Coronavirus (COVID-19) - What you need to know
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - main page
National lockdown: Stay at Home
National lockdown restrictions apply from Tuesday, 5 January 2021. Read about what you can and cannot do on GOV.UK.
Note: This page reflects the status of services under national lockdown. 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
All NHS staff, social care staff, charities and volunteer groups can apply for a free permit in all our surface level car parks, and on-street pay and display parking bays. This scheme is running alongside the national Government scheme.
Find out more and apply:
Season ticket extensions
Car park season tickets and leases for spaces are eligible for up to a 12-week extension if they were due to expire during the first Coronavirus lockdown period.
Find out more:
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.
- Wroughton Park and Ride is closed until further notice.
- 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
Marriages and civil partnerships are currently suspended under Tier 4 guidance. However, if there are exceptional circumstances (such as one of the parties to the marriage is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is expected to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery), please call the Register Office on 01793 522738.
If your marriage or civil partnership is cancelled due to coronavirus, please call the Register Office on 01793 522738 to arrange a new date.
We welcome new provisional bookings for marriages and civil partnerships from 1 April 2021, although availability will be limited.
Naming ceremonies and renewal of vows ceremonies are suspended.
Citizenship ceremonies are now being held virtually using the Microsoft Teams video conferencing app.
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.
Non-urgent internal repair appointments are currently postponed. We are contacting customers to re-arrange appointments that have already been made.
You can still book an appintment for a non-urgent internal repair, with appointments starting from 1 April 2021.
Regular safety checks
In line with the latest guidance, we are continuing with our gas service/safety check programme. However, we will postpone safety checks to homes where any family member is over 70 years old or has an underlying health condition. If you have any concerns regarding your safety check appointment, phone 01793 464372 or e-mail email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 for exercise. Visitors must follow social distancing rules. The car parks are now open at the following locations:
- Lydiard Park - opening times and parking information
- Coate Water - opening times and parking information
- Stanton Park - opening times and parking information
- Barbury Castle - opening times and parking information
At Lydiard Park and Coate Water the children’s play areas remain closed until further notice. Lydiard House and Lydiard Hotel also remain 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 remain 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 are working with a reduced team, so it may take us longer to respond to reports. We are continuing to work on:
- Highway safety inspections
- Pothole repairs
- Masonry repairs
- Street lighting repairs
- Drainage repairs
- Gully cleaning
Major construction projects are on hold.
Local elections originally scheduled for Thursday, 7 May 2020 have been postponed for a year.
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. and scams linked to coronavirus are emerging. While none have yet been reported in Swindon, 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.
The NHS remains 'open for business' despite the extra pressure on services caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
It's important to be aware of the following points:
- If you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you.
- If you need medical help from your GP practice, contact them either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed.
- If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111.
- If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.
- If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital.
- You should continue to attend your appointments, unless you have been told not to attend.
- You can order your repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy’s online service, where available.
- If you need to collect a prescription and have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating at home, please arrange for a friend, relative or volunteer to collect for you.
- To help us to keep supplying medicines to everyone who needs them, please only order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time.
- It is important that you or your baby or child still have routine vaccinations. They protect against serious and potentially deadly illnesses and stop outbreaks in the community.
- If the person needing vaccination has coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, please contact your GP practice for advice.
- If you have a symptom that you are worried about, you must contact your GP Practice.
- Your clinician will discuss with you the benefits of starting or continuing your cancer treatment against the increased risks of contracting coronavirus.
Heart attack patients
- If you think you or a family member are suffering with the symptoms of a heart attack you must dial 999 immediately.
- If you or a family member develop symptoms such as heavy or tight chest pain that may spread to your arms, neck or jaw, or make you breathless, sick, sweaty or light-headed and that doesn’t go away, this could be caused by a heart attack. Dial 999 immediately.
- If you think you or a family member are suffering with the symptoms of a stroke you must dial 999 immediately.
- You can spot the symptoms of a stroke by using the FAST test:
- Face - is the face drooping / fallen on one side? Can they smile?
- Arms - can they raise both arms and keep them there?
- Speech - is it slurred?
- Time to call 999 if you see any of the above signs
- If you are pregnant it is important that you still attend your antenatal appointments and continue to seek advice from your midwife or maternity team.
- If you are worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby, please contact your midwife or maternity team.
Parents of young children
- If you are worried about the health of your baby or child, please call 111.
- If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.
- The NHS is there to support your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as your physical health.
- If you are concerned about the mental health of your child, please contact your GP or check online self-referral options for under 18 years olds on the NHS website.
- If you are facing mental health issues contact your GP or key worker, if you have one, and continue to access your mental health services as usual. We are also still open for new referrals, via your GP or online.
- If you’re experiencing stress and anxiety, you can get further information, including how to self-refer to psychological therapies on the NHS website.
- If you are facing a mental health crisis, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111.
Learning disability and autism
- If you need medical help reasonable adjustments will be made so you get the right care and support.
- Your local community teams and crisis support lines are available if you are worried or anxious.
Urgent eye care
- Primary Eye Care provides NHS funded urgent eyecare services across Swindon. The services are available from local opticians.
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.
- Get coronavirus advice and guidance on the GOV.UK website. Quick links:
- NHS general guidance, including:
- Bereavement and funeral guidance
GOV.UK publishes data about COVID-19 cases and deaths: