Coronavirus: Council service disruption

Newcastle City Council services from  4 January 2021

To fight the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have had to make some changes to our services.  Regular updates will be published on this page to ensure residents are kept up to date.

Please be aware there are social distancing measures are in place across the Civic Centre and most offices and services are closed to the public during this time.  Anyone attending the Civic Centre must strictly adhere to the two metres apart distance to stop the spread of the disease and to keep our staff safe.  

- Buildings
- Car Parking
- Cemeteries and crematoria
- Electoral Services
- Environmental Services (including rubbish and recycling)
- Housing
- Libraries and Museums
- Registration and Bereavement Services
- Parks and Leisure
- Shopmobility
- Social Care

Buildings

Civic Centre 

The Arches reception will operate on reduced hours, from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday

Please note that only those with an appointment or accessing emergency services should visit the Civic Centre. 

Grainger Market 

The Grainger Market will be open for essential goods only.

We’ll be doing all we can to keep you safe. All entrances and doors will be open when the market is trading for maximum ventilation, and there will be hand sanitizer stations at all the entrances and at every stall. You will need to wear a face covering when you visit (unless you’re exempt) and please keep to the left when walking around.

 Please visit the Grainger Market Facebook page for more information, including opening times.  

Car parking

There are no changes to our car parking services. You can find the latest advice on car parking in the city here. 

Cemeteries and crematoria

All cemeteries in the city remain open but visitors must adhere to social distancing measures and stay 2 metres apart from people outside their household or support bubble.  

The bereavement offices at the West Road  and the Civic Centre are closed to members of the public and additional cleaning is taking place between funerals.    

Electoral services

Local elections and elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner did not go ahead in May 2020 and have been postponed for one year.

Environmental services

Bin collections 

All bin collections are continuing as normal. Please put out your general waste, recycling and garden waste bins as normal on their usual collection day.  

Household Waste and Recycling Centres  

Our recycling centres at Brunswick, Byker and Walbottle are open, operating their winter opening hours, with strict social distancing measures in place and a number of rules to keep staff and the public safe.    

In order to ensure that visitors can access the sites in a timely fashion an “odds and evens” system, based on the last number of car licence plates and the date, is in effect.  

For more information about visiting our sites visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/hwrc  

Pest control  

Our pest control team is taking bookings to treat all pests that they usually deal with.   

Find out more about the service on our Pest Control page.  

Other environmental services  

Most grass cutting and shrub bed maintenance has stopped until further notice but we are carrying out work that is essential to maintain Newcastle’s open spaces and to ensure safety and public wellbeing.    

This includes keeping sight lines clear around roads, paths and junctions and allowing as much space as possible in areas that people are using for exercise.   

Our staff are adhering to social distancing guidelines.    

For more information see our news pages.  

Housing

Housing Advice Centre  

Newcastle City Council’s Housing Advice Centre will not be open for face-to-face advice until further notice.   Staff continue to provide advice which can be accessed by calling 0191 277 1712 or 0191 277 1716, or emailing housingadvicecentre@newcastle.gov.uk.   If it is out of hours - after 5.30pm or any time at a weekend - and you have nowhere to sleep tonight please call 0191 278 7878 and ask for the emergency homeless service.  For more information visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/homeless 

Private Rented Service Newcastle 

Private Rented Service Newcastle is are not currently offering a face-to-face service.  Landlords and tenants who rent their home from a private landlord can access advice and support by calling the enquiry line on 0191 277 1438 from 9am to 12 noon Monday to Friday or by emailing privaterentedservice@newcastle.gov.uk.  You can also find information and guidance on a range of issues including advice on Covid-19 at https://www.privaterentedservice.co.uk/  

Your Homes Newcastle  

Following the announcement of the new national lockdown, YHN will now only be delivering urgent and emergency repairs as well as gas safety checks until the end of the national lockdown. Non-urgent repairs currently booked in will be rearranged once lockdown ends.

If you are shielding and are contacted to arrange a gas safety check then YHN can arrange an alternative date once shielding has come to an end.

Services overview

For the latest YHN service updates and information on the safety measures in place, visit www.yhn.org.uk/coronavirus

Libraries and Museums

Libraries 

Libraries in Newcastle are currently closed and our Select and Collect service is currently suspended.  We will continue to offer access our eBooks, eAudiobooks, digital magazines and comics.  You can join online, resources are free and we are constantly updating the titles available.  Keep an eye on the Newcastle Libraries social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok) for craft ideas, information, quizzes, local history content and story times to keep you entertained and amused over the festive period. 

We are also working in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) to offer a Home Delivery Service.  To find our more or to sign up for the service please email information@newcastle.gov.uk or phone 0191 2787878.

The City Library will also continue to offer Visa application services.  To find out more about applying for a visa or to book an appointment please visit  https://www.ukvcas.co.uk/home-internal.

