Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We are urging everyone to follow the Government’s advice – to stay home, save lives and protect the NHS. The best way anyone can do this is by staying home and avoiding social contact and if you must go out to buy food to stay at least 2 metres away from other people not in your household

This information is published daily by Public Health England.

There is a lot of information around, including information shared on social media. Not all of it is accurate and some of it can be deliberately misleading, so it is important to follow trusted information from the Government and NHS.

In late March, the Council wrote to all residents in the borough to explain the support it has made available. We also wrote to all businesses.

We are also operating a community Support helpline for those who have no family, friends or neighbours to help them will be open over the Easter weekend. The number to call is 01952 382030.

You can keep updated with local updates, follow us on social media @TelfordWrekin or if you prefer sign up for email updates.

This information is published by the NHS and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust (SaTH), not the Council.

Ahead of Government advice, we took the decision to close Oakengates Theatre, all leisure centres and sports facilities (including the Ice Rink, Ski and Snowboard Centre and Horsehay golf course), libraries and play areas in parks. We have done this because we want to encourage people to stay at home and to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

We have also suspended all non-essential services and closed all council buildings, with the exception of Darby House and the Register Office, which are open for emergency pre-booked appointments only. We have also shut all public toilets.

In line with Government advice, schools have closed to all pupils with the exception of the children of key workers. We await further direction from Government on when schools can reopen for all children.

We provided this service until Friday 3 April after which a Government voucher scheme to provide free school meals for those eligible has covered the Easter holidays. If school closures continue during the summer term, we expect a Government voucher scheme will cover this period also.

View details of the eligibility criteria for Free School Meals (FSM) along with details of how to apply.

All Direct Debit payments will be frozen for the duration of the closure, please do not cancel them. Any pre-paid lesson, courses or memberships, will be extended and resumed when we re-open to compensate for the period of closure. We appreciate some payments may have just been taken due to the scheduled payment run, and would like to reassure you when we re-open we will extend the payment freeze to compensate for this. For example if you have had a payment taken on the 15 March and we reopen on 1 June we would not collect on the 15 June. You would of course be free to use the facilities from the time we re-open.

Our fitness instructors are running a series of free live fitness sessions online, which will also be available to view afterwards. They are also sharing a range of fitness tips on things you can do at home to stay fit and healthy. Follow the Telford and Wrekin Leisure Facebook page for more details.

We have postponed all summer events and this position will be reviewed at the end of May. This affects Spring into St George’s Day, our VE Day celebration and Telford Balloon Fiesta.

There will be no book fines until further notice so you will not incur fines if your items go overdue.

Yes. With your library card you can still borrow eaudio and ebooks using our Libby app, read and download a wide selection of emagazines and use Encyclopedia Britannica to help with schoolwork. View details of the digital library services available.

We are also running Bounce and Rhyme sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30am live on the Telford and Wrekin Libraries Facebook page.

Yes. You can still go to your local park/green space for exercise, but please note that play areas in local parks are closed. The Government states say you should only go out for exercise once a day to a park/green space that is local to you i.e. one that you can walk to. Please remember if you do go out, you should stay at least two metres (2m) away from anyone not in your household.

As well as sharing a wealth of other resources via our social media channels, we are working on a series of online activities to help you keep your children occupied e.g. online exercise classes, making the most of the nature in your garden and Bounce and Rhyme sessions for younger children. Follow us on Twitter @TelfordWrekin for more details.

Waste and recycling service staff are key workers and councils are doing all they can to keep services running. For the moment, household rubbish and recycling collections in Telford and Wrekin are still fully operating. Bulky waste collections have been suspended. We are working with our partner Veolia to monitor the situation and ensure the most essential services can be delivered safely. For more information please visit our recycling section.

Our HRCs are now open, with restrictions in place, queues are likely so please think carefully if you need to visit,  for more information please visit www.telford.gov.uk/hrc.

We ask you to think of others and not light bonfires during the current Coronavirus pandemic lockdown. The Coronavirus is known to cause serious respiratory problems, which could be made much worse if the sufferer is exposed to smoke from bonfires. It is important to be especially considerate at this time, when people are confined to their homes and unable to avoid unpleasant fumes.

Bonfires can also become out of control or cause accidents, creating extra pressure on the already busy emergency services.

We ask you to continue to manage your household waste in the normal way, using all of your recycling and rubbish collection services and store any DIY waste until the Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) are open again.

Please note: the Council will take enforcement action against any persistent offenders where bonfires cause an impact on neighbours. If you are experiencing problems with neighbours having bonfires during this time please report the problem.

