Covid-19: Guidance and advice
**This page was last updated on Tuesday 5th January**
This has been a terrible time for our community and my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones or are suffering from illness or loneliness. Thank you to the many volunteers who have worked so hard to protect and support our most vulnerable and isolated, and to our NHS staff, care workers and key workers in Batley and Spen working long days in difficult circumstances to keep us safe. Unfortunately due to a rise in infections and hospitalisations across the country caused by a new strain of this virus, we have entered another national lockdown, with non-essential retail closed and schools only open to vulnerable children and children of key workers. I have summarised the guidance below but you can find full information here.
We now have mass testing for people without symptoms across Kirklees, with a testing centre at Batley Library, Dewsbury Customer Service Centre, the Greenwood Centre and the Hudawi Centre. You can see where your closest location is by checking this map.
If you are eligible for a vaccine, you will be contacted by your GP. It is really important that you attend both appointments to ensure you are protected against the virus. Please do not contact your GP about the vaccine, as they have identified patients in order of priority as per Government guidelines, and you will not get the vaccine until you are contacted by your GP.
You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
You should follow this guidance immediately. The law will be updated to reflect these new rules.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare – for those eligible
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work
You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).
You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.
Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.
West Yorkshire Police and Kirklees Council have the powers to enforce the requirements set out by the Government if people do not comply. If you are in breach of the law you may be instructed to go home, leave an area or disperse, and they may instruct you to take steps to stop your children breaking these rules. The police can also take you home or arrest you if they think it is necessary.
If the police believe you have broken the law – or you refuse to follow their instructions – they can issue you a fine of £100, up from the previous fine of £60. This is reduced to £50 if paid within two weeks. The fine amount doubles for every offence you commit to a maximum fine of £3,200.
If you need any help or support, please contact the following groups.
– Kirklees Covid-19 Community Response: 01484 226919
– Citizens Advice Bureau: 03444 111444
– Samaritans: 116 123
– Royal Voluntary Service: 0330 555 0310
– National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
– Childline: 0800 1111
For the latest Government advice you can visit its Coronavirus hub here.
If you believe you may have contracted Coronavirus, you can check your symptoms via NHS 111’s online symptom checker, here.
If you need support in getting access to food or would like to donate food or volunteer with deliveries, you can contact Batley Food Bank by emailing email@example.com or calling 01924 474999.