Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions

Further changes to restrictions will happen on Monday 17 May 2021. This page will be updated with further information as it is released by the Government. 

Keep up to date with the latest Government guidelines

WHAT ARE THE CURRENT RESTRICTIONS IN ROTHERHAM?

Further changes to the Lockdown restrictions are being introduced regularly. It is still important that you continue to observe social distancing when you are out in public and to wear a face covering in shops, on public transport, or when visiting a doctors’ surgery or hospital.

You can meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible).

You must not meet indoors with anybody you do not live with, unless they are part of your support bubble (if you are eligible), or another legal exemption applies.

Restrictions easing from Monday 12 April 2021:

  • non-essential retail will be able to reopen
  • hairdressers and nail salons will be able to reopen
  • libraries and community centres will be able to reopen
  • outdoor hospitality venues will be able to reopen, with table service only
  • most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in performances (such as cinemas and concerts) will be able to reopen
  • some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds will be able to take place
  • indoor leisure and sports facilities will be able to reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble
  • all childcare and supervised activities will be allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number)
  • weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit), including in indoor venues that are permitted to open or where an exemption applies. Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens
  • self-contained accommodation will be able to open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
  • care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)

You should continue to work from home if you can and minimise the number of journeys you make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. 
Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.

Other restrictions have been eased, including:

  • Schools and colleges can resume face to face teaching.
  • Childminders can look after children whose parents and carers work, attend education, or to attend healthcare appointments.
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools.
  • Formally organised outdoor sports can take place.

Further information about the 12 April restrictions

Find out which council services are affected

When will I be able to get my COVID-19 vaccine?

The COVID-19 vaccine is currently being rolled out to high priority groups.

Please do not contact your local GP or the NHS to ask when you can have your vaccine. You will be contacted when it is your turn.

Further information from Rotherham CCG about the vaccine

How do I report Covid Fraud?

If you have received any emails or letters that you think may be a COVID support scam, you can report it using the Government’s COVID Fraud Hotline.

Call: 0800 587 5030

Further information about the COVID Fraud Hotline

Further information about COVID-19 vaccine fraud

CAN I GO TO WORK?

Everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting vital sectors and employers.

Public sector employees working in essential services, such as care homes, should continue to go into work. The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-secure guidelines are followed closely.

Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

Where can I meet with family and friends?

If you are meeting with friends or family members who you do not live with, it is important that you continue to follow social distancing guidelines. Keep two metres apart and wash your hands regularly to stop the spread of COVID-19.

You can meet in a group of 6 or a larger group of any size from up to 2 households (including their support bubbles) outdoors.

This includes private outdoor spaces, such as gardens, and other outdoor public places and venues that remain open. These include the following:

  • parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • public and botanical gardens
  • the grounds of a heritage site
  • outdoor sculpture parks
  • allotments
  • public playgrounds
  • outdoor sports venues and facilities

WHAT IS A SUPPORT BUBBLE?

support bubble is where one household, which falls into one of the categories below, joins with another household.

To create a support bubble, you must fall within one of the following categories:

  • You live by yourself
  • You are aged 16 living on your own or with other children and no adults
  • You are the only adult and have one or more children who are under the age of 18
  • You live with a partner and have a child who is under the age of one
  • Your child is under the age of five and who has a disability and requires continuous care
  • You or someone you live with has a disability and requires continuous care, on their own or together with:
    • One individual who does not have a disability, or
    • More than one such individual but including no more than one adult aged 18 or over.

If you fall within one of the above categories, you can link with one other household of any size.

Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit outdoor public places together.

I LIVE ON MY OWN. WHAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE TO ME?

If you need support with getting medication, food parcels, walking your dogs, or need someone to talk to, you can request support from the Rotherham Community Hub.

To ask for help, especially if you are in a crisis and need immediate help, please: Telephone 01709 807319.

What support is available for MENTAL HEALTH?

It is important that you look after your mental health while in Lockdown. There are many services which can support you with your mental health and offer advice if you are concerned about friends or family.

The Every Mind Matters website for advice and practical steps that you can take to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health during this pandemic.

Go to Every Mind Matters 

Mind also offer a range of support and guidance for those struggling with their mental health including everyday tips, information for young people, and helping someone else.

Go to the Mind website

Further information about local services at Rotherham and Barnsley Mind

If you or someone you care for are experiencing a mental health crisis, the NHS has a range of services which can help you.

Further information about mental health services 

I am a Clinically Extremely Vulnerable person. What do I need to do?

Shielding for extremely vulnerable people has now ended, however, you should follow the guidelines to reduce your risk of COVID-19.

Further information about shielding 

If you need additional help to follow this guidance, your local council may be able to help. If you are advised to shield you will be able to register yourself or someone else to:

  • request access to a priority supermarket delivery slot (if you have already got priority supermarket deliveries, you will keep them)
  • tell your council if you need support, especially if you are unable to arrange this yourself or with the help of friends, family or other support networks
  • make sure your details, such as your address, are up to date

You can also get support from the NHS Volunteer Responders who may be able to help you to collect and deliver shopping, medication and other essential supplies. Call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week for more information.

Further information about NHS Volunteer Responders 

When registering you will be asked for your NHS number. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription. It is helpful if you register even if you do not have any support needs at this time. You can log in and update your needs if circumstances change at any time.

I live with or I care for a Clinically Extremely Vulnerable person. What do I need to do?

Clinically extremely vulnerable people can still receive informal care at home from people within their support bubble. They can also receive care at home from professional social care and medical professionals.

If you live with a clinically extremely vulnerable person who receives visits from care professionals, please take care when these visits take place – keep two metres distance from the care workers and wear a face covering if you can.

