The latest news on how Coronavirus is affecting residents and services across the county
Thank you Joe (age 8) for your fabulous rainbow you kindly sent us
We will be helping to connect those who need support with those who can offer support. If you are part of a group who can provide volunteering support, please complete our online form. If you need support yourself please contact us on our website.
Monday 27 April
This blog will now been replaced with a whole section on Coronavirus on our website which covers how Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected services across the county and also help and support that is available to help you stay home and stay safe.
During the current situation, our priority is to continue providing essential council services, while protecting the health and wellbeing of our residents. This means we may have difficulties in handling your calls. If you do not need to speak to someone urgently, you can apply, book, report or pay for lots of council services online.
For the latest government information on coronavirus: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
For the latest NHS information on coronavirus: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
Tuesday 21 April
Stagecoach in South Wales
X3 Cardiff - Abergavenny - Hereford
Saturday service except the following journeys are now suspended until further notice
- 0740 Pontrilas – Cardiff (1005)
- 1335 Cardiff – Hereford (1616)
- 1620 Hereford – Cwmbran (1812)
T14 Cardiff - Brecon - Hay-on-Wye - Hereford
- Service suspended
More information on our bus services information pages
Monday 20 April
If you need information, advice or support during the coronavirus / COVID-19 situation, including where you can order ready-made meals and groceries / food for delivery, take a look at what's available in your local area on the WISH Herefordshire website.
A great round up of local information.
Thursday 16 April
Be a good neighbour
While we spend our time staying safe at home, it is important to remember that our neighbours are at home too. There are some tips on how to be a good neighbour while we spend this extended time at home in our newsroom and advice on the Hereford and Worcester Fire Service webpages as well. Stay safe.
Wednesday 15 April
Stay home stay safe
See the latest information and advice on staying home and keeping safe and well during the coronavirus restrictions on the staying home section on our website.
Council Tax Reduction
If you are facing a reduction in your income then you can apply for help with your Council Tax. There is more information, and how to apply for Council Tax Reduction on our website.
Discretionary Housing Payments
If you are in receipt of either Housing Benefit, or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit, you can also apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment on our website.
Thursday 9 April
Open letter from Chief Executive
An open letter from Alistair Neil was issued in the Hereford Times today, thanking all those in our community working hard to keep others safe, information for vulnerable residents, and tips to keep safe and well. Read the full letter on our website.
Changes to bus services
Wednesday 8 April
St Thomas Cantilupe - Closed 8 April
County prepares for more Covid-19 cases
Herefordshire Council, like other local authorities across the country, is preparing for an increase in the number of deaths as a result of COVID-19. A temporary mortuary has been created and the facility will act as a secure, dignified holding point before a respectful cremation or burial can take place. More information on our Newsroom
Health and wellbeing board
To support capacity in the Herefordshire system during the coronavirus outbreak, the meeting of Health and wellbeing board scheduled for Monday 20 April 2020, 2.30 pm has been cancelled.
You can view the meeting details on our website
Tuesday 7 April
To confirm Eastnor Primary School is closed from 6 April
School closure and keyworker information
St James CE Primary School, Hereford will be closed for the first week of the Easter holidays, 6 to 10 April, and closed 13,16 and 17 April for the second week.
They will be open for key worker children on 14 and 15 April.
Walford Nursery and Primary School will be closed from Monday 6 April to Friday 17 April, following the consideration of demand and in liaison with key families.
The school will reopen on Monday 20 April to accommodate the children of key workers and vulnerable children. Our thoughts and good wishes are with everyone at this time.
Wigmore High School remains open on Tuesday 7 and Thursday 9 April to accommodate the children of children of key workers and vulnerable children requiring provision.
The high school will be closed on Wednesday 8 April and from 10 to 17 April. The high school will re-open on Monday 20 April to accommodate the children of key workers and vulnerable children requiring provision.
Wigmore Primary School will be closed from the 6 April to 17 April and will re-open on Monday 20 April to accommodate the children of key workers and vulnerable children requiring provision.
Monday 6 April
Local business funding
Over £13million in grant funding has been paid to help support local businesses by Herefordshire Council during the Coronavirus outbreak, and a further £2.7million is currently being processed – with 320 payments being made today.
Read the full news story online
Aylestone School closed - Monday 6 April to Friday 17 April (inclusive). Children of key workers requiring provision will be cared for at Broadlands Primary School
Annual Council Meeting
The meeting of Council scheduled for Friday 22 May 2020, 10.30 am has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
A provisional meeting date of 11 September 2020 has now been added to the calendar of meetings for the rescheduled annual meeting. This meeting date will be kept under review depending on the progress of COVID-19 over the Summer.
Friday 3 April
Up to date emergency bus timetables
Following the government advice not to travel unless it is essential, bus operators across Herefordshire will be reducing levels of service in line with reduced demand.
To find up to date information about emergency bus timetables, please visit our buses page.
Herefordshire partners issue plea for medical equipment to be returned for reuse
NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Wye Valley Trust and Herefordshire Council are calling on all residents to support their work at this unprecedented time by returning medical equipment that is no longer needed.
To book a free collection for any medical equipment which has been loaned by NRS Healthcare on behalf of Herefordshire Council and NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire, call NRS on 0300 100 0045 between 9am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Update on GCSEs, AS and A levels
The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has today released details about how GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded this summer. The information includes further guidance for teachers, students, parents and carers.
You can find the update on GCSEs, AS and A levels at gov.uk.
Continuing to maintain roads
You may notice Balfour Beatty Living Places highways workers continuing to carry out work on the road network.
It is important that roads across the county continue to be maintained to ensure goods can keep moving, deliveries flowing and for the safe travel of all the key workers who are providing essential support to our communities.
The health and safety of staff and the general public is our top priority. All road maintenance staff have been fully briefed on the additional safety measures they must take, such as social distancing, and they are being supported with this.
Blueschool House services update
Blueschool House is now closed, but you can find up to date contact information for services on the Hereford customer services page.
Thursday 2 April
Peterchurch Primary School will be closed from Monday 6 April until Monday 20 April
Much Birch School is currently closed.
Keep up to date with school alerts on our website
St Michael’s primary school, Bodenham will be closed from 6 April until further notice. From 20 April, children of critical workers who have no other provision, can join staff from the school at Burley Gate Primary. Please telephone Burley Gate Primary on 01432 820367 to book a place.
Keep up to date with school alerts on our website
Wednesday 1 April
To protect the public and help control the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Herefordshire Council has taken the decision to close all public toilets from today (Wednesday 1 April 2020) until further notice.
Please follow government guidance – stay at home and do not travel unless absolutely essential.
Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do
It can be confusing with so many messages about what you can and can't do during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Government have produced an FAQ on what you can and can't do during this time, check this if you are not sure.
Tuesday 31 March
Fastershire launches new grant to help community groups
A new ‘Keep Connected’ grant has been launched to help support groups and organisations to adapt and continue to deliver their services remotely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The grant, worth up to £500 for new software subscriptions, online platforms or technology, is available to any not-for-profit groups or organisations, including charities, community groups and Parish/town councils.
For more information about the grant, visit www.fastershire.com/KeepConnected
Free school meals vouchers
A voucher scheme is being launched by the Government for those receiving free school meals, these will be arranged through the school your child/children attend(s). There is more information on the free school meals scheme on the gov.uk website
Victory in Europe (VE) Day events
Events that were planned across Herefordshire in May are now cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
This has been a difficult decision to take, due to the importance of this commemoration. However, we believe that it is important and appropriate to support our community following government guidance in relation to the coronavirus outbreak.
Beware of Coronavirus scams
Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards team is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in Coronavirus-related scams happening in the county. Here are examples of current scams we are investigating:
- Fake sanitisers, face masks and COVID-19 swabbing kits being sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe.
- Supplements and anti-virus kits which falsely claim to cure or prevent COVID-19.
- Criminals claiming to represent charities which help people who are self-isolating. In reality they are misleading the public into donating and then take the victim’s money.
- Companies offering fake holiday refunds for individuals who have been forced to cancel their trips. People seeking refunds should also be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds.
