Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We all need to manage the risk of COVID-19 to ourselves and those around us.

There are actions we can all take to help reduce the risk of catching the virus and passing it on to others. These actions also help to reduce the spread of other respiratory infections, such as cold or flu.

Actions we can all take to keep each other safe

There are lots of things we can all do to protect ourselves and those around us from COVID-19.

Get fully vaccinated

The vaccine helps to protect you from COVID-19 by giving you the best protection from serious illness. It also reduces the risk of you passing the virus on to others.

Book to have a coronavirus vaccine on NHS.UK.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser. It's really important to wash your hands:

  • after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • before you eat or handle food
  • after coming into contact with surfaces touched by many others, such as handles, handrails and light switches
  • after coming into contact with shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms
  • when you return home

Let fresh air in

The amount of a respiratory virus in the air can build up in areas which are poorly ventilated. This increases the risk of spreading infections to other people. Opening windows and doors to let fresh air in helps remove older stale air that may contain virus particles.

Read more about what you can do to improve ventilation.

Wear a face covering

Wearing a face covering can reduce the number of virus containing particles that are released from the mouth and nose of someone who has a respiratory infection. They can also protect the person wearing one from becoming infected by some viruses.

Wearing a face covering is encouraged in areas that are busier and where you'll be in close contact with other people. For example, on public transport. Find out more about face coverings, including the reason for using them and what makes a good face covering

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 less time there.
  • Consider wearing a face covering in busy and crowded indoor areas.
  • Can you meet up outdoors? The risk of catching and passing on COVID-19 reduces if you meet up outside.
  • Are the people you're meeting at higher risk of serious illness if they caught COVID-19? Remember to take extra care when meeting those that are at high risk from the virus.

Symptoms and what to do if you have them

The symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections are very similar. Respiratory infections can spread easily between people.

It's important to be aware of the symptoms so you can take action to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to other people.

Testing for coronavirus

Coronavirus tests aren't free of charge for most people. If you want to get tested you need to pay for a COVID-19 test yourself. You can buy a COVID-19 test from some pharmacies and retailers, in person or online.

There are a small number of people who are able to get free COVID-19 tests from the NHS. Find out who can get a free COVID-19 test on NHS.UK.

Getting your vaccine

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.

You can book an appointment to have your vaccine online or by calling 119. 

You may also be able to visit a walk-in clinic to receive your vaccine. You don't need to be registered with a GP and no appointment is needed.

Useful information links

Guidance and support if you're self-isolating

Children and attending school

Guidance for businesses

Guidance for adult social care services

Infection prevention and control

Adult social care services should follow the infection prevention and control guidance. This should be followed alongside the section on adult care homes in the COVID-19 supplement.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is available free of charge for a range of adult social care services through the PPE Portal. Read about how to order COVID-19 PPE.


Testing of care staff and residents should be done as per the COVID-19 testing in adult social care guidance. This applies to:

  • care homes
  • homecare organisations
  • extra care and supported living services
  • adult day care centres
  • personal assistants
  • shared lives carers
  • social workers

Social care staff working face to face and/or in high-risk settings should do two LFD tests per week. These should be done before they begin work, spaced three to four days apart. This also applies to staff who provide care and support to the person they live with.

Outbreak management

Outbreaks (two or more positive cases in the same service) should be reported to the UKHSA Yorkshire and Humber Health Protection Team (HPT):

HPTs provide public health advice and support to NHS, local authorities and other agencies.

For more information

If you work in social care and have any questions about COVID-19 you can email us at:


The NHS COVID Pass shows your COVID-19 vaccination details or test results. This is your COVID-19 status. The NHS COVID Pass may be required for travel to some international countries.

You can get a digital NHS COVID Pass on the NHS App. You can also request a NHS COVID Pass letter on NHS.UK.

Coronavirus data for Barnsley

You can find the latest COVID-19 figures for Barnsley on the GOV.UK coronavirus dashboard.