North East Lincolnshire Council

COVID-19: service updates, advice and guidance

COVID19 banner to sign up for emergency updates

On Friday 20 March, two cases of Coronavirus were confirmed in North East Lincolnshire.

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. We know that the pandemic is of deep concern to everyone in North East Lincolnshire.

We are working hard with our partners to coordinate the response. We have contingency plans in place to keep essential services running – that means looking after the elderly, the vulnerable, children, as well as delivering our street services such as emptying bins. We are also working closely with central government and the health service to cope with whatever contingency plans are needed. The important thing is that we work together as a community.

You can sign up for local digital updates for the latest on our Coronavirus response NELC – COVID-19 Notifications

Protecting everyone in North East Lincolnshire is our utmost priority, particularly the most vulnerable. We are all working closely across the public, community and voluntary sectors to offer advice and support and to get help to people who need it. If you are concerned about anyone locally or you need help yourself, please contact:

  • For medical advice on COVID-19 or if symptoms have worsened visit the NHS Website or call 111
  • North East Lincolnshire Council – for information on food services and welfare call (01472) 313131
  • If you are worried that someone is a victim of crime please call Humberside Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
  • North East Lincolnshire Single Point of Access – if you have medical, health, befriending, bereavement, mental health or social care enquiries call (01472) 256256.
  • North East Lincolnshire Women’s Aid –  (01472) 575757 
  • In any emergency situation please call 999.
  • Coronavirus advice is available (COVID-19) in other languages at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people 

For up-to-date advice and guidance, visit the GOV.UK website.

How to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19

There are lots of things you can do to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 – you can find out the latest advice and guidance on the NHS website.

What would you do if you caught the virus, and your household needed to stay at home for 14 days?

Think about:

  • Who can support you stay at home by carrying out the essentials for your (food shopping, collecting prescriptions etc)
  • What local shops / pubs / takeaways will deliver to you?
  • Who can help with your pets / walk your dog?
  • Who relies on you for support at the moment? What support do you carry out and who can help them?
  • Do you have the key contact numbers you need? Neighbours, chemists etc

Please read the COVID-19 Self-Isolation Plan Leaflet, for further guidance

Council services and support available

Following Government guidance, we have been forced to close some of our services and change the way that some services operate.

Sign up for email alerts from the Council using emergency updates form

Check below for details of services that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak:

Bin rounds are running as normal. There has been some delays to garden waste collections and recycling boxes.

If your bin or boxes are missed please put them out the next day and we’ll empty them as soon as we can.

Immingham Community Recycling Centre (CRC or tip) is now closed.

Grimsby CRC remains open but with strict limitations in place. Don’t visit unless it’s absolutely necessary.

The following restrictions are now in place:

  • Up to four cars on site at a time
  • One visit per day
  • Only household waste and recycling that is usually collected at the kerbside will be accepted – that’s general household rubbish, plastic bottles, tins, cans and metal household packaging, paper and card, glass bottles and jars.
  • Other rubbish and recycling (mattresses, furniture, garden waste, white goods, building material etc) is no longer accepted until further notice.

There are no sales of compost and the charity sales have been cancelled until further notice.

Staff are not helping people lift items from their vehicles. Please respect them and keep your distance.

Dog Walkers and Licensed Animal Boarders are still permitted to provide their services to key workers and vulnerable people only.

These key workers and vulnerable people should only be those defined within Government guidance and  social distancing guidance also needs to be adhered to.

Before taking on the care of a dog, businesses should conduct the proper risk assessments, taking into consider walks and other tasks.

The Beach Safety office in Cleethorpes is now closed to the public. Staff are still patrolling the beach but keeping their distance.

Registrars Office:

We have adapted our waiting area to ensure social distancing is happening and we are politely asking all attendees to wash their hands before being taken in to see the Registrar.  You do need to use a fountain pen to sign the register page,  which only we can provide and we are taking steps in-between customers to ensure disinfection occurs.

Births

All birth appointments are now being deferred until we are through the current pandemic period. New parents can still claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered, where they have not been able to do so because of these measures

Marriage / Civil Partnerships

All ceremonies are cancelled until further notice. All notices of marriage are being deferred until we are through the current pandemic period.

Deaths

All death registrations will be conducted via telephone.  Your GP or hospital will scan the necessary documents directly to the Registrar, together with your contact details.  You will then be contacted by a Registrar who will take the relevant information.

Over the last few weeks, government has announced a raft of measures to help businesses through the COVID-19 emergency.

