Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updates on council services, health advice, and support available for residents and businesses.

swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - main page

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • 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.

Government, NHS and general advice

Changes to council services

Last updated: Wednesday, 22 July at 9.15am

Buses

We do not operate bus services. For information about bus services in Swindon, visit the website or social media accounts of your provider. This will either be Swindon’s Bus Company or Stagecoach West.

Crematorium and cemeteries

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.

See also: COVID-19 - Bereavement and funeral guidance

Customer Services

To allow us to protect this service for our most vulnerable residents, 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 until further notice.

Our main telephone contact centre is open. However, we have significantly higher levels of demand than normal. This means call waiting times will be very high.

Education and social care transport

Service operating as normal.

Elections and referendums

Local elections originally scheduled for Thursday, 7 May 2020 have been postponed for 12 months.

Homelessness support

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.

Homeline

Emergency response operating as normal.

There are delays for new customers unless supporting a care package or hospital discharge.

Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC or 'the tip')

The HWRC is open for pre-booked visits for households only.

More information: Book a visit to the Household Waste Recycling Centre

Housing repairs

We are taking into account the latest Government guidance to reinstate our repairs service, see our webpage: COVID-19 - Restoring our housing repairs service

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 gassafetycheck@swindon.gov.uk.

Housing services

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

Libraries

Swindon’s five core libraries had been closed to the public since March, in line with government Coronavirus guidelines. As restrictions begin to ease, we can now start to re-open library services.

We will be re-starting library services in a phased process over the next few months. The phased re-start will make sure we operate in line with Government guidance, and that you and our staff are safe at all times.

Find out more: COVID-19 - Re-opening our libraries

Introducing a Click, Call and Collect service 

A Click, Call and Collect service is now available at Central, North Swindon, West Swindon, Highworth and Park libraries, allowing customers to reserve books online or by phone.

Find out more: Click, Call and Collect service

Online library services

Our eBook, eAudiobook and eMagazine services are still available. Further information:

If you're not a member, you can join online and immediately begin using our digital services:

We’ll continue to use our social media channels and blog to share useful resources for people at home, as well running a live-streamed Story and Rhyme time every Tuesday at 11.00am. 

More details and contact information are on our webpages: Libraries

Parking

We have introduced the following measures, but remind people of the government's instruction to stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work.

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.

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 Coronavirus lockdown period. 

Find out more:

Parking enforcement

Tickets issued before 24 March 2020 will remain in force, although the usual early payment discount remains along with the appeals process. Please respond to any Penalty Charge Notice issued before 24 March 2020 in line with the legislation in place. Details will be included in paperwork received. 

Tickets issued after 24 March 2020 will also remain in force, although additional mitigation may be accepted. We are allowing a longer period to pay at discounted rate, but you must contact us to request this.

Civil Enforcement Officers will issue tickets to vehicles that have parked either:

  • dangerously
  • on yellow lines
  • in a disabled bay without a Blue Badge on display
  • in a restricted bay (for example, a loading bay)
  • in a resident zone without a resident permit
  • in a car park with no payment or valid permit

Do not ignore any Penalty Charge Notice you receive. If you are unsure, please contact PBusinessSupport@swindon.gov.uk to find out the next course of action available to you.

Resident parking

In all our residents’ parking zones we are only issuing tickets where vehicles are causing an obstruction, parked in a dangerous location or parked without a permit. As far as possible our enforcement officers will be pragmatic. This applies until further notice and started on 24 March 2020. 

Civil Enforcement Officers are not issuing Penalty Charge Notices to resident permit holders parked in shared use, resident parking bays and limited waiting bays. This is to help key workers care for the most vulnerable, and also residents who are at home. Resident permit holders can also park in surface level car parks, with their resident permit on display

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.If you have an unexpected guest due to lockdown, please contact PBusinessSupport@swindon.gov.uk explaining your situation. We will look at how we can help. Please include your:

  • name
  • address
  • phone number
  • e-mail address
  • car registration details.

