Coronavirus (COVID-19) - What you need to know
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - main page
National restrictions apply
National coronavirus restrictions remain in place, with changes from 17 May. Read about what you can and cannot do on GOV.UK.
Note: This page reflects the status of services following changes to guidelines from 17 May 2021. The service descriptions will be updated here as decisions are made.
- We encourage you to try to pay, report or apply for services online. Use the search bar at the top of the page to get started.
- Customer Services reception on Princes Street is closed.
- Our main telephone contact centre is open. Demand is higher than normal, so you may need to wait for a long time for us to answer your call. How to contact us if you can't do it online.
NHS staff, social care staff, charities and volunteer groups
- Critical care workers and volunteers can use a critical care permit to park in all our surface level car parks and on-street pay and display parking bays until 21 June 2021.
- After 21 June 2021, the permit will be valid at Bristol Street car park only.
- The extension at Bristol Street car park will be valid until 31 August 2021.
- All NHS staff, social care staff, charities and volunteer groups can still apply for a free permit. This will finish on 31 August 2021 at Bristol Street car park and on 21 June 2021 in all other surface level car parks and on-street pay and display parking bays. Read our full update about critical care permits.
Residents should be aware that virtual permits have been issued for a number of vehicles in various locations. There will not be a permit on display in these vehicles, but they are permitted to park.
- All Pay on Foot car parks are limited to card payments only
- All other car parks remain open and operational and car park tariffs are still in operation
Death registrations are being done by telephone. The doctor and/or coroner will send the certification paperwork to us, and you will need to ring the Register Office on 01793 522738 to arrange a time for the Registrar to call you back.
The telephone registration will take approximately 30 minutes and you will have the opportunity to purchase certificates using a payment card.
We can now offer appointments to register a birth.
Read more: Register a birth
For child benefit claims, you should contact the Department for Work and Pensions.
You are now able to make an appointment to give notice of marriage if your ceremony is taking place within the next three months. Please call the Register Office on 01793 522738.
You may have given notice already and had to postpone your ceremony because of the coronavirus outbreak. If your ceremony has to be rearranged to take place after your authority to marry has expired, we will need to take your notice again. In these circumstances, and if the venue has not changed, we will waive the additional notice fee.
Weddings and ceremonies
The number of guests allowed to attend a ceremony has increased to 28 people. This excludes the bride and groom and people working and is subject to the room’s capacity. Our rooms capacities are:
- The Register Office (Superintendent’s Office) - the couple plus two witnesses
- The Juno Room - the couple plus up to eight guests
- The Garden Room - the couple plus up to 24 guests.
All guests should wear face coverings, unless exempt.
We are now welcoming provisional bookings for:
- civil partnerships
- naming ceremonies
- renewal of vows ceremonies
- the restarting of face to face Citizenship ceremonies, week commencing 17 May 2021
Please call the Register Office on 01793 522738 to check availability or to discuss arrangements.
If you have received a letter from the Home Office advising you to contact the Register Office, please call us on 01793 522738 to arrange a time.
Kingdown Crematorium and grounds are open for visitors. We ask visitors to observe social distancing guidelines, by keeping two metres apart.
The crematorium office has a reduced service and is only taking urgent enquiries in person. All other enquiries should be by telephone or e-mail.
Cremation services are taking place but with limited numbers being able to attend. This also applies to burials.
More information at the webpage: Kingsdown Crematorium
All cemeteries (Kingsdown, Radnor Street and Whitworth Road) are open for visitors. We ask visitors to observe social distancing guidelines, by keeping two metres apart.
Service running as normal, but please avoid coming to the Civic Offices unless it's absolutely necessary. Instead, call 01793 445503.
If you have financial concerns with housing, see our webpage: COVID-19 - Support for council housing tenants
Service running as normal. However, please avoid visiting Customer Services reception on Princes Street unless it is absolutely necessary. Call 01793 445503 or email email@example.com for homelessness assistance, including any concerns about your income/rent/mortgage, or if you have received an eviction notice.
If you are concerned about the welfare of a rough sleeper, contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 01793 445503.
All our parks are open. Visitors must follow social distancing rules.
Opening times and parking information:
Lydiard House and Lydiard Hotel are closed.
The cafes at Coate Water and Lydiard Park are open for takeaway service only.
Toilets at Lydiard Park, Coate Water, Stanton Park, and Barbury Castle are open with safety restrictions in place.
We are taking steps to ensure the continuation of the service, as far as practicable. Please bear with us if delays occur in registering and determining planning applications or when responding to queries and enquiries.
If you are submitting a planning (or related) application, we recommend you do so electronically. This is because we are facing difficulty in processing paper applications at this time.
Unfortunately due to the current implications regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to monitor the planning enquiries inbox and respond to queries at this time. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Types of coronavirus tests:
If you have symptoms:
You can get a book a free test on GOV.UK or by calling NHS 119.
If you don't have symptoms:
Anyone in England who does not have symptoms can now get regular tests to check for coronavirus.