Please ignore these scams and make sure more vulnerable and elderly members of the public are aware too. If you suspect a scam, or that a family member has been the victim of a scam, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133
Herefordshire Council is coordinating a genuine group of volunteers called the 'Talk Community' COVID-19 response team. Call 01432 260027 if you know someone who may need further help and support.
In line with government advice during the coronavirus outbreak, the decision has been made to cancel the Leominster and Hereford May Fair events for 2020. More information on our newsroom
Hereford street markets and other licensed street trading activity in Herefordshire are currently suspended until further notice.
Peterchurch Primary School - Closed
The school will be closed on Tuesday 31 March and Thursday 2 April
Monday 30 March
Minor injury units
Due to the very low number of patients attending the minor injury units across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and in order to ensure patient safety and enable key staff to be redeployed to support the COVID-19 response at the hospitals, the decision has been made to temporarily close Ledbury Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) service.
The Minor Injury Units in Ross-on-Wye and Leominster in Herefordshire which were temporarily closed in November 2019 to support winter pressures will also now remain closed to support the response.
The Minor Injury Units in Malvern and Bromsgrove remain open and the Minor Injury Unit in Kidderminster is working under reduced opening times as publicised last week, these are 8am-8pm.
This means that the staff who currently work at the MIUs can be redeployed to other accident and emergency departments. This is important and helps the health services to maintain safe staffing levels, due to increasing numbers of NHS staff who are self-isolating, due to the recent national advice.
For those patients who require urgent medical help please use the MIUs remaining open or contact NHS 111 or on the NHS website, or if possible attend the MIUs in Malvern or Bromsgrove.
There is signage at the MIUs listed above to advise patients of the alternative options.
You can read more about the temporary closures on the Herefordshire CCG website.
An update on the Herefordshire coronavirus response
Update From Superintendant Sue Thomas, West Mercia Police, and Karen Wright, Director of Public Health, Herefordshire
Burley Gate C E Primary School - closed 31 March
Closed tomorrow 31 March – will re-open 1 April as required.
Keep up to date with school information on our school alerts page
Sunday 29 March
Buses - Emergency COVID-19 Timetables
Following the government advice not to travel unless essential, bus operators across Herefordshire will be reducing levels of service in line with reduced demand.
These changes will take effect from Monday 30 March 2020
All the changes are available on our COVID-19 Emergency timetables page. Services which are not listed will continue to run to their usual timetable.
Friday 27 March
Council’s Talk Community COVID-19 response team will provide help and support where it’s most needed in Herefordshire
If you are worried about how you might cope in the coming weeks - help is on hand through Herefordshire Council’s ‘Talk Community’ COVID-19 response team.
The council knows that this is a worrying and challenging time for many, so in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 we are working with community organisations and local businesses to help connect people to support in their local area. The Talk Community response has been setup to identify and provide support and reassurance for the most vulnerable residents in the county over the coming weeks.
This week all Herefordshire households have received a letter with information about what to do if you need support or additional help. This letter has been sent out to coincide with the advice from the government that certain vulnerable groups should self-isolate for 12 weeks and other people should stay at home for the next 3 weeks.
The letter includes a request for volunteers and so far over 600 people have come forward to offer support in their local community.
Stephen Vickers, Herefordshire Council, Director of Adults and Communities, said:
“We would like to thank all of the volunteers who have offered their support so far. We will be in touch with everyone who has registered their details. However, we do need more people to assist us with our Talk Community response, so if you can help please contact the council’s Talk Community COVID-19 response team on 01432 260027 or email email@example.com.”
For the latest news about how COVID-19 is affecting council services visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
Be scam aware
West Mercia Police have issued a warning to members of the public that criminals are using the COVID-19 pandemic to scam people out of money. The police are urging people not to click the online bait and become a victim. Also, the police, HMRC or banks will never ask anyone to transfer money or move it to a safe account, so please ignore these requests.
You can read the latest news about the coronavirus scams in detail on the West Mercia Police website.
Advice for people with animals
You can now found advice for pet owners and livestock keepers on maintaining the welfare of animals at gov.uk
- Fairfield High School will be closed to all students from Monday 30 March for three weeks
- Eardisley CE Primary School is closed until 13 April
Direct payments guidance now available
In response to the coronavirus Covid-19 situation, we have put together some guidance and answers to frequently asked questions for people using direct payments in Herefordshire.
