See the latest news and get more information regarding coronavirus (Covid-19). Find out more about the help for affected businesses, charities -including details of our discretionary grant scheme - and individuals. Please use our online forms, webchat, app and phone number to contact us. Our offices remain closed to the public.
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:
- Go to the Public Health England website
- The NHS coronavirus website
- Go to the Cumbria County Council website
- FAQs from Public Health England
The NHS website also has a symptom checker and what to do if you are suffering from what you think are coronavirus symptoms.
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: reopening guidance
- Coronavirus: Council Tax, benefits and financial support
- Coronavirus: community help
- Coronavirus: waste services
- Coronavirus: lockdown enforcement
Testing and trace measures to target coronavirus
Testing is now available for anyone over the age of five. You can find out more about the testing process from the government website.
There are testing sites available for throughout Cumbria - some are mobile sites which pop-up in places on specific days. More details are on the local NHS trust website.
The government website has more details on the test and trace measures being introduced.
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.
Coronavirus in numbers
You can find out the latest information on business grants and how much has been paid out on the government's website.
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.
With the easing of the lockdown and restrictions on travel, Allerdale Borough Council has reintroduced parking charges after they were suspended in March. However, parking continues to be free for key workers when they are working to provide vital services to the public.
This means that NHS staff, carers, and volunteers can continue to enjoy free parking. For these staff, passes are available through NHS Trusts, local authorities and the Royal Voluntary Service. More details on the scheme's website.
Free parking is also extended to those employees of businesses who have been working over the last few months during the lockdown and continue to provide key public services. These include employees of local and national government, those working in the food production, sales and delivery sectors as well as in transportation and utility services. These employees need to place a form of identification in their car windscreen from their employer to indicate they are using the car park for work purposes. This should show the business name and registration of the vehicle.
The free parking measure will be reviewed at the end of June 2020. Anyone with queries should contact the council’s parking services team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
When using short stay car parks users should clearly show their time of arrival, such as with a parking disc, as well as their essential worker permit. The short stay car parks are: Ladies Walk and Udale Street at Workington; Tithebarn Street, Booths at Keswick; Bell Close at Keswick; Fairfield, Sainsbury’s at Cockermouth. This is not required in the long-stay car parks.
The council has also put in measures to reduce the risk of infection to its staff as well as the users of its car parks. This includes revised signage reminding people to:
- keep more than 2m apart from anyone not from their household
- park in alternate bays where possible
- keep hands clean
Payment machines will only accept card payments, and the council is encouraging people to use the MiPermit app to pay for parking where this is available as this means there is no need to visit a pay and display machine.
The app can be downloaded from mobile app stores and includes features such as reminders when their parking is due to expire, as well as the ability to top-up their parking time online without returning to their vehicle. The app automatically updates the system used by the enforcement team, meaning no penalty charge will be issued.
Unfortunately, the app cannot currently be used in Fairfield (Sainsburys) car park in Cockermouth or the Booths car park in Keswick due to the need to provide a ticket for repayments to the supermarkets’ customers.
It also cannot be used in the following car parks as the council manages them on behalf of others: Rawnsley Hall car park, Derwent Pencil Museum car park at Keswick, Irish Street car park and South Quay car park at Maryport.
(Please note: The council is using the following definition of employees who continued to provide vital services during the coronavirus lockdown: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision.)
A new web page is being promoted by the LDNPA safer lakes website which encourages people travelling to the Lake District to park safely and avoid the more popular destinations.
More information on the MiPermit system is available on our website.
The multi-storey car park in Workington remains closed at this time.
All meetings are currently being carried out virtually via video conference. Find out more on the meetings page.
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.
We’re also encouraging people to be neighbourly. With many people at home, issues of noise and bonfires have become a bit more of a problem. We’re asking people to respect each other and discuss any needs with their neighbours (from a social distance or online of course). We are on hand if a mutual solution can’t be found. People should ring 0303 123 1702 and speak to our environmental health team.
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: email@example.com.
Urgent repairs to rented housing
Tenants and landlords are being reminded that despite the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, homes should not be left in a state where they are unsafe and needing urgent repairs.
The Government has released a number of advisory guidance documents to support and encourage landlords and tenants in adopting a pragmatic, common sense approach to issues that may arise in the current circumstances - such as boiler repairs. These can be found on the government websitehttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities.
Tenants have a right to a decent, warm and safe place to live and it is the role of Allerdale Borough Council to keep housing conditions under review and take appropriate action in the event that hazards exist within the home.
These duties and powers still exist during the Covid-19 lockdown and are important to protect tenants.
Therefore the council is reminding tenants that if they are privately renting and they feel their home is dangerous and there is an imminent risk to their health, then they should contact their landlord in the first instance to get any repairs completed as soon as possible. It they are not happy with their landlord’s response, then they can contact the council’s Private Sector Housing Team on 0303 123 1702.
If they are a social housing tenant then they should contact their housing association for help and advice during this time.
To help alleviate the spread of Covid–19, the council’s housing team will only be carrying out essential visits where it is considered completely necessary and only after completing a suitable risk assessment. Officers may ask you to provide photographic or video evidence to help assess the risk.
When an inspection is unavoidable social distancing measures and other measures will be applied to help protect the tenant and council officer from infection.
The Government has also brought forward a package of measures to protect landlords and tenants affected by Covid -19. With these in force, no renter in either social or private rented accommodation will be forced out of their home. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.
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.
The Council has been consulting its members and town councils and will consult traders about the reopening of our markets and how this can be done in a way which keeps staff, traders and members of the public as safe as possible. At the moment we are developing different options for how our markets may return but have no agreed date as to when they will resume.
Markets in Allerdale were all suspended in March in line with Government advice and we remain committed to operating them successfully in the future. In the meantime we will support traders as much as we can through these challenging times. We are encouraging all businesses to check our website which has links to all the financial support available to them.
Allerdale Borough Council is erecting signage in its parks and open spaces to remind people to observe social distancing rules when out and about and keep 2m apart from those not from within their household.
The council is aware of more people using its parks and open spaces – such as Hall Park in Workington – for exercise. Whilst the council encourages people to continue to do this, it also wants to ensure people do so safely and in a way which prevents the further spread of the coronavirus.
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.
This page sets out changes to Hackney carriage/private hire vehicle licensing requirements due to Coronavirus
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.
Whilst we understand that as the lockdown eases people will want to visit our beaurtiful area. However, we are asking people to postpone their visit if they can. If people do visit, then we ask they respect the rules.
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:
How to wash your hands correctly
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.