Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Roadmap out of restrictions

The government has announced a roadmap out of restrictions

Information is available on the government website

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.

North Tyneside Council is pleased to be supporting the NHS in the rollout of the vaccination programme in North Tyneside.

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

In North Tyneside, the vaccine is being offered at North Tyneside General Hospital and three local community sites; Oxford Centre in Longbenton, Langdale Centre in Howdon and The Parks Sports Centre in North Shields.

The vaccine is being given to:

Vaccination is by invitation and appointment only, moving through the priority groups outlined by the national Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The council is working with the NHS to identify eligible health and social care staff, in line with JCVI guidance, and those entitled to a vaccine will be contacted about booking an appointment. If health and social care staff have a query, external providers’ staff should email commissioning@northtyneside.gov.uk. North Tyneside Council staff should contact their line manager first.

Please do not contact your GP about the vaccine or turn up at any of the vaccine sites without an appointment; the NHS will be in touch when it is your turn to be vaccinated.

It’s also really important that while attending your vaccination appointment, and even when you’ve received the first dose of the vaccination, you continue to follow government restrictions and public health guidelines, including washing your hands, wearing a face covering and making space for other people.

For further information on the COVID-19 vaccine please visit the NHS website.

If you are looking for COVID-19 vaccination info in alternative formats you can find information here

New coronavirus variant

The Prime Minister announced on 19 December that there was a new variant of the virus.

Some frequently asked questions on the new variant can be found below.  

Related documents

Rapid community testing for symptom-free people

From January 18, the council is offering free rapid community testing to certain people living and/or working in the borough without symptoms.

One in three people with COVID-19 do not show symptoms and are unaware that they might be spreading the infection – this testing can help identify these individuals. Once identified, we are able to trace contacts and prevent transmission of infection to others. 

It’s available for:

  • People who are unable to work from home, come into contact with the public and have no access to other rapid testing – for example taxi drivers, tradespeople, carers, social workers, nursery staff, etc.
  • Close contacts of people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to COVID-19. We are not asking CEV take part, only their close contacts. 

The testing, which is free, will take place at Riverside Children’s Centre, North Shields, and is available to book now. The site is open seven days a week with varying opening times.

Tests are self-administered and results are available within an hour, enabling people to quickly self-isolate.

The testing is to identify positive cases and it’s really important that those taking part continue to follow the government lockdown and public health advice, even if they test negative.

You can find out more information, including opening times, and book here.

Please note, the rapid tests are for people without symptoms. Testing remains available for everyone in the borough with symptoms. If you have symptoms (a continuous cough, high temperate or loss/change to your sense of smell or taste), you should self-isolate and book a test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

 

Related documents

Covid-19 Support Hub

Our dedicated support hub has been stepped back up for those in need of immediate help and support and who can’t call on family, friends, neighbours or carers.

It is available to anyone in urgent need of non-clinical help in the borough, but priority will be given to those identified by the NHS as clinically extremely vulnerable due to health conditions.

Support will be tailored for individual needs, including welfare phone calls, help with accessing food shopping and medicine deliveries.

The opening hours for the COVID-19 support hub are Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, and is available via TEL: 0345 2000 101 or emailing  contact.us@northtyneside.gov.uk  

The council’s emergency contact numbers remain available as normal. You can find details on these here.

North Tyneside-based charity VODA is coordinating volunteers in North Tyneside, please visit www.voda.org.uk for more information including if you would like to volunteer.

Walk-through testing sites

Two walk-through coronavirus testing facilities, on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care, have opened. One is at the Parks Leisure Centre, Howdon Road, North Shields and the second is in the Coronation Street car park in Wallsend. Testing hours will be 8am-8pm, 7 days a week.

The facilities are temporary and form part of the Government’s nationwide drive to improve access to testing for communities. The sites have been chosen to ensure that the community has a local testing facility available which can be easily accessed.

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, can book a time slot to get a free swab test that takes less than a minute at this site. If you have symptoms, you should book or order a test straight away at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. There is currently a very high demand for tests, so if you can’t get through to the booking system at first, or the time or location you’re offered aren’t convenient, try again in a few hours.

Related documents

Resuming of care home visits

National guidance has been updated for visiting in care homes, which describes how they can provide safe visiting for friends and family of residents during this period of national restrictions.  We have written to all care homes in North Tyneside to outline how care homes can facilitate this, as well as how the council can support them to do so.

The national guidance includes criteria that a home must meet to facilitate COVID-secure visiting.