View the direct payments guidance.
There is a lot of misinformation circulating, particularly online, so keep yourself and others safe by only getting your information from a trusted source.
For the latest updates visit the coronavirus section of gov.uk.
For NHS information visit the coronavirus section on the NHS website.
Cabinet meeting cancelled
The Government has advised that public gatherings of more than two people should cease unless the gathering is essential for work purposes. It has therefore been decided to cancel the Cabinet meeting currently scheduled for 31 March 2020.
We will consider whether future scheduled meetings can proceed in due course and taking account of any updated guidance.
Where a delay would have a negative impact, decisions that were due to be taken at the meeting will instead be considered and determined by the Leader of the Council. The report, decision notice and any other relevant information for each decision taken under these provisions will be published on the council website.
Thursday 26 March
Information for parking season ticket holders
Parking in all council car parks is currently free. If you are a season ticket holder, you don't need to do anything differently. Your season ticket will be valid for three additional months beyond the expiry date on the permit itself, and Enforcement Officers will interpret this on their patrols.
An appeal from Herefordshire GP Practices
Herefordshire GP practices are receiving a large number of requests for ‘rescue packs’, containing antibiotics and steroids.
These are important for those with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and Asthma who have regular flare ups of their condition. Access to these drugs enables people with these conditions to treat themselves immediately, often preventing the need for further medical intervention.
However, evidence shows that steroids are unhelpful and possibly harmful in Coronavirus infection and that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.
In order to ensure that there is a sufficient supply of drugs for people who need them, Herefordshire GPs are asking:
- Please do not stockpile medication or ask for additional supplies that you do not need.
- Please note that rescue packs will not be prescribed for those who have not previously required them.
You can view more of the GP practices statement on the Taurus Healthcare website.
The following schools are closed until further notice:
- Sutton Academy
- Peterchurch Primary School
- Earl Mortimer College and Sixth Form Centre
- Pembridge CE Primary School
- Whitchurch CE Primary School
- Much Marcle Primary School
- Burghill Community Academy
Wednesday 25 March
Clehonger CofE is closed until further notice. Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils requiring provision will join staff from the school at the Lord Scudamore Academy.
The following childcare providers are currently closed until further notice:
- Golden Valley Preschool
- Kimbolton Nursery
- Little Leintwardine Nursery
- Muddy Fingers Childcare
- Pencombe Preschool
- Shobdon Arches Preschool
- Rainbow Nursery, Hereford
- Cut and Paste Childcare, Hereford
- Little Robbins Childminding
- St Weonards preschool
- Marden Preschool
- Gateway Nursery
- Karen Edwards and Elisha Edwards childminders
- Tash Jones Childminding
Coronavirus Whatsapp service
The UK Government has today launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp.
To use the free service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.UK pages as well as links to GOV.UK for further information.
Updates to birth, death and marriage services
- All birth registration appointments will be deferred, in line with government guidance. You can still make a claim for child benefit and universal credit before the birth is registered
- Deaths will be registered over the telephone. The hospital or GP surgery will send the medical certificate through to us electronically. Please call 01432 260565 to arrange a convenient time for a Registrar to contact you
- Marriage and Civil partnership ceremonies cannot be undertaken in line with the Prime Minister's announcement. Appointments to give notice of marriage or civil partnership will be deferred
Funerals are still taking place, in line with government guidance. To protect at-risk groups, and to ensure we can still provide a service in the crematorium chapel, we will discuss arrangement with families. Please try and restrict attendance to close family and consider whether organising a celebration of life or memorial service could be planned for a later date. Web casting is available for all services.
Business closures in response to Covid-19
The government has announced that from 24 March all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises must close with immediate effect. The gov.uk website has full guidance on the steps that businesses need to take, including a list of businesses affected.
The government has put legislation in place to require the closure of restaurants, cafes, bars, public houses, other assembly and leisure venues. Further legislation to implement the requirements for closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises is currently undergoing parliamentary process.
