Staying safe and well during the coronavirus pandemic

Useful information on prevention, symptoms and testing In order to keep yourself, your family and your community safe and well there are a number of things you can do.

If you develop any symptoms of coronavirus you must immediately self-isolate alongside anybody you live with. If you are currently self-isolating or require any specific advice or support about self-isolation then please visit our self-isolation webpage.

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’.

A ‘reasonable excuse’ includes:

  • Work - You can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance.
  • Volunteering - You can also leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services.
  • Essential activities - You can leave home to buy things at essential shops or obtain services. You may also leave your home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person or someone self-isolating.
  • Education and childcare - You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children where they are eligible to attend. Access to education and children’s activities for school-aged pupils is restricted.
  • Meeting others and care - You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble, to provide informal childcare for children under 14 as part of a childcare bubble, to provide care for disabled or vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, to attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care where that care is being provided to a vulnerable person or a person with a disability, or is a short break in respect of a looked-after child.
  • Exercise – You can continue to exercise in a public outdoor place; by yourself, with the people you live with, with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one), in a childcare bubble where providing childcare or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household. It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • Medical reasons - You can leave home for a medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies.
  • Harm and compassionate visits - You can leave home to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse). You can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.
  • Animal welfare reasons – You can leave home for animal welfare, such as to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment.
  • Communal worship and life events - You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or event related to a death, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony. You should not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble when attending a place of worship. Weddings, funerals and religious, belief-based or commemorative events linked to someone’s death are all subject to limits on the numbers that can attend, and weddings and civil ceremonies may only take place in exceptional circumstances.
  • There are further reasonable excuses. For example, you may leave home to fulfil legal obligations or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property, or where it is reasonably necessary for voting in an election or referendum.

Booking a test

If you develop symptoms of coronavirus you must book a test immediately, either by using the link below or by calling 119. Tests are free but they are ONLY for people who are showing coronavirus symptoms.

If you don’t have coronavirus symptoms then please DO NOT do not book a test, not only could you be taking a test away from somebody who needs it, taking a test is little help to anybody without symptoms.

This is because if you are self-isolating due to being in contact with a positive case, for example, then a negative test result does not mean you can end isolation early.  The virus can take time to develop and so a test early on does not prove that you won’t go on to develop the virus. That means you could still be at risk of spreading the disease to other people so in these instances the best course of action is to self-isolate for the full 10 days, if you develop symptoms during this time you can then book a test.

Check your symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • 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 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • anosmia - this is the loss of or a change in the normal sense of smell. It can also affect the sense of taste as the two are closely linked.

If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then that person must get tested and the rest of the household should self-isolate with them whilst they wait for the results. If you or other members of the household don’t have symptoms, then you should not get a test – only people with symptoms should get tested. The vast majority of people who are tested in-person get their results the very next day. Full guidance on self-isolation is available on

There's plenty of capacity at local test sites should you have Covid symptoms and need a test, appointments have to be booked via the national system using the link button above. The local sites are:

  • Doncaster Sheffield Airport
  • Adwick Park and Ride

If you are on a low income and have lost income because you have been told to self-isolate then you may be eligible to apply for a self-isolation support payment

We really need your help to stop the spread!

There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other:

Wash hands


  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Cover face

Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces. New government advice has been issued on when and where people should wear face coverings.

Members of the public should wear face coverings in certain circumstances, such as enclosed spaces where social distancing may not always be possible. Face coverings are required while using public transport in England and are mandatory in shops and supermarkets and in our One Stop Shop, at indoor venues such as museums, galleries, libraries, cinemas and places of worship.

While face coverings do not protect you from contracting coronavirus, it is aimed at protecting people you come into contact with if you are asymptomatic.

Those exempt from wearing face coverings include young children under the age of 11 or those who may have problems breathing while wearing a face covering. More details can be found on the Government Website.

A face covering is made of cloth or other textiles and covers the nose and mouth. You should be able to breathe comfortably through a face covering. You can use also a simple scarf or bandana that ties behind your head or make your own ‘no-sew’ face coverings using the advice available online at


Make space

Stay at least 2 metres apart - or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions.

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Outdoor activity is encouraged, you can meet one person from outside your household.

Please refer to the latest updated guidance from Public Health England:


For more information, the government have published frequently asked questions outlining what you can and can't do.

