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.

Public Health England has published guidance on how we can all reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

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

Face coverings

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

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

Face coverings must also be worn on public transport.

Link to the guidance for face coverings

Town centre social distancing measures

To support the reopening of our town centres on Monday 15 June, we have implemented social distancing measures to help keep everyone safe.

These include removing drop off points, increasing footpaths and introducing one way pedestrian areas.  These are all temporary measures, which will be monitored and regularly reviewed.

Please see below maps to view and download of the changes for each town centre.

Brierley Hill

Dudley 1 - upper High Street

Dudley 2 - central area and Market Place

Halesowen

Lye

Sedgley

Stourbridge

Please remember to observe social distancing guidelines when out in our town centres, and shop alone where possible.

  • Stay at least 2 metres away from other people
  • Do not shop in large family groups and where possible do not take children shopping - this will help ensure that space is taken up with paying customers
  • Do not visit our town centres if you are suffering with Coronavirus symptoms
  • Use contactless payment whenever possible
  • Be respectful of shop staff and other shoppers #bekind
  • Do not touch items you are not purchasing, this will limit the risk to you and others
  • Wash your hands when you get home
  • Do not congregate in large groups
  • Adhere to the guidance provided by each retail unit
  • Go straight home once you have finished your shopping

For businesses planning on reopening please find advice and resources here

Travel advice

As lockdown restrictions are lifted, West Midlands Network is advising all bus, train or tram users to stay up to date with the latest travel advice and consider making changes to their journey if possible to help keep public transport available for those who need it most. Watch the video here for the latest updates.

Additionally to help keep all users of public transport safe, a detailed video of how to stay safe and stay apart on public transport can be viewed here.

For further information, timetables and ticketing on public transport in the area visit wmnetwork.co.uk.

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme restaurant finder

From Monday 3 to Monday 31 August, you can get a massive 50% discount when you eat in at restaurants registered with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

The restaurant simply needs to be registered with the scheme and the discount applies to food or non-alcoholic drinks which are eaten/drank in.

Discount applied is up to a maximum of £10 per diner and is valid on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until August 31. There is no maximum times you can use the scheme.

You don't need any vouchers, and the offer can be used the same time as other offers and discounts. There is no minimum spend to meet the criteria.

The discount will automatically be applied to your bill. 

Offer cannot be applied towards alcoholic drinks or service charges.

To find out restaurants participating within a 5 mile radius of your postcode, simply visit the scheme website.

For hospitality reopening

Hospitality reopening

It’s been some time since we’ve been able to enjoy leisure time in our pubs, cafes and other eating and drinking premises. While the time has now come for the hospitality sector to re-open its doors to customers from July 4, it’s important for the public to be aware of the following information:

  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Expect things to be different when you visit your local pub, café or restaurant for the first time
  • Respect the social distancing measures that have been introduced, they are vital for keeping staff and customers safe
  • Customers should be encouraged to use the indoor and outdoor seating provided rather than stand
  • Each premise must have completed a risk assessment to re-open, which means customers have peace of mind that their safety and that of others has been taken into account, i.e. paying for drinks or using the toilet facilities
  • Be kind - think of others, including the staff who are serving you and nearby residents
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
  • Wash your hands regularly

Download the latest press ad here for more information.

For businesses planning on reopening please find advice and resources here

FREE parking is available on all council car parks until 1 August.

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.

Small Business and Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grants Fund

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

Discretionary Grants Fund

The Government recently announced the Discretionary Grants Fund for certain businesses that are not eligible to apply for the existing COVID-19 response Small Business Grants Fund or Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund schemes.

Our local scheme is not yet opened for applications. 

We will announce further details of our local policy and application process shortly which will include full criteria on which businesses are eligible to apply and the date from which applications can be made.

For parents and carers - closure of educational settings and resources

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

Childcare providers open to keyworkers.

Resources for parents and carers

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.

Government resources resources for home education and advice to help children aged 2 to 4 to learn at home. 

Download the Coronavirus factsheet for children and information for talking to your children about coronavirus. Dudley Safeguarding People Partnership have also put together information for talking to young people about Coronavirus.

As more people are going online, take a look at these online safety activities.

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

For residents with pets and livestock

Updated advice (27 July) for pet owners and livestock keepers on looking after the welfare of animals, with information about a confirmed case of coronavirus in a cat in England.

The update emphasises that this is a very rare event. There is no evidence to suggest that pets directly transmit the virus to humans.

There is also no evidence to suggest that SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is circulating between animals, including both pets and food-producing animals in the UK.

To find out more, visit the government's guidance.

Car sharing

As people return to work and school, and attractions and destinations reopen, it is expected a number of families and households to use cars to make their journey.

The Department for Transport is encouraging people to plan their journey; if it requires them to share a car with another household, they are asked that they follow government guidance to help them keep safe. The advice for the public is to:

  • try not to share a vehicle with those outside their household or support bubble. If this is not possible, share the transport with the same people each time
  • open the windows for ventilation
  • wear a face covering for the duration of the journey
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean the car between journeys including door handles and other areas people may touch

This guidance is for personal family owned cars. Taxis and private hire vehicles have their own guidance and regulations.

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.

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.

Your Borough Your Home Magazine - Coronavirus Edition

Translations and Alternative Formats

Covid-19 accessibility resources including translations and easy read documents. 

Coronavirus fact sheet audio translations