We are contacting you to help you to find information on these measures and also, specifically about grants that you may be eligible for following guidance we received from government on 23 March.

Measures announced by government so far include:

What you need to do now regarding grants

Check your eligibility: Eligibility and Guidance for Grants

Read the frequently asked questions document

Complete the Business support grant information form.

Beware of COVID-19 related scams. Please visit NELC Fraud and Corruption for guidance

As a Council, we are here to support our residents and businesses as much as we can. Once the required information has been provided and we have confirmed your business is eligible, we will process these grants as soon as practically possible (when we have received the funding from government).

Please bear with us as we process the grant information as there are several thousand businesses that are likely to be eligible. Rest assured, we are diverting resources to ensure this task is completed as quickly as is possible and would ask that you please try and avoid contacting us for updates us so we can focus on getting the money to eligible businesses.

If you need help with filling in the form, or for normal enquiries, please contact the Economy team on 01472 324615 or 01472 324367. Please note, there are currently lots of enquiries, so the phones may be quite busy. In the first instance, please check out the FAQs document (see above).

Other support available

For larger businesses, the Government has introduced a guaranteed loan scheme for any small or medium sized business (with turnover of no more than £41M) that needs access to cash to help with immediate business costs. The scheme will offer loans of up to £5Million, with no interest due in the first 6 months. Support for larger firms will be available through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility. To access these facilities, businesses should contact banks and lenders.

The Bulky Waste collection service has been suspended until further notice.

Bus Pass issuing sites:

• AGE UK, Grimsby Central Library and Centre4 are all closed to the public until further notice.

New and replacement bus passes:

• The Council is currently unable to issue new and replacement bus passes until further notice.
• It is recommended that people who wish to apply for a new or replacement bus pass, contact the Council after 1 June 2020.

Latest travel information:

• Stagecoach Grimsby Cleethorpes have advised bus drivers to treat bus passes that do not register for any reason in accordance with the existing procedures and processes. Bus pass holders will be allowed to travel for free.

• Stagecoach Grimsby Cleethorpes have lifted the restriction at the current time on travel before 9:30am when using a free bus pass,

• The latest Stagecoach Grimsby Cleethorpes local bus service information can be found at:
https://www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/east-midlands/grimsby-services

North East Lincolnshire Council’s bereavement services team has made a number of changes to how they operate following the latest guidance from central government.

  • The crematorium is closed to the public on weekdays and at weekends. It is only open to people attending funerals.
  • Opening times at council cemeteries in Scartho Road and Cleethorpes are limited from 12pm to 6pm until further notice. This will allow staff to carry out essential duties and keep to social distancing rules.
  • Funerals are running but only immediate family can attend. All visitors must abide by social distancing rules at all times to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
  • The crematorium offices are closed to the public. Please call or email instead email bereavementservices@nelincs.gov.uk or telephone 01472 324869

The service will keep ashes for longer and arrange with funeral directors to collect them at appointed times. Services including the scattering or burial and ashes are postponed until further notice.

Paying your Council tax:

The Government has unveiled a £500m to help the most vulnerable with Council tax relief. To find out more, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus. Please be aware of COVID-19 related scams, please visit NELC Fraud and Corruption, for further details.

Submitting evidence:

We’re encouraging people to send in electronically (via email or online) any evidence that needs to be scanned relating to Council Tax and Benefits and Blue Badges.

If you are unable to do this and would like to send it in, please post it to the Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HU.

If you are unsure about any Council services please either visit the Council Website or ring the Council on 01472 313131.

For benefits queries, email benefits@nelincs.gov.uk or call 0300 3030164 option 3

For Council tax queries, email counciltax@nelincs.gov.uk or call 0300 3030164 option 5

Our Customer Access Point at the Municipal Offices in Grimsby will be closed from Monday 23 March until further notice.

Staff will be redeployed to work in the Contact Centre for anyone who wishes to call (01472) 313131.

Staff will also be redeployed to work on social media, giving information and updates to those posting messages to the council’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Contact Centre opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm.

Whilst we will continue to make every effort to respond promptly to your requests for information this may be delayed due to urgent operational priorities in responding to the current Coronavirus pandemic.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but trust you will appreciate the reasons why in the current circumstances. We do remain committed to responding to your requests and will respond as soon as we are able.

Should our response to your request breach the statutory time frame you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office.

If you have a concern about a child, you can report it on our Report a concern about a child page.

Currently, all children’s centres/family hubs are closed until further notice.

 

For advice and support, please contact the Families First Information Service on 01472 326292 and press option 1 or email us at fis@nelincs.gov.uk.

