Use the links below to find the information you need
- Help with your Council Tax
- Support for businesses
- Eat Out to Help Out
- Funding available to other sectors
- Impact on services
- Support for individuals in need
- Ways you can help
- Be aware of coronavirus scams
- List of businesses offering food takeaway or delivery
- Advice on looking after your physical and mental health
- Symptoms of coronavirus and advice on social distancing
- Advice on face coverings
Help with your Council Tax
A £500 million hardship fund has been created to help vulnerable people pay their Council Tax. Visit our Benefits and Council Tax page for more information.
If you are in financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak then we would advise you to consider making a claim for Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Council Tax Support.
More information is available on the Government’s coronavirus and claiming benefits page.
You can also spread your Council Tax payments through to March next year.
Financial support for businesses
The Government has announced a package of support measures for businesses to help them through the outbreak.
See our Covid-19 information for businesses page for information on businesses allowed to reopen and guidance on how to reopen your business safely..
Self-employed people should claim a grant through the Self-Employed Income Support Grant
Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during August you can get a 50% discount, up to £10 per person, on a meal out at participating restaurants. You can use the discount as many times as you like. It doesn't apply to take away food and drink or alcoholic drinks
Funding support for community groups and charities
There is a range of funding support available to community groups and charities who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak themselves or who are working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19. This includes funding support for arts, heritage and sports projects, grants for organisations supporting vulnerable people and a dedicated fund for parish and town councils. Visit our Support for community groups and charities page for more information.
Impact on services
- Customer Contact Centres in Droitwich, Evesham and Pershore are closed. You can still use our online services or contact us by phone. If you need to speak to us in person, appointments can be booked in advance at the Civic Centre In Pershore on 01386 565000. If you do visit our offices, you will be required to leave your contact details for test and trace purposes. Read our document Covid-19 privacy notice (40 KB) for more information.
- The Exceptional Hardship Fund has been temporarily replaced with the Covid-19 (coronavirus) Council Tax Hardship Fund 2020-2. Visit the page for further information Exceptional Hardship Fund.
- Play areas we are responsible for are now open.
- Our public toilets are open
- Leisure centres are now open. Restrictions will be in place and sessions need to be pre-booked. Visit the Rivers Fitness website for more information. Pershore Swimming Pool won't be open until the autumn as it is being refurbished.
- Household Recycling Centres. These are run by Worcestershire County Council. They are open but with restrictions. Find out more about visiting a Household Recycling Centre during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Some libraries (run by Worcestershire County Council) reopened from 4 July. Read more about the reopening of libraries. You can still download free audio books.
- Committee meetings are now being held virtually.
- Garden waste and waste and recycling collections are unaffected.
- Our licensing functions have also been affected. Visit the Worcestershire Regulatory Services website for more information.
Waste and Recycling
We have a plan in place to maintain our waste and recycling collections throughout the duration of the outbreak.
In order to do this we may need to stop other services such as litter picking, street cleaning, emptying public litter bins, clearing fly-tips etc. This will depend on how many staff we have off sick or self-isolating at any one time. We will update this page as and when we need to implement this plan.
You can also sign up to our email alerts service to receive the latest information to your inbox.
Please do not use bonfires as a way of disposing of garden waste during the outbreak. Not only is it anti-social, as smoke could get into somebody’s home, it could also cause breathing issues or prevent someone using their garden for exercise. You could also be committing an offence and they can easily get out of hand resulting in pressure on the fire service.
Please be considerate to your neighbours and consider alternative ways to dispose of your garden waste:
- Leave your grass cuttings on the lawn, it will help keep moisture in during warm weather
- Compost your garden waste. You can buy a bin at www.getcomposting.com
- Sign up for our paid for garden waste service
- Store your waste if you can until later in the year. Some Household Recycling Centres are open from Monday, 11 May but restrictions are in place. Find out more about visiting a Household Recycling Centre during the coronavirus outbreak.
Do not use bonfires to dispose of non-garden waste (furniture, general household rubbish etc).
Our priority during the Covid-19 outbreak is to help those who are in emergency need and at risk of homelessness.
To help us do this we have suspended all non-emergency communication regarding Home Choice Plus and allocation of social housing.
If you are renting and are worried about making payment, please speak to your landlord or Housing Association as soon as possible. The Government has introduced additional protections for renters to ensure they cannot be evicted as a result of hardship caused by the outbreak.
If you have issues with your home, like a serious defect such as a broken boiler, you should speak to your landlord first. Our officers are still available to help resolve issues with defects but in most cases will only be able to do so over the phone.