Under Government guidance people can still work if they can’t work from home. If at all possible they are advised to adhere to the two metre (2m) social distancing guidance. Grass cutting is a solitary job, be it pushing or sat on a mower, so operatives are, by the nature of the job they are doing, social distancing. Potholes can also continue to be repaired for the same reason; as emergency services use the roads, it is vital that we continue to maintain them for safety reasons. As with all services, we are taking advice from the Government and keeping them under review.

No. Unfortunately we have had to close all our day services until further notice.

Pre-booked appointments are continuing however they are taking place over the phone instead of in person.

Yes, unless you are exempt. However, we have introduced a number of measures to help people whose circumstances change or who are struggling to pay their Council Tax bill. Please use the following links to view more information on:

Yes. Around 10,000 households in the borough have already applied for this. If you want to defer your Council Tax payments by two months, in May and June 2020, you need to apply by 20 April 2020.

The Government has provided guidance on which businesses should be closed and those that may remain open.

Please email coronavrius@teflord.gov.uk with details of the business or call our Public Protection Team on 01952 381818.

The three cemeteries that we look after - Castle Green Cemetery in Ironbridge, Wellington Cemetery and Wombridge Cemetery - are open as usual from 8am to 8pm daily. This is in line with current Government guidance, and visitors are urged to follow the rules around social distancing for everyone’s health and safety. We don’t operate the local crematorium – details on the impact of Coronavirus on this service can be found on the Emstrey Crematorium website.

We have secured PPE equipment for council staff working in social care. We are also aware some private providers may struggle to get PPE. This is a national issue but we are working very hard with care partners and major distributors to ensure that that care providers receive this as soon as possible.

We have set up a Community Support Helpline to help vulnerable people who are self-isolating and have no family, friends or neighbours to turn to for help. If you or anyone you know needs help, you can register for support online. Alternatively call the helpline on 01952 382030, lines are open Monday to Sunday 9am to 5pm.

Around 1,000 people have already offered their help to volunteer while over 500 people, who are self-isolating, have requested help.

We have launched a local scheme to recruit volunteers who would like to do their bit to help residents who don’t have anyone to turn to. If you are aged between 18 and 70 years and in good health, we would love to hear from you. Helping with shopping, picking up medication and calling for a chat are just some of the volunteer roles you could help with. People aged 70 and over or those who are themselves self-isolating can also volunteer to phone someone for a check-in and chat.

If you have time, you can also sign up for the NHS volunteer scheme.

We are processing all offers of help. Our helpline has also been taking requests for help from people in need since last week. Although requests for urgent assistance have been dealt with by council employees and our contractors, we are now match those in need with volunteers local to them. Once done, we will put people in touch with each other so they can arrange a day and time that suits them. If you are a volunteer and haven’t heard anything yet, don’t worry, we only started to ask for volunteers on 27 March 2020 and it’s going to take a bit of time for us to match people together for the support required. We are also unsure of the level of demand but we plan to keep in touch with all our volunteers to keep them up to date with the work we are doing.

The Government has sent letters to around 1.6 million people in the UK who are classed as most vulnerable, but we have no control over who is on this list. Those who are receiving parcels under the Government scheme will have already been contacted by the Government (not the Council). We will continue to deliver the food until the Government puts a system in place to deliver directly to people’s homes by a national food distributor.

Yes. We’ve recently introduced a Carers Priority Pass that could help you. Find out more information about how to request a pass.

We are supporting the NHS in many different ways, including reducing the time it takes for people to transfer out of hospital care and move back into their home from 48 hours to 2 hours. This helps free up more hospital beds. We are also helping to raise awareness of their volunteer scheme and supporting regular Clap for our Carers events on Thursday evenings at 8am until May 2020.

We are continuing to work with local charities that support the homeless and have launched a £30,000 package of emergency grants to assist them in the work they do. We have also worked to help get more rough sleepers into overnight accommodation, and by the end of March 2020 we had housed an additional eight rough sleepers. We ask anyone who sees anyone rough sleeping to call us on 01952 248248 (lines are open 24/7) so that we can provide the support needed.

We are doing all we can to tailored support to local businesses through these difficult times. Letters detailing the support available have been sent to businesses in the borough. Further details can be viewed on our 'Support for businesses ad employers' page.

We have opened a dedicated helpline for businesses - 01952 383838, lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

We are also processing requests for Government grant support as quickly as possible, so far (to 8 April 2020) we have processed £16.7 million of applications to over 1,400 businesses having received the funds from Government on 1 April 2020.

A range of business rate relief grants are now available for businesses of between £10k and £25k. We are processing these applications as quickly as possible.

If you see something that you think is against Government advice on social distancing, please let us know by emailing coronavirus@telford.gov.uk. If we can’t deal with this we will pass the details on to the police to use the powers that they have.