Only essential business should now remain open. Herefordshire Council and the West Mercia Police will be working together to enforce these regulations.
Update from DVSA about vehicle MOTs
From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by six months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Visit the gov.uk website for more details.
All Herefordshire libraries are closed until further notice.
Please keep hold of any books you have borrowed from the library. There will be no fines charged for items returned late and you can return them when our libraries reopen. You can renew books on your library account online.
You can still read or listen to eBook or eAudio books for free using our BorrowBox app. We will continue to add brand new titles over the next few weeks. Go to your app store or see our website for details. Our range of online resources is also available on the council website. To access these you will need your library card number and PIN. You can renew books and reset your PIN through your online account.
We will continue to adapt to the rapidly changing situation and are working to support our customers and local communities where we can. For the latest library news and announcements see our website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
- Earl Mortimer College & Sixth Form Centre - Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday and continued monitoring of the numbers of students attending school over the past two days, the decision has been taken to close the school until further notice. Herefordshire Council is working with Earl Mortimer College staff to consider how provision for key worker families can be met
- Leintwardine Primary School - Closed until further notice due to advice given by the government to protect families from Coronavirus. We will open our doors for children of key workers when required. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange provision
- Withington Primary School - Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils requiring provision will join staff at Broadlands Primary School
- Aylestone School - Closed on Wednesday 25 March so children will join staff at Broadlands Primary School. Aylestone School is intending to open tomorrow (Thursday 26 March) for children of key workers and vulnerable pupils requiring provision
- John Kyrle High School - Open only for the children of key workers and vulnerable students. We are closed to all other students. Please see the JKHS website and Show My Homework pages for updates and work for Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12
- Ivington CE Primary and Preschool
Childcare provider closures
- Golden Valley Preschool
- Kimbolton Nursery
- Little Leintwardine Nursery
- Muddy Fingers Childcare
- Pencombe Preschool
- Shobdon Arches Preschool
Tuesday 24 March
Taurus Healthcare has announced that with immediate effect anyone needing an appointment with a GP will first be spoken to on the phone or via video in a move to protect vulnerable patients, staff and the wider community. If a face-to-face appointment is considered essential, you may be asked to attend a surgery at a different location to the one you are used to. For more information please see the information on the Taurus Healthcare website.
Coronavirus: Caring for pets, animals and livestock
Herefordshire Council’s animal health officers are working closely with the farming community to ensure the welfare of farm animals. Farmers are advised to visit the rural hub website Hereford Rural Hub website where there is information and advice about managing through this difficult time.
Herefordshire Council’s community protection officers are still dealing with stray dogs. As everyone is at home we ask all dog owners to ensure they keep an eye on their dogs and ensure they do not get out. Officers will make all attempts to return any dog found, before taking it to kennels so please make sure the information on your chip is up to date.
If you are concerned about the welfare of a domestic animal, RSPCA and the police look after the welfare of pets. Where possible, we ask that family members and neighbours look after pets for any elderly or vulnerable people who have been affected by Coronavirus.
Dog walking is still permitted for one daily exercise per householder, but please respect the guidelines on social distancing.
More information, as well as FAQs, on caring for your animals during Coronavirus can be found on the RSPCA website.
Changes to Herefordshire Council Trade Waste Services
We understand that the unprecedented challenges presented by the Covid-19 outbreak are having major impacts on Herefordshire businesses.
We are continuing to collect waste from our trade waste customers at present but would like to make all of our trade bin customers aware of options available to them should they have to cease trading during the outbreak or scale down operations.
If you have had to cease trading please contact us to suspend your service. We will happily leave your bin on site while the service is suspended and await your instruction to recommence collections once you are ready to start trading again. No charges will be made while the service is suspended and we will discuss with you how to process any credits that this may leave on your account.
If you have scaled down your operations during the outbreak and therefore require less waste to be collected, please contact us and we can discuss ways in which we can reduce your service and the costs for the duration of the outbreak.
If you are currently still trading as normal, but are worried how the outbreak is going to affect your business in the near future, please contact us to discuss changing your payment frequency to lessen the impact on your finances during this period.
If you use Herefordshire Council's (blue) trade sack service, please note that for the time being your collections will continue as normal.