You can find more information on all the above on our Housing pages.
The Government has asked us to maintain the planning system as far as possible.
There may be a delay to registering and approving planning applications due to staff absence caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. Please bear with us during this period.
Planning Committee meetings are now taking place virtually, use the calendar of meetings portal to find out the date of the next meeting.
Please see our YouTube channel to view previously streamed Planning Committee meetings.
We have relaxed restrictions on the movement of food and other essential supplies to help supermarkets and retailers stock shelves.
We are working with community groups, the voluntary sector, parish and town councils to support the most vulnerable in our society during the outbreak.
I am a vulnerable person in need of help
If you need help during this difficult time and would like to be contacted by a helper or volunteer, please fill in the Here 2 Help form on the Worcestershire County Council website.
I would like to volunteer
If you want to help volunteer to deliver food and supplies to elderly and vulnerable people then please complete the Offer of Help form on the Worcestershire County Council website.
There are five ways you can help your community:
Take care of yourself and stay healthy – wash your hands and follow advice on self-isolation or social distancing
Call, chat and check – swap phone numbers with your immediate neighbours, check on neighbours and loved ones - particularly if they are vulnerable - help provide them with food and other essentials, alert relevant organisations if you are concerned about their welfare
Be kind and think of others – Don’t bulk buy. There are plenty of supplies for everyone if people just buy what they need. Use local community information groups on social media to share information, offer surplus supplies of essentials to those in need and avoid wasting food.
Get online to stay in touch – use your phone, video calling and social media to stay in touch with people, especially if you are self isolating
Share accurate advice and information – do not speculate or scaremonger. It only heightens people’s anxiety. Use reputable news sources as a source of information, the Government website or the NHS website.
For more help and advice visit the Here 2 Help website.
Our councillors are also working hard in their community to support people. Find your local councillor by using our postcode search.
Businesses offering food takeaway and delivery
There are lots of scams related to coronavirus circulating at the moment. Some involve fake calls, texts, emails and social media messages. West Mercia Police have issued advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of a coronavirus scam.
Social workers are also reporting a number of suspicious volunteers targeting vulnerable people in the county.
Worcestershire County Council's advice is to take normal precautions but don’t be afraid to accept offers of help from those you know and trust.
We are reminding people to follow normal checks to make sure their volunteer helpers are genuine.
We advise people ask to see identification, and not allow anyone in their homes unless they are certain they are genuine.
Advice on looking after your physical and mental health
You can find links to a number of different workouts on the Sport England website
Every Mind Matters has advice on looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
Symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19)?
Covid-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
You should stay at home if you have either:
A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
A loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
We can all help to control the virus. To protect yourself and others you must:
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water or sanitise them if that is not possible
- Cover your nose and mouth with a face covering in enclosed spaces
- Keep a safe distance from others, at least a metre away from anyone not in your household
Do not leave your home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms and get a test.
Read the Government's Staying Alert and Safe (social distancing) guidelines for full details about what you can and cannot do.
Further guidance can be found using the links below:
- What to do if you have symptoms?
- Advice on staying at home (self-isolating)
- Worcestershire County Council coronavirus information page
From 8 August 2020, you must legally wear face coverings in England in most indoor settings.
Our response and recovery
National and local government are working together with the NHS and Public Health England to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and keep people safe.
We have produced an eight point plan to help guide our response to the outbreak. You can also read our pdf recovery framework to help residents, businesses and communities to rebuild. (3.90 MB)
- To preserve life and protect vulnerable groups by working with and supporting our partners (NHS, Public Health England, adult social care, other emergency services, community and voluntary sector)
- Contribute to national actions to help delay the spread of the virus
- Ensure continued delivery of our critical services particularly those vital to supporting the vulnerable and limiting the spread of the virus. Critical services are: Supporting the elderly and vulnerable, waste collections, revenue, benefits and welfare, housing, homelessness and temporary accommodation, customer services, WRS, dangerous structures and dangerous trees
- Support NHS and Public Health communication campaigns to ensure our communities are kept informed of the latest information and to act as a trusted source of information
- To offer advice, support and appropriate signposting to our residents facing financial hardship as a result of the outbreak
- To implement government measures to support businesses as soon as possible, to continue to monitor the impact on the local economy and to respond appropriately
- Continue to provide targeted support to help those sleeping rough and at risk of homelessness as a result of the outbreak
- To put political differences aside and work together to help our district meet the challenges it faces