While the decision to provide COVID-secure visits is an individual decision for each care home to make, we would encourage homes to facilitate this as soon as they are able, ensuring that the criteria is met. In doing so, homes can continue to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus and protect residents and staff, while at the same time allowing residents to be reunited with their relatives once more.

Those wishing to visit a friend or family member in a care home should check with the provider that they’re open for visits.

Public Health advice

You can read the most up to date advice from Public Health England on their website.

You can also stay up to date with useful NHS info.

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as possible by helping control the virus and staying alert. This means you must:

  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Our Public Health team has provided information on health and wellbeing during COVID-19, including support to stop smoking, protect mental health and keep active. You can access this advice here.

Parents of children from 0 - 19 years-old can get advice and guidance from our 0 - 19 Public Health Service

Read advice on what to do if your child is unwell or injured during the coronavirus pandemic.

North Tyneside Covid-19 Outbreak Control Plan

A plan that aims to prevent any future localised outbreaks of coronavirus in North Tyneside and also manage any new spikes of infections has been published.

You can find that plan here.

Test and trace support payment

The Government announced that from 28 September in England, there will be a new legal duty on all those who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, requiring them to self-isolate. Failure to comply will be an offence carrying a fine of at least £1,000 and up to £10,000 for multiple breaches.

Alongside this new requirement, the government is providing funding for a Test and Trace Support Payment scheme for people on low incomes who are unable to work while they are self-isolating and are financially impacted because they cannot work from home..

Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum. These payments will be subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions.

Who will be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment?

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must:

  • have been asked to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace directly via a phone call or email, or by the NHS Covid -19 app, either because they've tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive; and have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (by email, text, letter, or phone call) in which they provided their contact details; and where they have tested positive, the details of their close contacts; If the app has advised you to self-isolate because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you’ll need to request an NHS Test and Trace Account ID. Further information
  • be employed or self-employed and
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

You may qualify for a discretionary scheme payment if you meet the criteria in 1 to 3 above but are not entitled to one of the benefits in 4.

When making you claim you must provide the following evidence.

  • A notification from NHS Test & Trace asking you to self-isolate (including your unique NHS Test and Trace Account ID. This is an 8-digit code also known as a CTAS number.
  • A bank statement,
  • Proof of employment, or if you are self-employed, self-employment assessment returns, trading income and proof that you cannot work from home and that you will not receive any employment or business income for the isolation period. If you are employed you should confirm with your employer that you will not receive wages during the period of time you are in self isolation before making a claim,
  • Proof of one of the qualifying benefits shown in point 4 above.

Please note: if you are furloughed and you receive the same wages from your employer during your self isolation as you would when you are not in self isolation, you cannot claim.

If your only loss of wages is overtime during self-isolation, you cannot claim.

For those people who meet the criteria in point 1 to 4 above but are not in receipt of the required benefits outlined in point 4, may still qualify for some support if they have low income and can demonstrate they are suffering financial hardship You will need to explain in detail why you are in hardship and provide us with information around your income and household circumstances.

Please note: NHS Test and Trace is a national system. Local Councils have no control over this system and are unable to review any individual cases that do not meet eligibility criteria outlined. It is important that anyone who has received a notification to self-isolate must self-isolate for the full period.

Test and Trace support payment application

Related documents

How council services are affected

We have plans in place to make sure our services for the most vulnerable can continue but some services will be affected.

Births deaths and marriages

The office at Preston cemetery is closed but the team can still be contacted by email and telephone.

Services at Tynemouth and Whitley Bay crematoria, as well as the three burial chapels at Preston, Holy Cross and Dudley, are limited to up to 10 mourners and it is advised that congregations space themselves out as much as possible. Face coverings are mandatory inside for those who can wear one.

The Book of Remembrance room at Whitley Bay is now accessible and is available online here. The Book of Remembrance room at Preston is open and is accessible online here.

Appointments can now be made at The Riverside Children’s centre for Birth Declarations on 0191 6438899.

Find out more about our registrar service.

Libraries

Libraries will still be able to offer an order and collect service for our residents.

Libraries will still be closed for general public access but residents will be able to continue to use our online catalogue and request specific books, or ask our staff to put together a selection.

The order and collect service is available from White Swan Customer First Centre, North Shields Customer First Centre, Wallsend Customer First Centre, Whitley Bay Customer First Centre, John Willie Sams Centre in Dudley and the Oxford Centre in Longbenton.