In Swindon, residents will be able to access regular testing through a number of routes depending on individual circumstances. These routes include:
- workplace testing programmes (both on-site or at home): if your employer offers workplace testing, this remains the best route for you to access regular testing
- home ordering service: you can order a box of tests online or through 119, which will be delivered to your home
- pharmacy collect: a number of pharmacies across Swindon have signed up to offer pharmacy collect. Use the NHS site finder to find out what local pharmacies you can pick up tests from
- education: secondary and college students are already being given tests to use at home twice a week, throughout term time and during the holidays
- symptom-free testing sites: we have a number of symptom-free testing sites in Swindon which residents are able to use. You can choose to either book an assisted test at one of our sites (this is recommended if it your first time testing), or you can walk-in and collect home testing kits, subject to availability
For more information visit the NHS website: Regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you do not have symptoms
Read our self-isolation checklist.
More information on the NHS website:
Please avoid bonfires during the outbreak. Our Environmental Health Officers will be investigating reports of bonfires during this period.
Supporting our waste crews
Our waste teams are currently doing their best to keep as many collections running as possible. You can help us by:
- sorting your recycling in different types within your recycling box to speed up collections
- if you have COVID-19 or are self-isolating, follow our advice on how to not spread the virus to our crews
- downloading our thank you key workers colouring sheet and stick it in your front window, or on your recycling box and bin. Upload a photo of your creation to Facebook or Twitter and don't forget to tag us.
Unfortunately, scammers and rogue traders will always prey on people’s fears. We encourage people to stay vigilant and look out for each other to avoid anyone becoming a victim of a scam.
Potential coronavirus scams include:
- Bogus doorstep calls offering shopping services or taking funding for a vaccine
- Phone calls asking for money or offering money in relation to coronavirus
- E-mails offering investment schemes, coronavirus information or financial support, often looking like government departments like HMRC
- Overpricing for products in short supply
- Loan sharks looking to take advantage of people in difficult financial situations
If you have any minor repairs that need fixing, you can ease the burden on our housing repairs team by attempting to resolve minor issues yourself. We have a number of how-to videos that may help you do this.
We have been working with Swindon SEND Families Voice during the pandemic to answer a set of frequently asked questions supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Answers to the FAQs include, for example, advice and guidance on how best to support well-being and updates specifically in relation to service delivery.
The FAQs will continue to be updated on the Swindon Local Offer website.
- Getting financial help if your income has been affected by coronavirus
- Test and Trace Support payment schemes:
- Warm & Safe Wiltshire provides help with energy bills
At the moment it can be hard to know what to do if you're unwell or have a concern about your health.
It's important to:
- get medical help if you think you need it
- keep any appointments or procedures you have booked – unless you’re told not to go
- go to hospital if you’re advised to
NHS services have made changes to make sure it's safe for you to be seen during coronavirus. There are also ways to get medical help and prescriptions online or over the phone.
More information: NHS website - Using the NHS and other health services during coronavirus
During the coronavirus pandemic, it is now more important than ever to quit smoking.
Due to the current pressure placed on services, normal stop smoking services may not be available. However, there are still online and telephone support services available to help you.
ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) are leading the #QuitforCovid campaign. There are many health and financial benefits to quitting smoking, but now more than ever quitting means you can:
- Reduce the likelihood of complications from COVID-19
- Protect the health of others. Exposure to second hand smoke also increases the risk of complications from respiratory infections.
- Reduce the burden on the NHS. Stopping smoking brings immediate health benefits particularly to the heart and lungs.
Visit Today is the Day for more information on smoking and coronavirus.
There is also a Twitter account @QuitforCovid which has been set up to support people to stop smoking. Every day between 7.30pm and 8.30pm a quit clinic is hosted by a health expert to provide advice and support for people who would like to quit.
Why is it important?
- Emerging evidence from China has revealed that smokers with COVID-19 are 14 times more likely to develop severe respiratory disease.
- Smoking tobacco is known to damage the lungs and airways causing a range of severe respiratory problems.
- The evidence clearly shows COVID-19 virus attacks the respiratory system, which explains why smokers are at greater risk.
- In addition, the repetitive hand-to-mouth movement provides an easy route of entry for the virus, putting smokers at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
Useful links and resources:
Reports of domestic abuse have increased nationally during the coronavirus lockdown.
Anyone suffering from domestic abuse can seek support from the council or the police, who will make sure that person is safe.
If you, someone you know, or someone you know of is experiencing domestic abuse, help is always available. In an emergency, always dial 999. If it is not an emergency, you can contact the Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service 24-hour helpline on 01793 610610, or call Wiltshire Police on 101.
If you need help urgently, but are too scared or unable to make a noise or speak, you can:
- Dial 999
- Listen to the questions from the 999 operator
- Respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can
- If prompted, press 55. This lets the 999 call operator know it's a genuine emergency
During the lockdown, you will be able to access safer spaces at Boots pharmacies consultation rooms, where you can contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice. For more information on this part of the new 'UK SAYS NO MORE' campaign, visit the Hestia website.
GOV.UK publishes data about COVID-19 cases and deaths: