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Coronavirus - latest information and advice

In this section:

Residents' letter

Letter sent to residents from the Leader and the Chief Executive of the Council

What you need to know 

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.

Read more about what you can and cannot do

Warning If you are concerned that an individual or business has significantly breached the restrictions, you can report a suspected breach of restrictions to the Police

Help for vulnerable people 

Support and advice from the Compassionate Community Hub

Bath & North East Somerset Council, working with 3SG, Virgin Care, and local NHS colleagues, have set up a telephone line giving advice and support to those that need it during this period.  

Call 0300 247 0050 (the line is open 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week). 

People with concerns over food supply, welfare or wellbeing should seek support and advice from the hub. 

We are urging those residents who are able to safely get support from family and friends or to order their food or medication online, to continue to do so. This means staff operating the phone line can prioritise those who need the most help and get to calls as quickly as possible.

Could you volunteer?

Council services 

We are doing all we can to keep our essential services running and our communities safe during this challenging period.

As well as the changes to services identified here, there are likely to be some reductions in service levels across the council and increases in waiting times during the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding.

We are working hard to ensure any changes to services are listed on their web pages, so if you don't find the information you are looking for on this page, please try looking there instead.

Find council services

Read the latest news updates from the council

Council Payments

We've had to change how we take payments during the coronavirus outbreak. Please see the Pay for it section of the website for more details.


Help for residents 

Health and wellbeing advice

Find the latest Coronavirus health advice on the NHS website

Coronavirus guidance from GOV.UK

Stay at home - An easy read guide for people with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Mental wellbeing

Mental wellbeing support for adults, parents, carers and young people and children is available on the 1BigDatabase website

Pharmacy opening times

Community pharmacy opening times are now updated every day.

Coping with Bereavement

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating affect on everyone who is facing the grief of having lost a loved one. For those bereaved as a direct result of the virus every statistic we read on the news represents people who are dearly missed and whose family and friends are having to come to terms with a world without them. For those who have lost loved ones from other causes you too are having to deal with increased trauma created by social distancing measures and being cut off from some of your usual support network. The following sources of support can provide help and advice.

What to do when someone dies

Emotional support

Support for children and young people

Unsafe at Home? Domestic Abuse Help

The Government have asked people to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep people safe from the virus, BUT if you feel unsafe at home, you CAN leave your home and get help.

If you feel unsafe at home call the National 24/7 Helpline 0808 2000 247

Domestic abuse services are still available to help you in Bath & North East Somerset.

Afraid of someone in your home? 

If you are in immediate danger, call 999

In an non-emergency you can contact national organisations Refuge, the National Domestic Abuse HelplineRespect, Mankind or the local Southside support service

Afraid of an ex-partner or family member? 

Support is available from the the following organisations: VOICES, Bath Mind, Samaritans, BAPP - Family support, Rights of Women - Family Law advice.

Afraid for someone else?

You don't need to be experiencing domestic abuse to get advice. If you are afraid for someone else you can still talk to national and local domestic abuse services.

You can also download a guide for people who think their friend,relative,neighbour or colleague may be in an abusive relationship.

Get financial help

There are a number of ways you can get help from the council and the government if you are not working and do not get paid while you're off. These include:

If you can't afford your next monthly Council Tax payment please contact us

Adult social care

Concerned about an adult?

If you are concerned that someone is at risk of abuse, please call the Virgin Care Adult Safeguarding Team on 0300 247 0201 or 01454 61 51 65 ‐ Emergency Duty Team (EDT) for out of hours/weekend calls. In the event of an emergency, always call the Police on 999.

Care and support

If you have a Care and Support Plan, our Social Work teams will ensure this is maintained and your eligible needs met.

Q&A for people receiving a personal budget or personal health budget

Guidance for people receiving direct payments

Hospital discharge

It is essential that people are discharged from hospital as soon as they are medically fit, but this may mean the package of care and support that is put in place on discharge is not as wide ranging or as comprehensive as it would normally be. It might also mean that the usual social care assessment process may be shortened or not happen immediately, to allow hospital beds to be freed up as quickly as possible for those in need.  

The current emergency period creates a unique set of circumstances and therefore your Care and Support Plan may in the future be reviewed and your needs reassessed; at this time alternative services may be provided, or your reassessment may conclude that you no longer have any eligible care and support needs. 

