Coronavirus

For the latest news, information and details of disruption to council services for Dudley Borough, please see our Coronavirus Advice page.

Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

At Dudley Council, we understand residents and visitors will have concerns about the coronavirus. The situation is changing rapidly as we find out more about the virus. The council is monitoring the situation closely and coordinating with Public Health England. We are taking all possible steps to keep people safe.

Latest national advice

  • People should stay at home
  • People should only leave the house for the following reasons:
    • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine. This must be as infrequent as possible
    • For one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk or cycle – this must be alone or with members of your household
    • For any medical need or to provide care or help to a vulnerable person
    • Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home 
  • When leaving the house, people must follow social distancing guidelines
  • Those with the most serious health conditions must be "largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks." People will have been contacted directly if this applies to them
  • There should be no gatherings of more than two people in public
  • All non-essential shops, businesses and community spaces should close
  • People who have coronavirus symptoms are asked to self-isolate to protect others. Symptoms are either a new continuous cough (coughing repeatedly) or a high temperature where you feel hot to touch on your chest or back. If you have symptoms, stay at home for 7 days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms
  • Those people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house "even to buy food or essentials" - but they may leave the house "for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others"

More government advice

Staying at home

Everyone is now being told by the government to stay at home. You should only leave the house for one of four reasons: shopping for food or medicine as infrequently as possible; one form of exercise per day; a medical need or to care for an older or vulnerable person or travelling to and from work – but only where this absolutely can’t be done from home.

When you are outside the home you need to make sure you are socially distancing – ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone else. See tab below about social distancing.

See the governments full guidance on staying at home and away from others.

 

Self isolation

If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

If you have symptoms and live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days. If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

If after 7 days, you no longer have a high temperature you can return to your normal routine. If you still have a high temperature, stay at home until your temperature returns to normal. If you still have a cough after 7 days, but your temperature is normal, you do not need to continue staying at home. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

If symptoms get worse after seven days, people should contact NHS 111 online for advice.

 

View all the latest guidance and information on self-isolation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection.

Social distancing

Social distancing is reducing face to face contact you have with other people. This means avoiding gatherings in public places, avoiding getting together with family and friends (keep in touch by phone, internet or social media), working from home where possible  and using public transport only where absolutely essential. The government is  strongly advising everyone to follow these measures and to significantly limit face to face interaction with family and friends where possible. This must be particularly stringent for the over 70s, people of all ages with long term health conditions and people who are pregnant. This advice is likely in be in place for some time. 

More guidance from the government about social distancing is available online

NHS video - How to wash your hands

Public Information Campaign

Travel advice

View Government country specific travel advice and Travel Health Pro advice

Information for countries and specified areas affected by COVID-19 with implications for returning travellers or visitors arriving in the UK.

In Dudley borough

In the council

All public meetings have now been cancelled and we are continuing to work with partners in the NHSPublic Health England and neighbouring councils to ensure we stay on top of delaying the spread of the virus. Please do not come to a council building or any other public place if you have any symptoms of the Coronavirus, including a new continuous cough or a high temperature.

Elected members are still working in communities across and are still available for contact. Some surgeries may be affected in line with the government’s advice on social distancing. Here’s a handy guide to who your local councillor is and how to contact them

Some of the council's services are continuing to operate as normal but staff are following government advice in limiting contact with the public wherever possible.

If you need help and advice with any council service call Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345 or email dudleycouncilplus@dudley.gov.uk     

Latest statements from the council

Wednesday 1 April

Message of support for borough care staff

Residents urged not to light bonfires

Millions for Dudley businesses in rapid support

Tuesday 31 March

Vehicle test dates suspended for taxi drivers

Thursday 27 March

Stay at home - and save lives

Council threatens tough action 

Advice and guidance to help borough stay safe

Wednesday 26 March

Lights and applause for our life-savers

Advice surgeries hosted by councillors in the borough to help residents with problems or concerns are being suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Mayor of Dudley is inviting families and individuals from across Dudley borough to share their rainbow creations on social media as a symbol of hope and unity during the coronavirus outbreak.

Kind-hearted market traders in Dudley have offered to donate fruit and veg to local foodbanks – as council bosses announced a three-month rent free period during the coronavirus crisis.

