Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions

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 CHANGES TO THE RESTRICTIONS ARE THERE FROM 19 July?

COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

From Monday 19 July, most legal COVID-19 restrictions will ease. This means:

  • You will not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There will also be no limits on the number of people you can meet.
  • However, in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
  • Meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
  • The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
  • The requirement to wear face coverings in law will be lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
  • There will no longer be limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There will be no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
  • There will no longer be restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship.

Further information about what you can and cannot do

Find out which council services are affected

DO I NEED TO WEAR A FACE COVERING?

The legal obligation to wear a face covering in indoor venues has now been lifted, however, the Government is asking that people make informed decisions about when they wear a face covering. With cases of COVID-19 rising in Rotherham, wearing a face covering can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

The Council recommends that you wear a face covering when using public transport, visiting a GP or Hospital appointment, or in indoor venues such as shops.

Some businesses may have their own policies in place so please be respectful and wear a face covering if you are asked to.

WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO GET MY COVID-19 VACCINE?

All adults over the age of 18 years old are now able to book their first COVID-19 vaccination dose.

You can book your vaccine by calling the Rotherham booking line on 0300 3035258. The booking line is available:

Monday to Friday – 9am to 8pm

Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm

For Swallownest, Thurcroft, Dinnington and Kiveton Park please send your full name, date of birth, GP practice, contact number and postcode to the secure email address [email protected]. Someone will contact you to arrange an appointment.

All first dose appointments in Rotherham over the coming weeks will the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Further information from Rotherham CCG about the vaccine

CAN I GO TO WORK?

The Government is recommending that people should return to work gradually over the summer.

Employers will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify. Working Safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider including:

  • cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly;
  • identifying poorly-ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve air flow;
  • ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue;
  • communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place.

When Do I need to get tested?

You can get tested even if you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 through the rapid lateral flow testing offer. You can collect lateral flow tests from a range of Community Collection points or by ordering them online through the GOV.UK website.

Further information about Lateral Flow Tests

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. Rotherham Council also provides a local support payment scheme.

Further information about the payment scheme

WHAT ARE THE CHANGES TO CARE HOME VISITS?

Residents are able to nominate five named visitors each, with two visitors being able to visit each day; subject to the visiting arrangements specific to each care home or any local guidance issued by Directors of Public Health.

For visits into care homes, all care home residents will be able to nominate an essential care giver. These essential care givers will be able to visit the care home resident, even if the resident is isolating.

Visitors are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before a visit can take place, and visitors should follow local care home guidance on infection and prevention control measures when visiting a care home.

Further information about care home visiting

Visits out of care homes

In most cases, residents who go on a visit out of a care home will no longer need to isolate for 14 days when they return. Residents returning from high risk visits out of the care home, such as an overnight stay in hospital, will still be required to isolate. Decisions on risk will be made following a risk assessment by the care home for each visit out.

There is additional guidance on care home visiting.

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

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 do safely to stop the spread of the virus. COVID-19 spreads mainly through people who are in close contact, so the further away you can keep from others and the less time you spread in close contact with them, the less likely you are at spreading the virus.

Here are some things you can do to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and keep your friends and family safe:

  • Meet outside where you can – meeting in an open space has a much lower risk of spreading COVID-19 than meeting indoors.
  • If you do meet inside, make sure the space is well ventilated. Open windows and doors to make sure there is a steady flow of fresh air.
  • Get the vaccine when it is offered to you but be mindful that others may not have had the vaccine yet. 
  • Take extra care around more vulnerable friends and relatives. Some people are more vulnerable than others from COVID-19 so minimise close contact with them.
  • Minimise how many people you’re in close contact with, and for how long. 
  • Get tested twice a week, even if you don’t have symptoms. Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not show symptoms, so can spread the virus to others without knowing. Testing regularly will help to reduce risk, particularly before meeting people from outside your household. You can order free home tests for you and your loved ones that give results in 30 minutes.
  • Wash your hands and clean surfaces regularly, especially after you’ve had guests or if you’ve gone out.

Meeting family and friends

Be considerate and make space for people to keep their distance if they want to.

WHAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE FOR MENTAL HEALTH?

There are many services which can support you with your mental health and offer advice if you are concerned about friends or family.

Information and tips for dealing with anxiety about getting back to normal, is available here

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?

From Monday 19 July, England will move to Step 4 of its roadmap, easing restrictions to manage the risk of COVID-19.

Further information about protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

Whilst the Government is moving away from legal restrictions, the guidance makes clear to people on how they can reduce the risk of catching Covid-19 by providing advice on areas such as wearing face coverings indoors and in crowded places, getting vaccinated and testing and isolating. The guidance suggests that CEV individuals take extra precaution measures as detailed within the document but there is no intention to re-introduce Shielding at this stage.

We know that many CEV individuals are anxious about this next step, so it is worth highlighting two key studies that have taken place which are positive around immunosuppressed and immunocompromised groups. The first is from Public Health England which looked at more than one million people in at-risk groups, and found that people who are immunosuppressed are significantly better protected from symptomatic infection following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Further information about vaccinations for people in clinical at risk groups

CAN I GO ABROAD FOR A HOLIDAY?

There is currently a traffic light system in place for international travel.

From 4am Monday 19 July you will not need to quarantine on arrival in England from an amber list country or take a day 8 COVID-19 test, as long as you:

  • have been fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme
  • have not been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England

Fully vaccinated means that you have had your final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before the date you arrive in England.

You will still need to book a day 2 test to take when you arrive in England.

Further information about what you need to do when travelling to an amber list country is available on the GOV.UK website.

Keep up to date with the latest travel information 

Further information about travelling abroad

WHAT SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND CHILDCARE ARE THERE?

Schools and colleges are currently open. Contact your school or college for further information or if you have any questions.

Further information about going to school or college 

Parents can also access registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care).

Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. 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 should follow any COVID safe measures that are in place.

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

You can attend sports and exercise classes, both indoors and outdoors. You should follow any COVID safe measures that are in place at the venue are visiting.

The organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.

Further information about sports and physical exercise