

On days one to four of your symptoms you can get tested at a test site or at home. If you're ordering a home test kit on day four, you need to do it by 3pm. On day five 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 primary 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. You need to book an appointment to get a coronavirus test on NHS.UK before visiting.

We also have a mobile testing unit that moves around the borough. You need to book an appointment to get a COVID-19 test on the NHS website before visiting.

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 14 days if you can’t get a COVID-19 test straight away.
  • Do self-isolate if a member of your family has symptoms of COVID-19.

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 COVID-19 but can’t get a test; you must isolate for 14 days.
  • Don’t get a test for yourself if only a member of your family has symptoms of COVID-19. 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.

How to get help and advice

Children and schools

Bubble closures in 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 are in school. If a pupil tests positive for COVID-19 in your child’s bubble and they have been in the setting during the infectious period, you will be informed by the school, and you may be asked to keep your child off school to isolate for 14 days.

You do not need to get your child tested for COVID-19 unless they start displaying symptoms such as a new continuous cough, a fever or loss of taste or smell. 

Find out more information on affected schools and bubbles. Your child’s school should be your first point of information and they will contact you directly, as well as providing information on their website.

NHS app for residents and businesses

NHS COVID-19 app for residents

Find out more about the COVID-19 app for residents.

Government QR code posters for businesses

Find out more about QR code posters for businesses.

Disruption to our services

The following services and facilities are currently disrupted due to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Service Details
Active Travel Hub Open by appointment only. Visit the Active Travel Hub website to request an appointment.
Building Control The drop-in advice service at Westgate Plaza is currently suspended. Please email enquires to 
Councillor surgeries All face-to-face councillor surgeries are currently suspended. You can still contact your councillor by email.
Family centres Find out about disruptions to family centres venues, groups and activities.
Homeless and housing advice The Civic is currently closed. Find out about changes to our homeless and housing advice service.
Libraries All library branches are now open except Priory Library. Activities, events and appointments are all currently suspended. Read more about the changes at our libraries
Museums See the Barnsley Museums website for the latest information about open sites and facilities.
Planning The drop-in advice service at Wellington House is currently suspended. Please email enquiries to
Registrars There are currently disruptions to our registration services for births, deaths and marriages.

Finance and housing



Health and wellbeing

Businesses and other organisations

Reopening your business

Available support



Scams and online safety

Our borough recovery plans

COVID-19 recovery plan

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

Barnsley Outbreak Control Engagement Board

We have an 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. 

Outbreak control plan

We've produced and published an outbreak control plan outlining our strategies to prevent, detect, respond to and reduce the impact of COVID-19 among the borough’s population.

Read our outbreak control plan.