If you become unwell or develop symptoms of COVID 19, you must stay at home and isolate from the clinically extremely vulnerable person. If you need extra support, contact the Rotherham Community Hub for advice: Telephone 01709 807319.

I am an unpaid carer. Can I get my COVID-19 vaccine?

Unpaid carers provide essential support for vulnerable residents in the community. If you are an unpaid carer, you will be able to get your vaccine through the National Booking Service at a national vaccination site or through the local vaccination service.

If you are a registered unpaid carer, you will be contacted by your local GP or by the national booking service to arrange your vaccination. If you are aged 64 or over, you may have already been offered the vaccination.

To be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine as an unpaid carer, you must be:

  • in receipt of or entitled to a carer’s allowance
  • known to GPs who have a ‘carer’s flag’ on their primary care record
  • known to Local Authorities who are in receipt of support following a carer’s assessment
  • known to local carers organisations to be actively receiving care and support.

If you are an unpaid carer but are not registered with your GP as such, you can apply to be a registered unpaid carer. Further information will be available shortly.

CAN I TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF MY LOCAL AREA?

The travel restrictions have now eased, however, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, the Council is advising that residents stay local where possible.

What businesses must close?

See full list of businesses which must close

WHICH BUSINESSES can remain open?

Please check the GOV.UK website for more details.

Any business that is open must operate in a COVID-secure way to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.

ARE SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES STILL OPEN?

From Monday 8 March, schools and colleges will be open. 

Does my child need to be tested when they go back to school?

When schools reopen, the following people will be offered regular rapid lateral flow tests:

  • secondary school pupils
  • primary and secondary school staff
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age pupils
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary staff

Primary school pupils will not be asked to test at this time.

You will be asked to be tested twice a week. Tests can be collected at test sites in the borough during the afternoon.

Where to get your test kits from

Watch how to do a Lateral Flow Test

Only take a Lateral Flow Test if you don’t have symptoms. If you or your child have any symptoms, book a test at one of the test sites or order a home kit.

CAN I STILL ACCESS CHILDCARE?

Parents are able to access registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary.

All educational settings will be open. Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. As above, some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble.

Further information about childcare

CAN I VISIT MY CHURCH OR OTHER PLACES OF WORSHIP?

Yes, you can visit a place of worship to attend a service or for private prayer, however you must not mix with anyone from outside your household or support bubble.

You must also follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

There are further restrictions on funerals and weddings.

See Registration and Funeral Services

See Weddings and Civil Partnerships

CAN I ATTEND A FUNERAL?

There are currently restrictions on funeral services:

See Registration and Funeral Services

CAN I ATTEND AN EXERCISE CLASS OR TAKE PART IN TEAM SPORTS? 

You can exercise outdoors in a group of 6 or a larger group of any size from up to 2 households (including their support bubbles, if eligible).

You can also take part in formally organised outdoor sports or licensed physical activity with any number of people. This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take the required precautions, including the completion of a risk assessment. You should avoid contact in training and, for some sports, avoid contact in all activities.

Outdoor sport and leisure facilities may open. Indoor gyms and other sports facilities, including changing rooms, will remain closed.

You must not meet indoors for sport, except for:

  • disability sport
  • sports as part of the curriculum in education
  • supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s (including those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020), this should be limited to 15 participants

Further information about sports and physical exercise 

ARE TOILETS OPEN IN THE TOWN CENTRE?

The All Saints Square toilets and Market toilets are open.

ARE HOUSEHOLD WASTE RECYCLING CENTRES STILL OPEN?

Household Waste Recycling Centres at Greasbrough, Bramley, Rawmarsh and North Anston are open.

Further information about Household Waste Recycling centres

CAN I TAKE MY DOG TO THE DOG GROOMERS?

You may take your dog to the groomer for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes.

WHEN DO I NEED TO WEAR A FACE COVERING?

Face coverings must be worn by customers, passengers and staff in shops, taxis, on public transport and in hospitality venues, except when seated to eat and drink. You could be fined a minimum £200 if you do not wear a face covering on public transport.

Some people cannot wear face coverings for reasons such as medical conditions, learning difficulties or due to a disability. These are not always visible so please try to be understanding.

Children under the age of 14 do not have to wear a face covering and infants under the age of three must not wear a face covering as this could obstruct their airways.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT FOLLOW THE NEW RESTRICTIONS?

Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police have been granted additional powers to take action against those who break the restrictions.

The police can now ask groups of people to disperse and can issue up to a maximum fine of £6,400 for participating in illegal gatherings. If you hold or are involved in holding an illegal gathering, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

If you start to experience coronavirus symptoms, it is important that you get a tested and self-isolate at home right away. Visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 to book a test.

More information can be found on the GOV.UK website

WHY DO I NEED TO VERIFY MY IDENTITY WHEN ORDERING A HOME TEST KIT? 

Before ordering your home test kit, you need to confirm your identity. The Government website uses a system called TransUnion to verify the details you have already given to help stop the fraudulent use of the test service. The system will check things like the electoral role and any existing credit rating to confirm you are who you say you are.

This search is not a credit check and will not affect your credit score.

WHAT DOES SELF-ISOLATE MEAN?

If you are self-isolating, that means you must not visit family or friends, leave the house (unless going for a test), or go to work. If your child has symptoms, they must not go to school.

If you have tested positive for the virus, you must self-isolate for 10 days and anyone you live with must self-isolate for 10 days and get a test if they develop symptoms.

You also need to self-isolate if you have any symptoms of the virus. You must self-isolate for 10 days and book a test as soon as you can. You can get a test by going online to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Further information about self-isolating

If you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or have tested positive, you may be eligible for the Government's Test and Trace Payment.

Further information about the payment scheme