Coronavirus

Advice and Information

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

Help control the virus

To protect yourself and others, when you leave home you must:

  • wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly
  • cover face - wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
  • make space - stay at least a metre away from people not in your household
  • If you are feeling unwell, get a test and do not leave home for at least 10 days.

Coronavirus symptoms: 

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Or, if told to by an NHS contact tracer

The self-isolation period has been extended from 7 days to 10 days.

Government information on self-isolation.

Here's more on what we can and can't do

Face covering exemption card

From Friday 24 July it became mandatory to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets unless you are exempt for health, age or equality reasons.  

Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.

Link to gov.uk exemption card and badge. 

This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.

Who is eligible to be exempt from wearing a face covering?

You are exempt from wearing a face covering if you:

  • Are aged 11 and below (children under the age of three must not wear face coverings or masks, they are potentially dangerous and can cause choking and suffocation.)

  • Have a physical or mental illness, impairment or disability which makes wearing, putting on or removing difficult

  • Will suffer severe distress when putting on/wearing or removing

  • Are providing assistance to someone relying upon lip reading to communicate

Link to the guidance for face coverings.

Masks and face coverings

From Friday 24 July it became mandatory to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets unless you are exempt for health, age or equality reasons.

From Saturday 8 August, the list of places where it is mandatory to wear a face covering is extending considerably, including cinemas, concert halls, community centres, and places of worship.  For the full list, visit the government website.

Your face covering must cover your nose and mouth at all times.

Face coverings must also be worn on public transport.

Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing, which remains an important action.

Children under the age of 11 do not have to wear face coverings. Children under the age of 3 must not wear face coverings as there is a risk of suffocation

Link to the guidance for face coverings

 

Staying alert and safe (social distancing)

Everyone is being encouraged to stay alert to help control the virus and although the government has started to ease restrictions, social distancing remains a vital part of this.

To avoid risks of transmission and stay as safe as possible, you should always maintain social distancing with people you do not live with - indoors and outdoors, including in the settings below. You should only have close social contact with others in your household and support bubble. You should:

  • only socialise indoors with members of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) - this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • only socialise outdoors in a group of up to six people from different households, or in larger groups if everyone is exclusively from one or two households
  • only visit businesses and venues in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) or with a group of six people from different households if outdoors
  • limit your interaction with anyone outside the group you are attending these places with even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • limit the number of people you see socially, especially over short periods of time, to keep you and them safe, and save lives - the more people you have interactions with, the more chances we give the virus to spread
  • not hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing
  • only stay overnight away from your home in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household)
  • when asked, provide your contact details to a business so that you can be contacted as needed by the NHS Test and Trace programme

Read the guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing) 

Foreign Travel advice

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.  

However Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice.

When you return to the UK you will have to complete  a passenger locator form.

You may also be required to self isolate for 14 days  when you return irrespective as to whether you have symptoms or not.

  • Get ready to show your passenger locator form, even if you are arriving from a Travel Corridor country
  • Only a limited number of people are exempt from completing the passenger locator form
  • Be prepared to self-isolate if you’ve visited or made a ‘transit stop’ in the previous 14 days in any country that is not on the Travel Corridor list.
  • If you are required to self-isolate, head straight home. Only use public transport if you have no other option

For more information go the government website.

Coronavirus NHS test and trace and Local Outbreak Control Plan

If you have COVID-19 symptoms you must self-isolate immediately and get a test. Then you will know for sure if you and your household must continue to self-isolate.

If you test positive for COVID-19 you will be asked either online or on the phone about your recent close contacts, anyone you have been within 2-metres of for at least 15 minutes and places you have visited.

The people you have been in contact with will then be asked to self-isolate for 14 days by an NHS contact tracer.

For more details on Test and Trace look on the NHS website.

Local Outbreak Control Plan

With the easing of lockdown and as we move our focus to the next phase of management of the COVID-19 epidemic, a locally led system to prevent and reduce transmission of the virus is critical.

The Dudley local outbreak control plan will build on the strong relationships with key partners and the approach already in place for tackling situations and outbreaks locally during the pandemic including work across our care homes.

The aim of this plan is to reduce the spread of the virus, to prevent and minimise the impact of a potential second wave, whilst reducing the direct and indirect health, social and economic consequences. It details how we identify early and manage local outbreaks and how we will support high risk locations and vulnerable communities.

Council powers to impose restrictions under coronavirus regulations
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 came into force on Saturday 18 July.
The new regulations give local and national government additional powers to stop local transmission of the virus. These will allow them to restrict local public gatherings and events, and close local businesses premises and outdoor spaces.


The Department of Health and Social Care has published statutory guidance for councils in England on:


• what the new regulations allow them to do and how they should exercise those powers
• how those powers should be enforced
• guidance for those affected by local authority directions
Government Guidance

Coronavirus testing

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test, how to get tested and the different types of test available. 

NHS video - How to wash your hands