Whilst we will continue to make every effort to investigate your complaint promptly, this may be delayed due to urgent operational priorities in responding to the current Coronavirus pandemic.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but trust you will appreciate the reasons why in the current circumstances. We do remain committed to investigating and resolving your complaint and will respond as soon as we are able.

Should our response breach statutory or corporate time frames you have the right to complain to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO).

Please be aware that the LGSCO are not currently taking new complaints and have temporarily suspended their helpline and online complaint form, as part of steps to follow the Government’s advice to combat the spread of Coronavirus.

COVID-19 service disruption to fostering and adoption information events

The monthly fostering information events at Tesco Extra, Community Room have been suspended until further notice. Please enquire online on our fostering page or over the phone 01472 325545.

The monthly adoption information events at the Grimsby Town Hall have been suspended until further notice. Online information sessions may be available. For more information to enquire please visit One Adoption.

Whilst we will continue to make every effort to respond promptly to requests for information, this may be delayed due to urgent operational priorities in responding to the current Coronavirus pandemic.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but trust you will appreciate the reasons why in the current circumstances. We do remain committed to responding to your request and will respond as soon as we are able.

Should our response to your FOI request breach the statutory time frame you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Grimsby Auditorium is closed and all shows have been postponed until further notice. For updates visit the Grimsby Auditorium website.

The Fishing Heritage Centre, Ross Tiger and the Time Trap museum are now closed until further notice.

Baby Clinics

All Baby Clinics are suspended until further notice. If you would like to speak to a Health Visitor about any concerns you may have regarding your baby or child’s health or development, contact the service on (01472) 323660 or visit our Health visitors page.

Breastfeeding support

All breastfeeding support groups are suspended until further notice.

If you would like to speak to a Health Visitor or a member of the Infant Feeding Team regarding breastfeeding support, contact the service on 01472 323660 or visit NHS – Breastfeeding.

From Monday 23 March 2020, we will no longer be offering face-to-face interviews unless absolutely essential.

We will still be offering advice and assistance via telephone to anyone at risk of homelessness or already homeless.

If a face-to-face appointment is necessary, please ensure that you take the appropriate precautions and do not attend if you are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19.

The government has increased some of the Local Housing Allowance rates that can be paid from April 2020.

We are working hard to implement these increases as soon as possible.  Anyone in receipt of Local Housing Allowance that is affected by this change will receive new Housing Benefit notifications showing the increase once this is completed.

For more information about the new LHA rates please go to the make a new claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax page.

Lincs Inspire leisure centres, sports facilities and libraries are closed until further notice. Please check the latest updates on the Lincs Inspire website for more details.

The Service has stopped all face-to-face support with clients but is continuing to work with people virtually (via telephone, email and through text support).

We are continuing to support our clients but prioritising people from at-risk groups and the vulnerable.

All stop smoking support will continue for both existing and newly referred clients using virtual support. It is vitally important that we help smokers to quit because smoking harms the immune

system and smokers are therefore less protected against infections like coronavirus.

To get support, call 01472 325500, or text 60060.

Try this online wellbeing tool to help you take care of your wellbeing at this challenging time https://livewell.nelincs.gov.uk/

Top Town Market is open with food stalls only which include Meat, Fish, Fruit and Veg, and Eggs on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The opening times have been reduced to 9am to 2pm.

There will be no Mayoral engagements until at least 5 April 2020, and this may be extended.

The Time Trap Museum will be closed until further notice.

We have suspended charges and time restrictions for key workers on all council car parks and on-street council parking bays to help front line workers and volunteers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The fees have been waived to show support for key workers at this time – including staff from the NHS, social care and other essential services – to help them carry on their important duties.

Following Government advice, all other residents are urged to continue staying at home if they are not carrying out essential work or travel.

Following discussions and in line with Government guidance, the Phone ‘n’ Ride service will be temporarily withdrawn in the interests of public and driver safety.

We will be informing passengers booked on to the service and will contact all Phone ‘n’ Ride users when the service is back operational. Service updates are available on the Phone ‘n’ Ride website.

Update 23 March 2020

As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads and the Government continues to oversee the national response, North East Lincolnshire Council will support the local economy and communities. The Port Health Team are implementing contingency plans to ensure that we can continue services as far as possible to facilitate food imports and exports, food safety and infectious disease control to ensure safe food supplies in our area.

As a precaution we have taken the decision to reduce the number of external visitors to our office during this time.

