Coronavirus (COVID-19) - What you need to know

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - main page

National restrictions apply

From Monday 19 July: How to stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visitors to all council buildings from this date are recommended to continue wearing a face covering to keep themselves and others safe. While inside enclosed spaces, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with.

Note: This page reflects the status of services following changes to guidelines from 19 July 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 at the Bristol Street car park until 31 December 2021. Please note, the permit is not valid at any other car park
  • All NHS staff, social care staff, charities and volunteer groups can still apply for a free permit. Read our full update about critical care permits.

Resident parking

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.

Car parks

  • 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

The Swindon Register Office is currently experiencing extremely high demand for its services

This is particularly for marriages and civil partnerships and we apologise if you are having difficulty getting through on the phone.

Please email SuperintendentRegistrar@swindon.gov.uk for all non urgent enquiries or to check availability for ceremonies. We will endeavour to respond within 5 working days.

Please note: There is now a waiting time of 2 weeks for birth appointments and notice of marriage/civil partnership appointments. We regret that we are unable to take any new ceremony bookings before 1 September 2021.

Death registrations

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.

See also: COVID-19 - Bereavement and funeral guidance

Birth registrations

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.

Notice appointments

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

From Monday, 19 July, our ceremony rooms have been restored to full capacity.

  • The Register Office (Superintendent’s Office) - the couple plus two witnesses
  • The Juno Room - the couple plus up to 20 guests
  • The Garden Room - the couple plus up to 65 guests

We respectfully request that all visitors to the Register Office, excluding those getting married or forming a civil partnership, continue to wear face coverings and help to protect our staff and each other by maintaining a 2m distance from other people.

Citizenship ceremonies

Citizenship Ceremonies are now in person at the Civic Offices. 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 date for your ceremony

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 date for your ceremony.

Kingdown Crematorium and grounds are open for visitors.

The crematorium office has a reduced service and is only taking urgent enquiries in person or you will need to make an appointment. All other enquiries should be by telephone or e-mail.

Cremation services are taking place with no limit on 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.

See also: COVID-19 - Bereavement and funeral guidance

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 hoptions@swindon.gov.uk 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 Hotel is 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 working hard to ensure the continuation of the service, but please bear with us, as there are currently delays in registering and determining applications. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to respond to general queries and enquiries sent to the planning enquiries inbox.

Please refer to the guide to planning pages for more information.

If you are submitting a planning (or related) application, we recommend you do so electronically or by email to validation@swindon.gov.uk

Thank you for 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 access regular testing 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:

Please note: Our symptom-free testing sites in Swindon have now closed. We are currently working on plans to offer a new testing model which will include an opportunity for assisted testing should people need it.

For more information visit the NHS website: Regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you do not have symptoms

  • 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
  • library collect: testing kits can be collected from North Swindon library, West Swindon library and Highworth library during opening hours
  • home test collection points: use the NHS site finder for further information on opening times:
    • Ellendune Centre
    • Buzz Gym
    • Jolly Rogers Adventure
    • Lotmead
    • Brewers Arms
    • Premier Chiseldon
    • Haydon Wick Parish Council
    • Pinetrees Community Centre
    • The Shop, Cavendish Square

Anyone aged 16 or over can get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Pop-up vaccination clinics

We are holding Pfizer drop-in clinics at Sanford House (Sanford Street, Swindon, Wiltshire,  SN1 1HE) on the dates below. The clinics will be open to anyone aged 18 and over and will be administering first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Tuesday, 9 November, 8.00am to 4.00pm - CANCELLED
  • Tuesday, 16 November, 10.00am to 6.00pm
  • Tuesday, 30 November, 8.00am to 4.00pm
  • Tuesday, 7 December, 10.00am to 6.00pm
  • Tuesday, 14 December, 8.00am to 4.00pm
  • Tuesday, 11 January, 8.00am to 4.00pm
  • Tuesday, 18 January, 10.00am to 6.00pm

There is also an Astra Zeneca Vaccine Clinic at Sanford House on Tuesday, 23 November from 3.00pm to 7.00pm. This is for anyone 40 years and over who needs their second dose of Astra Zeneca.

Avoid bonfires

Please avoid bonfires during the outbreak. Our Environmental Health Officers will be investigating reports of bonfires during this period.

More information on bonfires and how to report them

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:

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

Find out more about scams and how to protect yourself

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.

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:

  1. Dial 999
  2. Listen to the questions from the 999 operator
  3. Respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can
  4. 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.

More help and guidance on domestic abuse

GOV.UK publishes data about COVID-19 cases and deaths:

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