We will also be able to continue providing limited access to the public computers in our libraries, which we know a number of residents find immensely useful.

This is restricted to one session a week, up to a maximum of 45 minutes and must be booked in advance by phoning the relevant library. Residents will not be able to walk in and use a computer without a booking.

Branch libraries in North Tyneside will also be offering an order and collect service from Tuesday 8 December. Contact your local library for more information.

Car parking permits

Stay up to date with parking permit info.

Environment

Non-essential services have been reinstated, but may be operating at a slightly reduced service. This includes services such as planting, graffiti removal, public rights of way management, weed spraying and grass cutting.

Street cleansing services have continued throughout the pandemic and continue to prioritise the emptying of dog and litter bins, and the removal of fly tipping.  We will also continue to remove fly tipping and carry out street sweeping in priority areas including the coast and town centres.

Special and bulky collections have resumed with some extra conditions

Public toilets

Public toilets are open across the borough and are open from 10am to 4pm.

Please follow the guidance on posters inside and out.

Waste Recycling Centre

The Household Waste Recycling Centre, managed by Suez, at Wallsend Road, North Shields, is operating in a limited capacity, by appointment only, and with strict social distancing measures. Find out how to book here.

Allotments

Allotments can be used, providing strict social distancing and health advice is observed. For full details click here.

Home to School Transport

The Home to School Transport Service will be operating for eligible children who are returning to school from Monday 1st June 2020.

The Local Authority has been working with schools to review transport arrangements to ensure children travel safely to school during the current pandemic. 

We understand that, due to the current situation, many parents will feel that the best option for their child is to drive them to school using their own vehicle. We would like to remind parents that should you wish to transport your child to school in your own vehicle, the Local Authority will reimburse you at a rate of 40p per mile and will pay for four journeys to school and back each day. 

For those parents who require transport to be provided by the Local Authority, it is our priority to ensure that children are safely transported and that drivers, passenger assistants, parents, and school staff are all protected. As a result, we have had to amend routes to reduce the number of children in each vehicle. While we cannot ensure that the driver and/or passenger assistant for your child's journey will be unchanged as the coronavirus situation continues, we will do our best to keep transport arrangements as regular as possible.

We have asked transport providers where possible to:

  • apply social distancing in vehicles by reducing the number of pupils per vehicle and increase the amount of space between passengers. 
  • restrict the number of passengers travelling in a saloon car to no more than 3 (the driver, the passenger assistant and the pupil). 
  • travel without a passenger assistant when transporting older children, if this is safe to do so and only if the Headteacher of the school agrees this. (Larger vehicles will also have a reduced number of passengers and providers will eliminate face-to-face seating).
  • make every effort to use a fixed pairing system, ideally with a driver and passenger assistant from the same household, but this will not always be possible.
  • ensure vehicles are well-ventilated to increase the flow of air, for example, by opening a window when it is safe to do so
  • ensure all drivers and passenger assistants follow hygiene rules and promote the cleaning of surfaces, handles and seats in the vehicle with anti-bacterial products on a regular basis
  • If you would like to arrange to apply for a mileage allowance to transport your own child, please contact hometoschooltransport@northtyneside.gov.uk or telephone 0191 6438726.

Housing

Repairs are able to continue despite the new national restrictions, with all repairs done in a socially distanced manner.

As always, if you would like to report a repair or have any questions please contact us on 0345 2000 102 or email repairs@northtyneside.gov.uk

Read about the help that is available for people struggling to pay their rent. 

Tyne and Wear Homes

All business is being conducted via email. The team will not be sending out medical assessment forms, landlord references, or letters during this time. Applications will still be processed in line with the 15 working day target.

Sport and leisure services and activities

Please see here for the latest information. 

Highways

Many highways services that were suspended have resumed - there's more information here.

North Tyneside Living Retirement Accommodation

Read full advice and guidance for residents and visitors to our North Tyneside Living schemes

Parks

The borough's playsites and skateparks have now reopened, with exception of the water park in Whitley Bay.

In line with national guidance, new signage will be displayed at each location. The signs will remind visitors to follow good hygiene practices and not to exceed the individual play site’s maximum capacity.

A takeaway service is being provided from cafes at the Rising Sun Countryside Park, Northumberland Park and Wallsend Parks. 

Some public toilets in parks remain closed. The following park toilets are now open: Tynemouth Park, Churchill Playing Fields, Wallsend Park, Rising Sun Country Park. 

The environmental education programme and use of conferencing rooms is suspended. 

Events

The Mouth of the Tyne Festival has been rescheduled to 8-11 July 2021

The North Tyneside 10k Road Race has been rescheduled to SUNDAY 4 APRIL 2021

Tynemouth Food Festival has been postponed and new dates will be announced soon

Other cancelled events include Cullercoats Harbour Day, Whitley Bay Carnival, Goldwings Light Parade, VE Day celebrations, Fake Festival, Shiremoor Treat, Great North Wheelchair Line Up, Whitley Lodge Fair, North Shields RNLI Day.

A full list of cancelled or rescheduled events can be found at www.visitnorthtyneside.com

Planning

We are working to deliver planning services during the outbreak, however our planning reception service has been temporarily suspended. Find out how to contact the team here.

Licensing

Stay up to date with Taxi Licensing service.

For any other licensing queries, please be aware that, as with the Taxi Licensing service, our office is not open to visits by the public. To get in touch, please email: liquor.licensing@northtyneside.gov.uk.  Applications should be made online through gov.uk or by post: Licensing, Block C, The Killingworth Site, Harvey Combe, Killingworth, NE12 6UB.

Council business

All elections including any by-elections for casual vacancies that may emerge have been postponed until May 2021.

A review of meetings of the Authority that are scheduled to take place in the next few weeks is ongoing and some meetings are now being held virtually and streamed live publicly on the Authority’s YouTube channel. In addition urgency provisions contained in the Constitution and Officer Delegation Scheme as appropriate will be invoked to ensure the Council’s decision making processes continue.

Ward surgeries are cancelled until further notice. If you need to contact your ward councillor please do so via e-mail or telephone. Contact details can be found here

Bin collections

Household waste, recycling and garden waste are being collected as normal. Find your collection dates on our handy online look up tool.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) please make sure you double bag your household waste. Tie these bags up and keep them in the room you are self-isolating in, in a covered area so you aren't coughing over them, for 72 hours before popping them in your household waste bin.

Even if you do not have symptoms please help protect our collection staff and make sure your bin lid is fully closed for collection to prevent contamination.

Council tax support and hardship fund

The Council operates a Council Tax Support scheme to help those on low income pay their Council Tax. The Government is providing additional funding for those working age residents receiving Council Tax Support to further reduce the Council Tax they have to pay.

Over nine thousand working age households living in North Tyneside who are in receipt of Council Tax Support will benefit from a reduction of up to £150.00 on their Council Tax bill.

58% of these will not have to pay any Council Tax for the financial year 2020/21, removing the worry of how to meet their Council Tax during these difficult times.

This additional support will automatically be granted and claimants do not need to make a claim. New Council Tax bills will be issued as soon as possible with the additional support applied.

Any Council Tax that is paid in April for those who do not need to pay anything will receive a refund.

If you currently do not claim Council Tax Support and you are on a low income, you should check whether you are entitled to claim by using the online calculator and submitting a claim.

A range of support is available here for people who may be struggling financially due to the coronavirus. 

Support for residents

Employment and financial support

Find out about work and financial support from the government.

Employment and skills

Find out more about how our Employment and skills team can help you.

Temporary pavement licences

A temporary pavement licence enables the placement of temporary furniture, such as tables and chairs, outside cafes bars, and restaurants. For more information and how to apply, click here

 

Related documents

Domestic abuse support

We know that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse.

We want you to know that we are continuing to offer support to domestic abuse victims, where possible this will be over the phone or online. 

Find out more about domestic abuse support.

Support for local businesses

Click here for a letter to businesses from our Director of Public Health and an 'action card' for workplaces on outbreak management.

The Government has announced a number of measures to support businesses and their employees during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, to support the economic recovery.

There is a dedicated page with all of the latest guidance, FAQs and information for businesses announced by the UK Government on the North Tyneside Business Forum website.

Further information on the support for businesses can be found on the gov.uk website.

Guidance for employees, employers and businesses can be found on the gov.uk website

Practical Business Advice & Support

The Business Helpline is available from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, on (0191) 516 6699. Messages will be taken out of hours and a return call made the next morning.

The Business Helpline staffed by an experienced business adviser at the Business Factory North Tyneside.

You can also email business@northtyneside.gov.uk

For practical business support, please refer to the North Tyneside Business Forum’s dedicated page and register to join North Tyneside Business Forum for free or follow them on social media. Information will be going out first through these channels to businesses across the borough.

For access to Business Start up & Growth support plus access to specialist consultants visit The Business Factory.

The Business Recovery Programme is also providing Quick-access, free and practical hands-on support for North Tyneside businesses to aid their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic more information can be found on the Business Support page.

National Trading Standards’ Business Against Scheme provides advice on how not fall victim to fraud.

Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

In line with Central Government guidance these grant schemes are now closed.

 

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund

Funding for the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund has been fully allocated and the scheme is now closed.

Local and National Restrictions Support Grants

North Tyneside Council are currently delivering several grant schemes on behalf of Government.

These grants are supporting businesses with fixed commercial property costs which have been legally forced to close during the various periods below, and those in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors (or direct suppliers to these sectors) that were severely impacted by local restrictions and/or national lockdowns.

If you have already applied for a Local Restrictions Support Grant since September, please do not make a further application as future eligible payments will be made automatically.

Further information and an online application form can be found here  

Private landlords and renters

Information for renters and landlords can be found here.

Information for the self employed

Find info about income support for the self employed on the gov.uk website

There's also FAQs about the scheme

Info for Adult Social Care customers and providers

Travel

For up to date info about travel take a look at the Nexus website

Contact us

If you need to get in touch by phone you can call (0345) 200 0101.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Urgent Needs

An increase in demand for both PPE and non-PPE products has put the supply chain under significant pressure. 

It is important that usage of PPE equipment across all sectors is in line with the following guidance: Gov.UK national guidance. 

New PPE Portal

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has put in place a PPE Portal allowing Healthcare providers to order from a central inventory. The PPE portal can be used by social care and primary care providers to order and receive critical coronavirus (COVID-19) personal protective equipment (PPE). The Portal can be accessed below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ppe-portal-how-to-order-emergency-personal-p...

Who Can Use the PPE Portal

You can only log in and place an order if you have received an email invitation to register. The PPE portal can be used by:

  • GPs
  • residential social care providers
  • domiciliary social care providers
  • pharmacies
  • dentists
  • orthodontists
  • optometrists
  • children’s care homes and secure homes
  • children’s residential special schools

If you’re a provider in one of these categories, your invitation to register will be sent to your email account registered with Care Quality Commission (CQC), NHS Business Services Authority (BSA), NHS England or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

When to Use the PPE Portal 

The PPE portal is an emergency top-up system.

You should continue using your business-as-usual and wholesaler routes to access PPE. You should only use the PPE portal for additional PPE if needed and quantities available to order are set out on the website.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ppe-portal-how-to-order-emergency-personal-p...

National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR)

The National Supply Disruption Response 24/7 helpline 0800 915 9964 is still available if you are not able to get PPE from your usual sources. This is a freephone number in the UK. They may be able to supply emergency and small kits, for example 100-200 units of each type of PPE.

You will need to supply the following information during your call:

  • name, email and telephone number of the requestor
  • name, email and telephone number of a contact for the next 24 hours (for example out of hours cover if the original requestor will be unavailable)
  • delivery address, including postcode; and named contact for receiving deliveries
  • confirmation that your organisation can receive the delivery outside of normal business hours 
  • number of COVID-19 patients being treated (confirmed and suspected) 
  • number of beds in your organisation (if appropriate) 
  • details of your current stock situation
  • how long your current PPE stock provides cover for (for example less then 24 hours; one to two days, or more than two days) 
  • which products you are requesting and in what quantity

The NSDR is focused on fulfilling emergency orders, for example orders required in less than 72 hours. They do not have access to the full lines of stock but they are able to mobilise small priority orders quickly. 

 

Related documents

Support and resources to help children, young people, carers and their families

We recognise that children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and their parents/ carers are facing numerous challenges as a result of Coronavirus (Covid-19). This document is intended to explain what support is available on a local level to children, young people, carers and families and to offer resources to support children, young people and their families during this time.

Related documents

Information in other formats and languages

You can find the most up to date Government advice at www.gov.uk – this information is published in html format suitable for use with screen readers.

Information on Coronavirus in additional formats and languages

The Government has published:

Easy Read guides on:

 

Guidance in other languages including: Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu:

 

Additional information in other languages is also available from:

 

However the Covid-19 information provided by www.gov.uk is the most up to date.

 

Information in some languages only

 

For guidance and information in British Sign Language (BSL):

 

For Blind people and people with sight loss:

 

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) is publishing Covid-19 news and guides

Large print publications: