Latest COVID-19 update from RMBC….

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Tuesday 2 June 2020

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we will now be providing regular email updates for residents to let you know about the latest information we have and any changes to local services that may be affected.

If you do not wish to receive these updates please click on “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the page.

You can check the latest information on our website at any time by going to

NHS Test and Trace

Everyone with coronavirus symptoms should get tested

Anyone living in England and Wales who has symptoms of coronavirus, whatever their age, should get tested.

And in England, social care workers and care home residents are entitled to get tested, even if they are not currently displaying symptoms.

Coronavirus symptoms are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Testing should be carried out as soon as someone has symptoms, and certainly within the first five days.

Testing is most commonly carried out at set, static centres throughout the country or mobile, pop-up sites. Some home test kits are being provided although availability is initially limited, More will become available soon.

The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can either be done by the person being tested (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted).

You can ask for a test for yourself or for someone you live with, if you have coronavirus symptoms.


If your test is positive, a contact tracer will work with you to identify people you have been in recent contact with so that they can be contacted and instructed to self-isolate.

Essential workers

Priority for testing is provided for the following groups of people:

  • essential workers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • anyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over 5 years old who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with an essential worker
  • children under 5 years old in England and Wales who have symptoms of coronavirus and live with an essential worker (test must be performed by a parent or guardian)

Essential workers can apply for a test here.

Covid advice

Burial and cemetery rules in place for safety of all

We know that losing a loved one is extremely painful at anytime and that the current restrictions on visiting cemeteries and attending funerals goes against all our natural instincts to remember those dearest to us.

But, during these extraordinary times, it is essential that we follow the rules in place to protect ourselves, fellow mourners, funeral directors and Council staff. In particular:

  • All our local cemeteries and burial grounds are open, please remember to observe social distancing guidance at all times. If it’s busy please consider visiting another time.
  • Until further notice your local place of worship cannot be used for a funeral service. Funeral services can only take place at the grave side or at the crematorium for a maximum of 10 immediate family members only.

In the event of a bereavement, it is important that the next of kin contact a funeral director to discuss options and book a funeral promptly.

For full advice on registering a death, attending funerals and visiting our cemeteries, click on button at the bottom of this article.

Sadly, as a result of the current restrictions, it is very likely that families will not be with their loved ones at the time of their death. Restrictions also mean that the usual practical and emotional support people can physically get from family and friends following a bereavement may not be there.

If you are struggling following a bereavement, please contact our free support service which offers the chance to talk to a trained therapist who can offer emotional health and wellbeing support.

Anyone wishing to use the service should call 0800 048 5224 (freephone) or provide details via the Listening Ear website 

Advice: registering a death, visiting cemeteries and funerals

‘Shielded’ people should still be on their guard

The government has updated its guidance for people classed as ‘shielded’, those potentially most at risk from coronavirus.

Around 2.5 million people in the UK, including more than 13,000 Rotherham residents were advised to stay at home as lockdown began, because they were identified as being at particularly high risk of needing hospital treatment for coronavirus symptoms.

People on the shielded list include solid organ transplant recipients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, pregnant women with heart disease and people with severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and severe asthma.

The new advisory guidance which came into force this week means that, whilst people who are shielding are still classed as vulnerable and should continue to be very cautious, they can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing. The advice is:

  • While the number of infections has come down, there is still a risk of catching coronavirus which may be more severe if they have an underlying health condition.
  • If they choose to spend time outdoors,  it should be with members of their own household.
  • If they live alone, they can spend time outdoors with one person from another household – ideally, the same person each time.
  • If they do go out, they should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart.
  • They should continue stay at home as much as possible, work from home and avoid crowded places, such as shops and public transport
  • It is important for all of us to keep washing our hands regularly or use hand sanitiser and avoid touching your face.

Locally, people on the shielded list have been supported by the Council and the Rotherham Heroes volunteer scheme since the lockdown began in March. This support will continue for as long as it is required.

The guidance is available to view on the Government website, by clicking the button below.

Updated Government guidance on shielding

Support scheme for self-employed is extended

A scheme to provide financial support to the UK’s self-employed workers during coronavirus has been extended.

The scheme had been due to expire at the weekend, but the Chancellor has announced that a second and final grant will be available from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) in August, up to a maximum of £6,570.

The second grant will cover 70% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits.

Self-employed workers still have until 13 July to apply for the first SEISS grant. Under the first grant, those eligible can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, covering three months’ worth of profits and capped at £7,500 in total.

Those eligible have the money paid into their bank account within six working days of completing a claim.

Applications for the second grant will open in August. Further guidance will be published by the Government on Friday 12 June.

The scheme is being administered by HMRC and further information is available by clicking the button below.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Outdoor covered market re-opens

Outdoor covered market returns

Rotherham’s outdoor covered market re-opened this week for the first time since the coronavirus restrictions began in March.

Market days are Monday (retail), Tuesday (second-hand), Wednesday (second-hand), Friday (retail) and Saturday (retail), starting at 8.30am each day.

This is an opportunity to support local businesses when then need it the most. We expect the number of traders to gradually increase over the coming days and weeks.

A range of additional safety measures to protect customers, traders and markets staff are in place, including a single entrance point to the market on Drummond Street, extra staff, hand sanitiser station, a limit of 50 customers at any one-time. a ‘one in, one out’ system and social distance floor markings.

All Market Traders are required to complete a risk assessment for safe operation of their business before being allowed to stand.

The Indoor Market, based at Centenary Market Hall has remains open on Fridays and Saturdays for essential foods only, from 8.30am to 2pm, as it has done throughout the restrictions.

Meanwhile, work is on-going to safely re-open the Tuesday Street Market, Crafters Market and Bazaar Market as soon as it is possible to do so.

Fish pass is Don and dusted!

Fish pass

For the first time in 200 years, salmon will have a fully joined up River Don to swim through to reach their first available spawning grounds in the centre of Sheffield.

The new Masbrough Weir fish pass (pictured) near Forge Island is the final piece in the jigsaw of a 20 year campaign to enable salmon to return to the river.

It has been constructed thanks to a partnership between Don Catchment Rivers Trust, Canal and River Trust, the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and Rotherham Council.

More details