Residential placements

People in residential placements will remain there with no change to their provision of care. However, due to social distancing, it may not be possible for some activities to take place or for residents to leave the residential placement to go on outings.

Home care

With potentially limited staff it has been necessary to make decisions that are outside of those that would be taken in normal circumstances. We need to work together to protect the ability of Social Care to provide care and support to all those in need.

If you are a new service user, this may mean the package of care and support that is put in place now is not as wide ranging or as comprehensive as it would normally be.

If you are an existing service user, some services may be provided by alternate methods. This is to ensure critical care and support can be provided to all those in need. If you require additional support due to the emergency situation we will do our best to arrange this for you.

We will aim to reach a mutually agreed Care and Support Plan but if you disagree with any aspect of your Care and Support Plan please get in touch with your allocated worker to discuss the way forward. 

As stated above the current emergency period creates a unique set of circumstances and therefore your Care and Support Plan may in the future be reviewed and your needs reassessed. At this time, alternative services may be provided or your reassessment may conclude that you no longer have any eligible care and support needs. 

Financial Assessment

If you are a new service user, please be aware that most people have to pay an assessed weekly care charge towards their care and support. 

A financial assessment will be done by telephone if possible, which may be a ‘light-touch’ assessment; if a ‘light touch’ assessment is completed, a full financial assessment will be carried out when the emergency period ends. 

You should therefore ensure if your financial assessment is not carried out immediately that you put funds to one side. If a ‘light touch’ assessment is carried out, it should be noted that the figure provided for payment may not be accurate.

If you are an existing service user and your assessed weekly care charge is affected by an increase or decrease in the package of care and support being provided, the Care Finance Officer will notify you as soon as they are able to do so. 

Direct Payments

If you receive direct payments and are affected by Coronavirus, we have prepared a Direct Payments FAQ which provides help and clarification during the current outbreak.

Mental Health

It is understandable that people may feel more anxious or worried at the moment. Most people will be able to manage these feelings through putting strategies in place such as, keeping themselves busy, maintaining as much of a routine as possible and reducing the time listening to or watching the news. However, some may find this a little more difficult and might need someone to talk to, or need additional support. It is therefore important to seek help if you find yourself in this position.

Visit our mental health web page if you need mental health support. It has details about what to do in a crisis, as well as what other help and support is available in Bath and North East Somerset for people with mental health needs.

GPs are still able to offer telephone and face to face appointments if you need treatment and support, and will talk to you about whether you need to be referred for further assessment to our local Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) service.

A new service called the Compassionate Communities Hub has also been set up to help you, particularly if you are more vulnerable, through these uncertain times. They can offer a listening ear and some helpful advice around how you are coping, and put you in touch with other organisations.  

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 includes the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) – a set of checks that aims to make sure that any care that restricts a person’s liberty is both appropriate and in their best interests. DoLS only apply for people in care homes and hospitals. There is a separate system for people in ‘supported living arrangements’ (where people live and receive care in the community). 

It is important that care homes and hospitals continue to identify people in their settings who are deprived of their liberty and make the referral for a Best Interest Assessment for DoLS to take place. There has been no change to the law in this area.

However, due to the Coronavirus measures currently in place, the Best Interest Assessments may need to be carried out in a different way or to wait until the restrictions are lifted to prevent an increase in infections within care settings. All assessments are regularly screened and prioritised and this process will continue through this period.
 

Help for carers

Support for family or unpaid carers

If you care for a family member or friend and are beginning to feel unwell or are having to isolate away from them, please contact social care on 01225 39 60 00 (option 2). Give details of the person you normally support and the support that you normally provide to them.

Do let the person you care for know you have contacted social care so they know someone will be in touch. Social care will then arrange for them to be supported while you're unwell or isolated.

Help for critical workers

Critical workers include those working in health and social care and in other sectors which are essential to provide basic public services, as defined on the GOV.UK website.

Schools and childcare

Many schools and early years settings will be offering limited child care provision for children of critical workers.

Car parks

Parking charges for residents and visitors will be reintroduced on May 4 for Bath & North East Somerset Council car parks and on street paid for parking, after pausing on March 25 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Residents are reminded that they will need a valid permit if using residents’ parking bays from this date. 

NHS staff, health and social care workers and NHS volunteers are being encouraged to apply via their employer for a new Government digital parking permit so that they can park for free with no time limits when undertaking official duties. On-street parking places where the national permit can be used are limited to pay and display bays, limited waiting bays and permit holder bays and zones.