Our Service:

  • Imported Food Control & Catch Certificates

Our intention is to continue service provision to maintain flow of goods through the port, support local economy and maintain regulatory control.  Those dropping off documents are encouraged to use the letterbox at Estuary House.

Catch certificates accompanying third country consignment can be submitted as they are now along with the rest of the documentation and those accompanying consignments of EEA origin (including fresh fish) are largely unaffected due to the ability for electronic submission and endorsement.

  • Export Health Certificates

We will continue, as far as possible, to provide the service of issuing Export Health Certificates (EHC’s).  If there is a requirement to collect a certificate from our office to accompany the load, you can continue to do so and we will ensure steps are in place to facilitate this.

  • Infectious Disease Control

All vessels arriving from foreign ports are requested to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) in accordance with national guidance. All vessels are reminded of the legal requirement to notify us of any cases or suspected cases of infectious disease on board.  We will continue to respond as normal to any notifications.

All notifications during core office hours are to be sent to port.health@nelincs.gov.uk or 01472 326299.  For notifications outside of office hours, please call 01472 326299 and select option 1 or 01472 313131.

  • Routine Ship Inspections and Water Samples

We are no longer responding to requests for routine ship sanitation visits or requests for water samples until further notice.  This decision has been made in line with other Port Health Authorities and the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA).  We will however offer an extension to any valid SSC for the period of 1 month.

We will continue to monitor the national, regional and local situation and follow the advice from both government and Public Health England (PHE).  If there are changes to our ability to continue to provide our services, then we will endeavour to make you aware as soon as possible.

The Skills Hub on Freeman Street is currently closed, however services are still operating and below are details of how you can access them.

National Careers Service

Dedicated to helping customers get the advice they need for future skills, careers,  work and life choices and is aimed at people aged 18 plus.

Appointments are available over the telephone,  please call 01472 324587 or email wendy.trask@nelincs.gov.uk  for further information.

Young People’s Support Services (YPSS) Earning and Learning Team

Support for young people who are looking for work/training/further education.

Available during normal office hours: Monday to Thursday, from 9am to 5pm, and Friday from 9am to 4:30pm.

The team will be maintaining contact with customers via alternative means such as telephone, email, social media so please be assured that staff are still available to help with any queries during this difficult time and are still able to provide information, advice and guidance.

Contact can be made using the normal YPSS telephone number 01472 326294 option 1, the call will be answered by Business Support Advisers who will direct your call to the staff member you require. Alternatively please make contact via YPSS.MIS@nelincs.gov.uk or through the Lincs2 Facebook or Twitter.

Please also feel free to make use of the Lincs2, an online prospectus of education, learning, training and job opportunities in North East Lincolnshire.

Young Minds Matter offer mental health and emotional wellbeing support and advice to children, their families and professionals working with children and young in North East Lincolnshire.

Where it is safe to do, we are offering assessment and therapeutic interventions over the phone, due to COVID-19.

For Patients, parents and carers who are concerned about their children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health there are several resources that can be accessed online or via the telephone to support with emotional wellbeing, including:

If you have accessed these but still feel you need additional support, you can contact our duty line on 01472 626100 between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday to speak to a clinician.

We Are With You are still running but we are operating on skeleton staff.

We have core staff working in the office and many of the key workers working from home. There are no face to face appointments. We are having telephone appointments with clients to check on their welfare. All prescriptions have been sent out to pharmacy’s so clients do not need to come and collect them.

We welcome new clients to get in touch with us via our main number on 01472 806890 or utilise our confidential webchat via the We Are With You website.

We have witnessed an amazing community response to the challenges created by COVID-19 and there are so many local people and groups volunteering to support with the effort locally or asking how they can get involved. We are working to get all of this information in one place so we can best co-ordinate community and voluntary sector activity across North East Lincolnshire. Working together is our best way through the challenges now and ahead.

If you are considering setting up a group of local volunteers to help neighbours please check online to see if any local groups have already been set up, and contact them first. Alternatively, contact your local community centre or charity to see if you can support their work.  If you still plan to set something up, and need advice and guidance on issues like safety, volunteering and data protection, you can contact Sector Support North East Lincolnshire. Sector Support are funded by North East Lincolnshire Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group and are helping to co-ordinate community and voluntary sector activity. They can be contacted on 07572 896859 (Amy Hallett) or 07791 040433 (Pippa Robson), or email amy@nbforum.org.uk. Their website is Sector Support NEL

If you are already involved in a community group that is helping to support older, vulnerable or isolated people during the COVID-19 response, please let us know about the support you can offer and the resources you need by completing this survey. Businesses that want to offer their support are also welcome to complete the survey or get in touch with Sector Support.