Museums 

Museums will remain closed. While they are closed you can enjoy exhibition and collections content and activities on our website and social media or by joining our mailing list at mustseemuseums.org.uk 

Registration and bereavement services

Register Office services and ceremonies are subject to national lockdown restrictions from 4 January.  As an essential public service, register offices will remain open and death and birth registrations and appointments to give notice of intent to marry or to form a civil partnership will continue to be offered. Travelling for these purposes is allowed to fulfill a legal obligation

Births  

Registrations are strictly by appointment only and parents can contact the Register Office to make an appointment by calling 0191 2787878 and asking for registrars or by emailing registrars@newcastle.gov.uk.    

Parents attending to register must adhere to strict social distancing guidelines:  

  • If parents are a married couple or in a civil partnership only one parent should attend to register the birth.  
  • If parents are not married or in a civil partnership both parents should attend.  
  • For the safety of your family and Register Office staff you should not bring your baby, other children or family members to the appointment with you.  
  • If you are displaying any symptoms of Covid 19 you should not attend.  
  • If you are showing symptoms when you attend your appointment you will be asked to leave.  
  • Parents are politely requested to wear a face covering when attending their appointment  

More detailed information will be provided by a Registrar when you make your booking.  Please note that any parent turning up at the Civic Centre without an appointment will not be seen.  

Marriages and civil partnerships  

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are subject to national lockdown restrictions and they should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.

Couples with ceremony bookings affected by lockdown restrictions can re-schedule free of charge or cancel and receive a full refund of any fees they have paid.  Please contact the Register Office to discuss your options. 

Couples should direct any queries about their reception arrangements to their venue. 

New ceremony bookings  

We are now taking new ceremony bookings which can be made up to two years in advance however following the national lockdown announcement we will not be accepting any new ceremony bookings for dates between January 5 and February 28 2021.

Couples booking ceremonies for 2021 and 2022 will be advised of potential local lockdown restrictions that could be in place.   

We do not know whether restrictions will be relaxed so couples booking a new ceremony should proceed on the basis that regulations will still be in place at the time of their ceremony.  

If you are interested in booking a ceremony please contact the Register Office by phone at 0191 2787878 and ask for Registrars or email registrars@newcastle.gov.uk stating your preferred date and time, the name of your venue and your contact details and someone will get back to you.  

Deaths  

All death and still-birth registrations are being carried out by telephone.  To make an appointment to register a death or still birth please call 0191 2787878 and ask for the Registration Services.  We will explain the process when you call to make the appointment.    

GPs who are issuing medical cause of death certificates should scan and email them to registrars@newcastle.gov.uk as provided for in the Coronavirus (Emergency) Act 2020.  Certificates should not be handed to the informant as they will not have any face to face contact with a registrar.  

Funerals  

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people depending on the size of the venue.  Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance.   Anyone working is not counted within these limits.  

Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.  

Funeral directors are requested to scan and e-mail documents where possible and drop off statutory documentation to a central point for collection.  Please contact bereavementservices@newcastle.gov.uk for more information.  

Citizenship ceremonies 

Citizenship ceremonies will not be held in Newcastle while national lockdown restrictions remain in place. 

The Home Office will send out a ceremony invite to each applicant via post or email and The Register Office will be notified.  Please do not contact the Register Office when you receive your invite - we will be in touch to invite you to a ceremony when they resume.

Usually you must attend a citizenship ceremony within 3 months of receiving your invitation from the Home Office. Because of coronavirus, this has been extended to 6 months.

Private ceremonies are not available until further notice.

We are not currently offering virtual citizenship ceremonies.

EU Settlement Scheme 

The EU Settlement Scheme ID Verification Service has been suspended until further notice.  You can find out more about applying to the EU Settlement Scheme here.

Certificates 

Please note: We will only be accepting online applications for copy certificates until further notice. Order via our online order service page. 

If you have a request for the priority service, please enter the reason for your urgent need for the certificate into the request form. We will contact you to let you know if we can accommodate your request – if not, a full refund will be provided.  If you would like to use the standard service you may do so but we cannot guarantee delivery within 15 working days.  All certificates will be posted out until further notice to ensure social distancing guidelines are adhered to.  Collection will not be permitted. 

Parks and leisure

Parks and play areas

Parks and play areas are open in line with government advice.  You should only visit these with people from your household or support bubble or one other person if you are on your own.

Schools

Colleges, primary (reception onwards) and secondary schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.

Shopmobility

Shopmobility service is cancelled during lockdown restrictions.

Social care 

Home care visits continue following Public Health England guidelines.   

 All adult care homes are open and are following Public Health England guidelines, however visiting restrictions apply – contact your care home to find out more about their visitor policy. 

Some Day Services are closed in line with Public Health England guidelines – contact your Day Service to find out what services they are currently offering. 

Did you know?

We must all play our part by following the Hands, Face, Space guidance, knowing what the symptoms are and when to get tested to avoid more restrictions being introduced in the city.

Staff are providing updates and answering questions on social media platforms.  If you don’t follow the council already you can do so on Twitter - @NewcastleCC, and Facebook - @NewcastleCityCouncil

If you bookmark www.newcastle.gov.uk/coronavirus on your browser it will be easier come back and check for updates.

You can find the latest government guidance on social distancing on social distancing and advice on how to stay safe outside your home here and information for on staying safe at work is available here.

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