See the latest news and get more information regarding coronavirus (Covid-19). Find out more about help for affected businesses and individuals. Please use our online forms, webchat, app and phone number to contact us. Our offices are closed to the public. We have suspended garden waste collections to free up resource for the other collections.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
For the latest information and advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak go to the Public Health England and Cumbria County Council websites. The Cumbria County Council website has the latest information regarding schools and nurseries:
There are other ways you can stay up to date with the latest local information:
- Sign up to email alerts from Cumbria County Council
- Download the latest newsletter all partners in Cumbria are helping to produce (click on the link to the Cumbria County Council website, and open the "Allerdale" tab)
- Join the government's WhatsApp group
Emergency helpline for those in high risk groups
There is a new emergency support service for people at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours.
- The emergency telephone support line is 0800 783 1966
- Or you can email your request for help to: COVID19support@cumbria.gov.uk
More information and advice about coronavirus on our website
- Coronavirus: information and advice for businesses
- Coronavirus: business support grants
- Coronavirus: Council Tax, benefits and financial support
- Coronavirus: community help
- Coronavirus: waste services
- Coronavirus: lockdown enforcement
The impact of coronavirus on Allerdale's services
We are doing everything we can to continue to deliver key essential services to you despite the restrictions and challenges brought about by efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus. However, services may be delivered in different ways.
We've put in place a business continuity plan which seeks to maintain delivery of key public services as best as possible, while protecting customers and staff from infection and following government advice to limit social contact. There are also new areas of work to be done, such as the grants to businesses.
This all means we've had to change the way we do things.
Impact of the coronavirus on our services
Click on each tab to find the latest on our services:
There is a separate page which provides all the information you need on applying for benefits and help getting financial support for your council tax.
Our Bereavement Services has issued guidance on funeral services which takes into account the government's advice regarding coronavirus.
The government has introduced stricter measures on social distancing and what activities are allowed to continue. Funerals can continue to go ahead, however the advice is that only immediate family members should attend.
Other measures the council has introduced include:
- Family members will be contacted before the funeral usually by the funeral director, to establish if anyone is suffering from the symptoms of coronavirus or are self-isolating. Contact is likely to be made by phone to reduce the risk of infection.
- The council kindly asks that anyone who is showing symptoms or is self-isolating, should avoid attending the funeral. Whilst the council recognises this may be upsetting, it is to reduce the risk of infection to others. Older people, those with medical conditions or pregnant women, are also recommended to not attend funerals at this time.
- Families may want to consider an outdoor service at the graveside. This will reduce the risk of infection.
- Officers will keep areas as clean as possible. However, some simple steps, such as an online donation page, rather than a charity donation box, can reduce the risk of infection.
- The council is also discouraging hand shaking between ministers, celebrants, funeral directors and mourners in line with government advice.
- Mourners are also asked to observe guidance around social distancing and remain at least 2m apart.
These measures are backed by advice from the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.
Visits to cemetaries
The council have had reports of people using the cemeteries as an alternative to parks to get round the social distancing measures and are gathering in groups. This is not acceptable and could compromise the aims of the Government’s measures to slow the spread of the virus, and could put the workers at risk. The Government gave very clear guidance about the reasons that people can leave their homes – visiting a cemetery or crematorium other than for a funeral, and then in limited circumstances is not one of them.
There is a separate page which provides all the information you need to help with the business assistance schemes announced by the government. This includes information for takeaways.
There is also a separate page if you are eligible for one of the busines rate grants provided by the government which we are administering.
Following government advice to provide free parking to NHS staff and others who are leading efforts to tackle the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, we will not be charging to use its car parks.
This is with immediate effect. The car parks will also remain open for use by local residents such as those who have permits.
The council fully supports the government’s efforts to prevent all unnecessary travel and this move is not designed to encourage shoppers or visitors to the area. The council continues to ask people to stay at home, to help protect the local NHS services.