Tuesday 25 March

Some Dudley residents could soon benefit from council tax relief after a £3million slice of national funding was allocated to Dudley Council

Crossing patrols are being stood down while schools remain shut during the coronavirus crisis

Car parking charges are to be suspended for three months on all council-owned car parks to help frontline staff who still need to travel to work during the coronavirus crisis

Leader issues stark warning as Himley Park closes

Monday 24 March

Customer service advisors at Dudley Council Plus are continuing to offer help and support during the coronavirus crisis - but are asking people not to visit them in person

Residents across the borough are warned to be on their guard as bogus callers try and cash in on the coronavirus outbreak

Residents are being urged to follow new social distancing measures

Dudley Council House and Himley Hall is being lit up in blue and green every night to mark the efforts of staff on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak

Green bin collections have been suspended by Dudley Council until further notice in a bid to keep the regular refuse trucks rolling during the coronavirus crisis

Friday 20 March

Businesses across Dudley borough are being given a raft or proposed supporting measures as council bosses vowed to do all they can to help them through the coronavirus crisis.

Dudley Council is calling on everyone across the borough to support older or vulnerable people through the coronavirus outbreak.

Dudley Council is offering help and support for its council housing tenants who might be financially impacted from the coronavirus outbreak.

Thursday 19 March

Dudley Council has confirmed that it will suspend all parking charges at Himley Hall and Park until further notice

Wednesday 18 March

Residents are urged to keep up-to-date on how Dudley Council services are affected during the coronavirus outbreak online

Dudley Council is suspending legal and enforcement action to help residents and businesses deal with the fall-out from the coronavirus

Tuesday 17 March 

Voluntary groups and community-minded individuals are being asked to mobilise throughout Dudley borough to help vulnerable and elderly people who are preparing to self-isolate due to coronavirus

Monday 16 March

All public meetings organised by Dudley Council have been cancelled as the authority steps up work to delay the coronavirus

Friday 13 March

Joint statement on confirmed COVID-19 cases in Dudley borough

Tuesday 10 March

Council cabinet to discuss public health

Monday 9 March

Joint statement on confirmed COVID-19 case

Thursday 5 March 

Top tips to help protect yourself from coronavirus

Tuesday 3 March

Joint statement from the four Directors of Public Health for the Black Country

Helping others

Many people want to help others. You can find out more information about what you can do and what support mechanisms are in place via the Dudley CVS coronavirus webpage. 

Travel

With reductions in frequency across the transport network please check the latest updates before you travel.

Transport for West Midlands has suspended (from 19 March) the pre 09:30 restriction on concessionary pass travel to allow older and disabled people free travel before 9:30am so they can access any shops that are opening earlier for them. This only applies to those within our West Midlands Network area and is only available on bus and tram, not rail. 

Please bear in mind the Government's advice regarding staying at home, if it's absolutely necessary to travel please observe social distancing.

Affected services and buildings

Adult learning

Some of the planned classes cancelled until at least April 20. People should call the centre they attend to check if this applies to their class.

  • Brierley Hill Neighbourhood Learning Centre 01384 816440
  • Castle and Priory Neighbourhood Learning Centre 01384 812337
  • Dudley Wood Neighbourhood Learning Centre 01384 816495

All adult learning classes that are held at the Dormston Centre and L4L at Wordsley School are also cancelled.

Adult social services

The following buildings are closed until further notice:

  • Dementia gateways
  • Queens Cross Network
  • Assisted Living Centre
  • Dudley Carers Hub - however people can contact the Carers Advice line on 01384 818723 or email dudleycarershub@dudley.gov.uk Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm
  • The Unicorn Centre

Astley Burf

From 18th March, Astley Burf is closed until further notice.

Benefits

 

Some council residents could be eligible for council tax relief as the council has been allocated £3million from the government’s hardship fund, which aims to provide council tax relief to help vulnerable people and households most affected by coronavirus.

The government has said it can be used to reduce the council tax bills of working age people already receiving council tax reduction and to provide further discretionary support to vulnerable people.  

The council is in the process of looking at the detail and at how these additional reductions can be applied to bills as soon as possible. If you are entitled to the extra help you do not need to contact the council, we will be in touch with you shortly.

 

The council’s benefits staff are working to ensure the maximum flexibility in the system is applied to you if coronavirus affects your financial circumstances. This means that for some people debt recovery will be temporarily suspended.  If you have a repayment arrangement in place, it can continue.

People applying for Universal Credit, Employment Support Allowance or other benefits should not go to a jobcentre but apply for them online

People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended. These changes will be in place for 3 months from 19 March 2020

Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits have been suspended.  This affects claimants of Personal Independence Payment, those on Employment and Support Allowance and some on Universal Credit, as well as recipients of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. These changes will be in place for 3 months from 17 March 2020.  The suspension of face-to-face assessments also covers new claims to those benefits.

If you are a Carer, welfare benefits officers are providing a telephone helpline during this pandemic on Wednesdays.  The number to call is 01384 818723.

A Benefits Advice Line has been set up for other Dudley Borough residents affected by Covid 19. The number to call is 01384 815002.