Individuals who would like to help but do not know of any local groups or activities, can register at The Blue Lights Brigade. Blue Lights Brigade are supporting the effort across the borough and will make sure that you are linked in to the local effort and volunteering opportunities and needs near you.

Bringing all of this information together will allow us to collate all of this information, allowing us to organise a better response between us all (public, voluntary and community sectors) and work in a more coordinated way.

We thank everyone for their help at this time.

What we can all do to help, during COVID-19 – NELC – COVID -19 Community Leaflet (PDF)

Further notes for volunteers

If you are volunteering to help someone who is vulnerable or isolated, please take the below steps to make sure you do not contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

  • if you feel at all unwell, do not volunteer
  • wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap or antibacterial gel before and after you deliver any items to a person in isolation
  • if you make a delivery, stay two metres away from anyone else at all times – ideally place any items outside of doors and then step away
  • be careful about how you share personal information about yourself and other people – avoid sharing your or a vulnerable person’s address and other contact information in public groups or documents
  • try to support people who live close to you, so you don’t travel larger distances

(updated 30 March 2020)

EU Settlement Scheme Applications: Important Message About COVID-19

While applications continue to be processed, during this challenging time they will take longer than usual. In addition, in line with the latest Public Health England advice some of our support services and application routes have temporarily changed.

Below is an outline of these changes. This situation is being kept under constant review.

Settlement Resolution Centre (SRC)

The SRC will no longer be answering telephone calls. It will, however, continue to respond to email enquiries and provide a call back function when required.

Email enquiries can be made via the online contact form which is available here: https://eu-settled-status-enquiries.service.gov.uk/start. Emails from support organisations will be prioritised where possible.

ID document scanner locations

The ID document scanner locations are following all the latest Public Health England advice to protect staff and the decision has been made, to suspend them at this time.

Postal route for submitting Identity evidence

The postal route for submitting Identity evidence is currently suspended. We are unable to accept any documents by post at this time, but all documents already sent to us will be returned as quickly as possible. Applications can still be made online using the “EU Exit ID Document check app”.

57 grant funded voluntary and community sector organisations

Some services have been suspended but organisations are seeking to provide support in other ways, in line with social distancing guidance, for example via telephone and online. Please check individual organisations for further details at www.gov.uk/help-eu-settlement-scheme.

There are still 15 months before the deadline of 30 June 2021 for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, and there is plenty of support available online to support those looking to apply. Additional support is available to those EU citizens in the UK who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to apply online through Assisted Digital, which can offer assistance over the phone [www.gov.uk/assisted-digital-help-online-applications].

We have translated communications materials into 26 languages and alternative formats can also be requested https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-translated-information-materials.

The support services outlined above will be kept under regular review. We, the Home Office, and all our delivery partners involved in supporting applicants will endeavour to reinstate these support services to their original status when it is safe to do so.

For the latest information on the scheme visit www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families.

National guidance

For up-to-date advice and guidance, visit the GOV.UK website.

For information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and advice on what to do if you think you have coronavirus, visit the NHS.uk website.

The Government has produced a guide to social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults.

For information on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and advice on what to do if you think you have coronavirus, visit the NHS.uk website.

People are being urged to stop all non-essential contact with others and stop all unnecessary travel.

British nationals aged 70 and over, and those with underlying health conditions such as chronic diseases and diabetes, have been advised not to travel on cruise ships.

Update: 24 March 2020:

If you’re experiencing a problem locally with education and schools, and you’re a key worker, or your child has an EHCP or additional needs, you can complete a form at the link below and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Click here to complete the form

From Friday 20 March 2020, all schools in England will close. Children of key workers (such as those working for the NHS) will still receive schooling, along with vulnerable children. The Government is working with schools and education settings to arrange this.

For children who normally receive free school meals, the Government has issued guidance to schools to consider alternative solutions.

The Department for Education has opened a helpline to answer questions from staff in education, parents and students on COVID-19.

📞 0800 046 8687

📧 Dfe.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Opening hours: 8.00am to 6.00pm (Monday to Friday)

Support your community: Volunteer and do your bit

Got some spare time to spare and would like to help out with your communities response to the COVID-19 outbreak? You can sign up below.

If you are an individual wishing to volunteer register with the Blue Lights Brigade.

If you are part of a group that is wishing to join in the collective effort, complete our short COVID-19 support survey.