The car parks which are now free are:
- Workington: Ladies Walk, Udale Street, Elizabeth Street, Brow Top, Brow Top Annexe, Central Station, Allerdale House
- Cockermouth: Fairfield, Bitterbeck, Memorial Gardens, Sullart Street and Riverside
- Keswick: Bell Close, Otley Road, Central and Lakeside
- Wigton: Water Street
The following car parks have always been free, but the time restriction will no longer apply:
- Maryport: Mill Street
- Cockermouth: All Saints
- Workington: Horse Close
- Wigton: Council Centre and Market Hill
No charges will also apply in car parks which we manage on behalf of other organisations. These are:
- Keswick: Booths (Tithebarn Street), Derwent Mill and Rawnsley Hall
- Maryport: South Quay and Irish Street.
Closure of the multi-storey car park in Workington
We closed the multi-storey car park in Workington earlier this week, to help reduce the risk of infection from the coronavirus.
It was considered that with its stairways, doors, lifts and other communal areas, users of the car park were more at risk of spreading and contracting the virus.
The move, taken as part of the council's business continuity plans, also frees up staff to help with maintaining core services and assisting with any other tasks required to help those affected by the impact of coronavirus.
Permit holders looking for a refund need to contact us at email@example.com and provide details of the permit they have.
As part of the council’s management plan in response to the coronavirus situation and in light of the guidance from the government, the following decisions have been taken with regards to upcoming committee meetings. These are:
- Following a discussion with the chair of Scrutiny, the Scrutiny Task and Finish Groups and the Scrutiny Committee meetings in March and April have been cancelled.
- We are waiting for further government guidance in respect of the Development Panel meetings in April and May and the Annual General Meeting in May. A statement on these will be issued once a decision is known.
Allerdale Borough Council’s customer contact centres in Workington, Cockermouth, Keswick, Maryport and Wigton are closed until further notice to help tackle the spread of coronavirus.
The decision has been made to limit face-to-face contact in council buildings to protect the health and wellbeing of our customers and council employees, and help ensure our resources are used to carry out the council's core services and the extra tasks required due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Offices will close with immediate effect for the foreseeable future, however, the decision will be reviewed in the coming weeks.
Residents in Allerdale are being encouraged to use digital methods to contact the council where possible, to avoid having to wait on the telephone. There are a range of services readily available on the authority’s website and through the myAllerdale mobile app. There is also a webchat facility on the council’s website.
The council’s website is open 24/7 and the “Report It” forms allow customers to let the council know about issues and obtain information at a time which is convenient for them.
Customers can also use the website to check their eligibility for housing and council tax benefits, make an application, as well as access their benefit and council tax account. This service is also available for landlords with tenants on housing benefit.
By downloading the myAllerdale app, customers can also have many of these services available to them in the palm of their hand. The app is compatible with Apple and Android phones, and customers should search for ‘Allerdale’ on their app store and then register for an account.
Anyone facing financial hardship or potentially being made homeless should contact the council on 0303 123 1702.
The council's position on events and our funding of them at the moment is as follows:
As the current advice from central government is to cancel or postpone all mass gatherings, we have taken the decision to suspend the allocation of the small festivals and events grant scheme. We appreciate that this is a difficult time but our priority is the protection of our communities and visitors. If you intend to hold your event in 2021, please let us know and we will defer your application until then.
In regards to Taste Cumbria, at this time it is impossible for us to make a decision about that event (scheduled for September). However, we have managed to produce a very successful festival within a short space of time before, so we have every intention to do the same again should it be possible. We understand the importance of these events to the businesses and people who support them and will make every effort to keep people informed with the information we have available. In the meantime, we are working on ways to support businesses where we can. More details will be available soon.
In regards of general events, in order to protect our communities we are in support of the cancellation of events and mass gatherings. We are also aware of the impact this has, and we are working very hard to try and come up with ways in which we can try and help our businesses and communities in a time of social distancing and isolation. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please contact Anna Chippendale by email.
People who are homeless – or are at risk of becoming homeless – are being reassured that the council's housing options team is continuing to do everything it can to offer support to those who need it during the coronavirus situation.
The team is working hard to continue to find suitable housing options for those who are homeless, while trying to identify people who are sleeping rough on the streets of Allerdale.
Those who require support are asked to call the housing options’ phone number 01900 702660 (or 0303 123 1702 out of hours) if possible.