Find out more about the national parking permit scheme

Beware of Coronavirus scams

There has been a large increase in the amount of fraud during the current Coronavirus outbreak.

Fraudsters are trying to exploit new weaknesses, cyber attacks are using COVID-19 emails to lure people into clicking links or opening attachments which then download malicious software. Emails pretending to be from Government Departments or Councils are also attempting to obtain personal data including bank account details, for example, parents with children entitled to free school meals are being asked to provide bank account details.

The Council will generally not ask for personal information over the phone. However, based on the current circumstances, alternative methods of collecting information may be required. If you are asked to provide any information and you are not sure about the identity of the person then please ring back using numbers on our website

Find out more information on identifying and dealing with scams

Rubbish and recycling collections

We are working hard to keep our rubbish and recycling services running, thanks to the commitment and dedication of our crews and staff. These services are being prioritised, but there may be some delays or missed collections.

Garden waste

Fortnightly garden waste collections restarted on Monday 27 April 2020. Garden waste collections were stopped temporarily to prioritise rubbish and recycling collections from households during this difficult time, and we thank you for your patience. We will do our best to run a normal service, but please keep an eye on the website for any updates if your bin is not collected.

Please ensure your bin is out by 7am on your usual garden waste collection day, your bin is not too heavy and can easily be wheeled to the kerbside - and remember, soil should not be placed in your garden waste bin. 

We will be extending the annual subscription period for garden waste bins, and existing garden waste stickers will now be valid until 18 July 2020 to make up for the missed collections. 

Check your collection day

Check current collection problems

Disposable cleaning clothes, tissues, nappies or any other personal waste should always be put in your rubbish bin. If members of your household have the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), personal waste like this should be double bagged, tied securely and kept separate from other waste for at least 72 hours before being put in your black wheelie bin or re-usable rubbish bag. Never put any personal waste in recycling boxes as we won’t collect it.   

Haycombe Cemetery

Haycombe Cemetery and Crematorium is closed to visitors, except close family attending funerals, as required by law to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Haycombe will now only be accessible to those attending a funeral up to a maximum of 10 people, or by appointment for those needing to meet with office staff. The site is otherwise closed to visitors.

A new high-definition streaming system has been installed so that families and friends who are unable to attend the funeral of their loved one due to the Coronavirus restrictions can still view the service. The live webcasts will allow people in self-isolation, or who cannot travel, to pay their respects.

Information about restrictions on funerals and visiting the cemetery

Support your community during Coronavirus

During this difficult time, we want to make sure that our residents look out for one another to help everyone to stay safe and healthy.

Find out how to support your community

Help for businesses

Register for a business grant

If your business needs urgent financial help from the Government due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), the council’s Invest in Bath business support service has a dedicated team to give targeted help to companies.

Register for a business grant online

Support for small businesses is available from two grant funding schemes: the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

Any business currently in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate relief may be eligible for a £10,000 cash grant. Any retail, hospitality or leisure business with a rateable value above £15,000 and below £51,000 may be eligible for a £25,000 cash grant.

Apply for the expanded retail discount

Apply for the business rates expanded retail discount for occupied retail, leisure and hospitality premises. Eligible premises will receive a discount of up to 100% on their bill for the 2020/21 financial year.

Apply for expanded retail discount online

Get help from Invest in Bath

The council’s Invest in Bath service is co-ordinating support services to local businesses in light of the COVID19 public health situation. If you do have specific concerns, questions or needs at this time, please email info@investinbath.co.uk and the team will respond directly.

Find advice for businesses

Help for parents and carers 

Schools and childcare

All school children should remain at home, if it is safe for them to do so. Many schools and early years settings will be offering limited child care provision for vulnerable children, and children of 'critical workers'. They are also organising support for families whose children normally receive free school meals. 

Free school meals

If your child normally gets free school meals

Schools and early years settings are also making plans to provide food, or funding, to families whose children normally get free school meals. Please look at the current arrangements for your child's school to find out about their plans to support you.

Find open schools and see their meal arrangements

Mental wellbeing

Mental wellbeing support for adults, parents, carers and young people and children is available on the 1BigDatabase website.

A new book illustrated by Axel Scheffler that helps to explain what Coronavirus is for children is available as a free download. 

Download "Coronavirus - a book for children"  

Educational and fun activities for parents and children