You may also find our factsheets useful.

Bereavement services

Our offices are closed but people can still speak to staff over the phone or get more information online

For more information visit https://www.dudley.gov.uk/residents/register-office/deaths-funerals-cremations/cremation/

Bin collections

Green bin collections have been suspended until further notice.

Regular weekly collections and fortnightly recycling collections are continuing as normal but there is extra advice for people self-isolating because of coronavirus symptoms. This can be found on our bins and recycling webpage. 

Please continue to put your bins, boxes and bags out as normal, but make sure they are on the edge of your property by 6.15am on your collection day.

The Household Waste Recycling Centre is closed.

Borough Halls (live entertainment)

Rolling programme of cancellations. The venues will be contacting people directly about refunds and alternative dates. Buildings closed.

Direct payments

Advice and guidance for people regarding direct payments and employing staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dudley Register Office

For the latest advice and information about weddings as well as the births, deaths and marriage registration service visit our Dudley Register Office page

Family centres

Our borough Family Centres are all now closed.

You can however get information and support by calling the centres below:

  • Stourbridge Family Centre- 01384 818780
  • Halesowen Family Centre- 01384 813954
  • Brierley Hill Family Centre-01384 813322
  • Dudley North Family Centre- 01384 813096
  • Dudley Central Family Centre- 01384 812440

Financial support

Dudley Council is offering help and support for its council housing tenants who might be financially impacted from the coronavirus outbreak. 

Anyone who is facing loss of income or other financial strains related to the outbreak can call the council rent income team on 0300 555 0010 for help and advice. View the council statement in full

A Benefits Advice Line has been set up for other Dudley Borough residents affected by Covid 19. The number to call is 01384 815002.

You may also find our factsheets useful.

View Government advice on the implications of COVID-19 on managing your money or your rights to sick pay and changes to claiming your benefits.

Himley Hall

Himley Hall including park and grounds are closed until further notice

Housing

Housing Repairs - Our Housing Maintenance Team continue to provide an emergency repairs service 24/7 to Dudley Council tenants. Tenants should call 0300 555 8283

Housing Support – we are providing telephone support, our Drop-In sessions have now closed and we are in the process of setting up the drop-in service via telephone initial contact can be made via our duty line which is 01384 814154.

Homeless Service -  we continue to provide preventative support to avoid homelessness, emergency service 24/7, provision of emergency accommodation.

Housing Occupational Therapy Team -  We are supporting tenants and residents with assessments and advice over the phone whilst  keeping them informed regarding any further assessments we will need to arrange, when it is safe to do so.

Leisure centres

Closed from Friday evening (March 20), and includes:

  • Crystal Leisure Centre, Stourbridge
  • Dudley Leisure Centre
  • Halesowen Leisure Centre
  • The Dell Stadium, Brierley Hill
  • Coseley Sports Centre

View the FAQS regarding centre memberships and closure.

But you can still keep fit and healthy while self—isolating with these handy online exercise classes from the NHS 

Libraries

  • Closed until further notice
  • Children’s story sessions now being webcast
  • Fines suspended

You can still search for e-books and other online resources here 

Outdoor activity and parks

From Tuesday 17th March 2020, group outdoor exercise and activity sessions delivered or supported by Dudley Council have been suspended until further notice in line with current guidance around social distancing. The sessions impacted are:

  • All sessions delivered by our Park Activator team at Silver Jubilee Park, Netherton Park, Mary Stevens Park and Huntingtree park.
  • parkrun: parkrun at the Dell Stadium on Saturday, and junior parkrun at Stevens Park, Wollescote on Sunday.
  • Walking for Health: All health walks delivered across the borough including those groups walking from The Leasowes, Saltwells, Himley and Huntingtree.
  • Park Active sessions held in the following parks Buffery Park (Kates Hill), Grange Park (Dudley), Stevens Park (Quarry Bank), Abbey Street Rec (Gornal) and Stevens Park (Wollescote).

However, staying active remains important for the health and wellbeing of our residents so here is some useful guidance from Sport England about how you can remain active and safe.

Parks in the borough remain open but, play areas, Healthy hubs, and sports facilities, eg tennis courts remain closed. If you go to parks please observe social distancing. 

Allotments

A large number of our allotment sites are manage by individual allotment associations and we have advised them of the following:

As you know, as the allotment sites are self-managed the final decision sits with yourselves, however, the Council’s Public Health Team have looked at the guidance produced by the government and our view is that visiting and working on an allotment could be counted as a person’s daily allowance of exercise, as set out in the statement by the Prime Minister on Monday 23 March.

It is really important that people visiting allotments for exercise keep at least 2 meters away from other people (other than people they live with) when working on their allotment. This must be the only exercise they take in a day and they must limit the time they spend on the allotment - so that they are reducing the time they are out of the house and potentially in contact with others. They absolutely must not congregate with other people on the allotments.

However, it would be up to the individual allotment holders to follow the Governments guidelines. The latest guidance from the National Allotment Society, echoes the government’s current position. It is vitally important that allotment holders follow all the advice about social distancing, whilst on their plots.

Planning

Reception at 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, closed until further notice.  For all enquiries relating to Planning, Building Control, Policy, Enforcement & Trees please email: development.control@dudley.gov.uk or telephone 01384 814136

Red House Glass Cone and Dudley Museum at the Archives

Schools and childcare

National government have confirmed schools will close at the end of the school day on Friday (March 20) for most children until further notice.The government releases a list of key workers who may still be able to access childcare. Dudley borough schools and nurseries are making arrangements directly with parents about what this could mean for them.

Childcare providers open to keyworkers.

Dudley’s family information service has compiled a list of fun and educational resources for children at home.

Dudley's virtual school has also compiled a list of supporting resources.

Download the Coronavirus factsheet for children.

Guidance

For older or vulnerable people and carers

Coronavirus may feel daunting and especially for older or vulnerable people. Those aged over 70 and anyone with long term health problems are being advised to self-isolate to protect themselves.

View information for older or vulnerable people

For shielding and protecting extremely vulnerable people

Guidance and information for shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. 

For employers and businesses

Guidance and information for food businesses

View information for businesses and employers, including how to prevent the spread of infection and what to do if someone is suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus

View cleaning advice for workplaces including offices, factories, waiting rooms, hotel rooms and other workplaces

If Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts, you should act before your filing deadline. View the latest UK Government advice on filing accounts

For more information and guidance for businesses regarding COVID-19 view Dudley Business First.

Business Rates Grant

In response to COVID-19 (coronavirus), the government has recently announced two grants to assist businesses. 

For educational settings

Advice is available for schools and other educational settings including how to prevent the spread or infection and what to do if a teacher or student is suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus. 

In addition, cleaning advice for student accommodation and boarding schools has been released. 

For parents and carers - closure of educational settings

Guidance and information for parents and carers regarding closure of educational settings

For social or community care and residential settings

For staff in the transport sector

Guidance for people who work in the transport sector including general advice, precautions and guidance on the assessment and management of arrivals

Staying safe and well

Health and wellbeing

Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (COVID19), can be scary and can affect people’s health and wellbeing. Visit lets-get for advice.

Avoiding scams and bogus callers

Avoiding scams

While many people are looking out for others in the community, a small minority are looking to profit from coronavirus. In recent weeks Action Fraud have seen reports about coronavirus themed scam emails attempting to trick people into revealing sensitive personal and financial information.

Protect yourself by making sure you:

  • Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited messages asking for personal or financial information
  • Research a company before making payments online and always use a credit card not a debit card
  • Keep in contact with loved ones

Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) warning.


Bogus caller scam - alerts!

Dudley Council is becoming increasingly aware of bogus calls being made in relation to the coronavirus.  The latest bogus call to watch out for is people going door to door claiming to be authorised by Dudley Council to offer cleaning services.    

Avoiding bogus callers

DO NOT let people into your home unless you are 100 percent sure you know who they are.

People who are genuine will in most cases call ahead to book an appointment first and will carry ID with them.

Anyone who suspects a bogus caller is operating in their area should call 999 in an emergency or contact the dedicated bogus caller hotline on 01384 812045

Price ramping

The alleged over pricing of goods is not a regulated activity that is enforced by trading standards.

The Competition and Markets Authority is monitoring for potential breaches of consumer law on sales and pricing practices in light of the current situation.

Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/competition-and-markets-authority

Economic abuse and the coronavirus

The situation is changing rapidly in the UK as the government implements measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Recommended measures such as limiting social contact, not going to work and self-isolating at home can have implications if you are experiencing economic abuse. You may be worried about your physical safety and your economic situation.

This resource is designed to support your economic wellbeing and your safety if you are living with someone who abuses you. It also contains information on financial support that is available.

You are not alone, and support is available during these extraordinary times.

More information on economic abuse and the coronavirus.

Domestic abuse

Victims of domestic violence and abuse can access all available support services within the borough by dialling one number, the single point of contact (SPOC), on 01384 455411.

The number is open to victims, families and professionals and helps people get to the right service as quickly and easily as possible when support is needed.

Visit www.dudleysafeandsound.org/domesticabuse to find out more about more about domestic abuse services.

Further resources

Covid-19 accessibility resources including translations and easy read documents