Public Health England has also created an easy-read guide to self-care during this time available to download in the downloads section.

Download the NHS COVID-19 app today

The NHS COVID-19 App is available to download on the App Store or get it on Google Play.

Protect your loved ones, get the Covid 19 app

Download on the app store Get it on Google Play

The new NHS COVID-19 app, now available to download for free in England and Wales, is the fastest way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community.

The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in. It uses proven technology from Apple and Google, designed to protect every user’s privacy. Get help downloading the app.


Information and advice to stay safe and well 

Using public transport

Please follow the latest government advice and only travel on public transport if you need to, you should cycle or walk wherever possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel. Passengers and staff are being advised to take precautions to try and stop the spread of the infection.

For questions regarding travel in South Yorkshire you can call the Traveline team on 01709 515151 between 8am and 6pm seven days or follow @TSYalerts  on Twitter. 

Support for carers

Carers (unpaid) are family, neighbours and friends who care for a person/s who could not manage without their vital support.

As the situation with coronavirus evolves, it's important to know what support is available to you as a carer.
Are you new to a caring role? Have your caring duties changed recently? Do you need to talk to someone about your caring role? 
Carer support gives you the opportunity to find out about help available locally and to help make plans for the future.

Please contact Doncaster Carer Reach Out Service in office time (or leave a message outside these times and we will call you back) on 01302986900 or 07713 089 678. You can also email We will utilise social media as an alternative way to communicate via Twitter @CarersDoncaster and Doncaster Carer Reach Out Service Facebook page.

The links below hold vital information to help and assist at this extremely challenging time:

Making Space - Doncaster Carers Reach Out Service

Carers UK website - Coronavirus mental wellbeing

Carers UK website - Coronavirus guidance

Doncaster Council can provide Carer’s Needs Assessments, any carer over 18 years old who are looking person or persons over 18 years old who is disabled, ill or elderly. It is an opportunity to record the impact caring has on your life and what support or services you need. The assessment will consider physical, mental and emotional needs, and whether you are able or willing to carry on caring. Anyone can become a carer, carers can be of any age, from any background. Many carers do not consider themselves to be a carer as they feel its ‘what they do’ e.g. looking after one or both parents, their child who has additional needs (who may now be an adult), best friend or neighbour.

Examples of caring can be made up of a single or combination of the following;

  • Emotional support like listening and talking
  • Household chores like cleaning, cooking, washing, ironing or shopping
  • Medical care such as helping with medicine dosages or delivery
  • Personal care like feeding, getting to the toilet, washing and dressing
  • Physical care ensuring the person can move around their home

A Carers Needs Assessment can be completed with you in your own right even if the person you care for is not in receipt of care and support through Adult Social Care. Or you can have a joint assessment as a carer with the person you care for if they are known.

Please contact Doncaster Adult Social Services and Wellbeing Team us on 01302 737391 between 8.30 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday. The person who takes your call will make contact with the locality team in your area, this team will make contact with you to arrange a time with you complete your Carers Needs Assessment.

Advice for those aged 60 and Over

If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from Coronavirus. You:

  • should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others

  • are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, but are encouraged to go outside for exercise.
  • should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace

The full new Government guidance is published here and the Government will write to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place.

Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:

  • aged 70 or over (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):

    • chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    • chronic kidney disease
    • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
    • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
    • diabetes
    • a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets)
    • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
  • pregnant

There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. Over this period, we are advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). You are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, but are encouraged to go outside for exercise. The full guidance is available and the Government will write to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place.

Advice for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable

See our webpage dedicated to advice for those identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. 

Please also see the government latest guidance to shielded people where the government set out what this means for those that are shielding.

Doncaster CCG have also produced some useful information on Shielding and Support 

We know these are difficult times, so if you feel like you need a little extra support but have no one around to help then please get in touch with us! 

You can call our helpline Monday to Friday between 8.30am – 5pm on 01302 430300 

Advice if you're worried about someone

If you're worried about someone else, encourage them to use the NHS online coronavirus service or call 111.

For people living with cancer, there is more information on our coronavirus information for people living with cancer page.

Coping with bereavement

Help is available. You can find information on our Coping with bereavement webpage.

Visiting care homes

Please speak with the care home directly to find out their approach to visitors and keeping people safe during the pandemic.


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Last updated: 07 January 2021 12:50:44