Information is also available at https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/housing/homelessness/are-you-homeless/ or by emailling: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our leisure centres in Workington, Cockermouth, Keswick, and Maryport are now closed. GLL, who run the leisure centres and the Wave Centre on our behalf, took the decision in line with Government instruction. The decision was effective from Friday 20 March 2020.
The health and well-being of both our staff and valued customers is paramount. We have a social responsibility to everyone in the local community to take action to protect ourselves and others.
GLL have said: "We would also like to help you during this difficult time by automatically applying a payment freeze for all of our members. A payment freeze means that you retain your membership or lesson/course, but will not have to pay during the period that the centre is closed. That means, whether you have an annual, monthly, pre-paid or pay and play membership or lesson/course your Direct Debit payment will not be collected throughout this period. If you would like to know more about how we're working to help you, or any other queries, visit our dedicated FAQs page."
We are working closely with local public health authorities and receiving all official updates from the Government. We will keep you up to date on what is happening going forward.
Allerdale Borough Council has suspended its street markets in line with official advice and guidance relating to Covid-19.
The markets which operate in Keswick, Wigton, Workington and seasonally in Silloth are suspended with immediate effect.
Council Deputy Leader Mike Johnson said “Markets are a much loved and vibrant feature of our towns. I really appreciate the efforts market traders put into offering a wide range of goods with excellent, personal service. However, we must do the right thing and follow the government’s guidance on social distancing and staying at home, hence the suspension of the markets.”
The council has signposted the range of government support for businesses on its website and is encouraging market traders to check their eligibility for the business support measures.
Following on from the Government directive regarding access to play areas, all Allerdale Borough Council owned or managed play areas are now closed.
This applies to the following play areas:
- Hunter’s Drive, Seaton
- Recreation Ground, Flimby
- Camp Road, Maryport
- Ennerdale Road, Maryport
- Bellbrigg Lonning, Cockermouth
- Harris Park, Cockermouth
- Horse Close Skate Park, Hall Park, Workington
If a play area does not appear in the list, it is not owned or managed by Allerdale Borough Council and is likely to be the responsibility of your local town or parish council or alternatively a housing association.
Our parks and open spaces remain open for exercise, but we expect users to behave responsibly in line with government directives, in particular those around social distancing.
Closure of the public toilets
To reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus and to allow staff to be redeployed onto other duties, the council has closed its public toilets in Aspatria, Allonby, Caldbeck, Maryport and Workington with immediate effect.
In line with the latest government advice surrounding Coronavirus (Covid-19), cafes, restaurants, gyms and many accommodation providers and attractions in Allerdale have announced that they have closed for the foreseeable future.
The Government has been very clear on social distancing and the need not to undertake unnecessary travel. Cumbria police has now also issued a request for tourists “not to travel to the Lakes or other Cumbrian holiday destinations”.
Cllr John Cook, Executive member with responsibility for tourism, said: "Allerdale is a fantastic place to visit and tourism obviously plays a large role in our economy. However, we are joining Cumbria Police and Cumbria Tourism in asking people to follow the government's advice not to make any non-essential journeys and come and visit the area. We will do whatever we can to help and support those tourism businesses affected by these events. But at the moment, we must all be responsible and follow the government guidance on social distancing and staying at home so that we protect each other from infection, especially the most vulnerable. By doing this we will also protect and support the local NHS services, so that they can do their job helping those who are sick."
It is imperative that residents and visitors carefully consider their own social responsibilities aligned with the current advice.
Allerdale remains a fantastic visitor destination and we look forward to welcoming visitors in the future when the advice from Government changes. In the meantime, we encourage you to ‘virtually’ experience some of the great attractions and locations in Allerdale by viewing our 360 degree videos.
Protecting yourself and others from infection
Prevention is always better than cure.
As with the flu virus, the most effective way for people to protect themselves from Covid-19 is to adopt good respiratory and hand hygiene to prevent the risk of infection and a 'catch it, bin it, kill it' approach to coughs and sneezes. The government advice is:
Stay at home
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Do not meet others, even friends or family.
You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
How to wash your hands correctly