We will be keeping a close eye on numbers to ensure demand does not exceed capacity and we acknowledge that changes may need to be made at short notice. This may include resuming normal enforcement. Please check here daily for any further updates.

Car park closures

The following car parks are completely closed:

  • Spring Gardens
  • Wroughton Park and Ride

The following car parks are open:

  • Brunel North
  • Bristol Street
  • Brunel West
  • Fleming Way
  • Whalebridge

All surface level car parks where you pay and display are open for essential journeys.

Car park tariffs are in operation.

Parks and leisure

All our parks are open for exercise. Visitors must follow social distancing rules. The car parks are now open at the following locations:

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 cafe at Lydiard Park, along with toilets at both Lydiard Park and Coate Water, are now open with safety restrictions in place.

Planning applications

We are taking steps to ensure the continuation of the service and help keep the local economy moving. However, please bear with us if delays occur in registering and determining applications or responding to queries and enquiries.

If you're submitting a planning (or related) application, please do so electronically. This is because we are facing difficulty in processing paper applications at this time.

We have had a high percentage of applications dealt with under delegated powers for a long time, and this will continue. At present we are currently reviewing the position regarding the holding of planning committees and will advise you if this impacts on your applications.

The Planning Inspectorate is also affected and is publishing updates about the impact in its services here: GOV.UK website - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Planning Inspectorate guidance

Registrations and wedding ceremonies

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

Following the Government's announcement that birth registrations can resume in England from 1 June 2020, 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 3 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, we will waive the additional notice fee.

Weddings and ceremonies

Marriages and civil partnerships can take place from Saturday, 4 July at the Swindon Register Office and at approved premises by prior arrangement with the venue.

If your marriage or civil partnership was cancelled due to Covid-19 and you have not already done so, please call the Register Office on 01793 522738 to arrange a new date.

Please note: new restrictions apply to the ceremony content and the numbers of people that are able to attend a ceremony.

We welcome new provisional bookings for marriages and civil partnerships, although availability is limited until Winter 2020.

Naming ceremonies and renewal of vows ceremonies are still currently suspended.

Citizenship ceremonies

We are working hard towards restarting citizenship ceremonies and are awaiting final approval from the UK Visa and Immigration Department. Those affected will be contacted by a member of the team as soon as we are able to offer you a new date.

Roads and highways

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
  • Lining

Major construction projects are on hold.

Schools

Schools are closed to the vast majority of pupils until further notice.

Please visit school websites to find out what provisions are being made to support children of key workers. Schools should also communicate their plans directly to parents and carers. 

If you need support and resources to help you cope with the coronavirus pandemic please see COVID-19 Mental wellbeing information for children, young people, schools, parents and carers.

STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway

STEAM is closed until further notice. This includes the Platform 1 cafe and the schools and public events programme.

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is closed until further notice.

Waste and recycling collections

All waste services are running, with occasional disruptions that we communicate in a daily report about the status of collections. You can check this for updates between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

It is more important than ever to deal with your waste responsibly. We need your help to keep your staff safe, and to minimise the amount of waste and recycling you put out for collection. Read more: COVID-19 - Waste and recycling guidance

The HWRC is open for pre-booked visits for households only.

More information: Book a visit to the Household Waste Recycling Centre

Here For Swindon: Measures we're taking to help

Read the council measures to support residents and businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Helping yourself and others

Read about how you can support yourself and others during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Businesses

You can find information on the latest government guidance for employees, employers and businesses at the GOV.UK website.

Making a claim for business support

The Government has announced support to assist companies through the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

We have identified businesses in Swindon that fit the Government’s criteria. We are now working to process these grants and make the money available to businesses as soon as possible.  

Eligible businesses will have received a letter from us on either Saturday, 28 March or Monday, 30 March providing details about how to access the funding.  

Any business that believes they fit the criteria and has not received a letter can find more information on the webpage: COVID-19 - Government support for businesses

Businesses in breach of government guidelines

Report a concern about a business that's breaching government guidelines.

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