Herefordshire Archaeology's Historic Landscape Walks Programme 2020
All walks have been cancelled until further notice to ensure public safety. Please check the Herefordshire Through Time website for future updates.
We are not currently accepting any paper applications or hard copy post. Anything received in hard copy format from 23 March 2020 will not be dealt with until normal duties resume.
We are, however, able to receive applications and correspondence electronically. Applications will be validated but cannot be processed at this time so will be put on hold once validated.
Please continue to submit anything electronically where possible:
- Applications through the planning portal
- General enquiries to Planning_Enquiries@herefordshire.gov.uk
- If you are commenting on an application please submit comments online in the normal way
Clifford Primary School is closed until further notice. The school will open for children of key workers whenever necessary.
Street cleaning update
Our street cleansing team will be running a reduced service to protect the team from unnecessary exposure.
We will only be attending high priority bins such as dog waste bins, but our normal emergency collection of hazardous waste will continue as usual.
Our aim remains to keep the county clean and tidy but without impacting on the safety of our teams and the public.
Please take your waste home with you.
Trade and commercial waste
For information and guidance on business and commercial waste, please visit herefordshire.gov.uk/businesswaste
Michaelchurch Escley Primary and Pre School is closed until further notice. The school will reopen for children of key workers whenever necessary.
An update on parking changes
In response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, Herefordshire Council is introducing some temporary changes to parking.
- All on street and off street car parking charges will be suspended to allow those needing to make essential visits to pharmacies etc.
- The Bus Station car park, Hereford will close to the public to ensure emergency services and Sodexo workers have access to parking.
These measures will make it easier for people to go about their essential business, and free up council staff to be deployed protecting our community.
Please continue to be courteous and respectful of others when parking.
The changes come into effect as of today (24 March) and will last for up to three months.
More information can be found on the Decisions page of the Herefordshire Council website.
Further to the government’s recent measures to control the spread of COVID-19 all Household Recycling Centres in Herefordshire are closed for the next three weeks at least:
Closures are also in effect in Worcestershire so Malvern and Tenbury Household Recycling Centres are also closed.
The household collection service continues as normal, but please check the councils website regularly for updates.
Managing garden waste at home
There are simple things we can all do to manage garden waste at home:
- Cut and drop - Don’t collect grass cuttings unless you intend to use them for home composting, simply cut the grass without the collector on
- Create a compost heap - No matter the size of your garden you should have space for a heap. If not use a low cost home composter to keep the garden tidy
- DIY waste - Store your DIY waste responsibly until restrictions are lifted
- New appliances - Request that the supplier takes back the old appliance wherever possible
- General waste - With many store struggling to keep up with demand for groceries and everyday household items please PLAN your meals to reduce waste. Store perishable food in the freezer wherever possible
- Do not burn your waste - Burning most waste is illegal. Store any waste that cannot be collected safely until restrictions are lifted
Monday 23 March
The Prime Minister has announced restrictions that people in the UK are required to follow.
From tonight, people will only be allowed to leave their homes for:
- Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
- One form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle, alone or with members of their household
- Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- Travelling to and from work, but only where it is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home
If you do go out for one of these reasons, you should stay at least two metres away from other people.
The Prime Minister said the government will keep these restrictions under constant review, will look again in three weeks and relax them if the evidence shows they are able to.
Marden Primary Academy is closed until further notice. Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils requiring provision will join staff from the school at HMFA North Hub at Sutton Primary Academy.
Bus pass changes
Bus passengers with a concessionary pass will be able to travel at all times on bus services in Herefordshire.
Any passes that have expired since 16 March 2020 that holders have not been able to replace will also be honoured for travel within the county.
These measures take effect from 24 March until further notice, and will make it easier for anybody who uses a concessionary bus pass to go about essential business.
For more information and any updates on bus services in the county, please visit our buses page.
St Weonards Primary School is closed until further notice. Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils will be joining staff from the school at HMFA South Hub at Llangrove CE academy.
All public play areas closed until further notice
In order to protect the public from the threat of COVID-19, Herefordshire Council has taken the decision to close all public play areas from today (Monday 23 March) until further notice.
The decision has been taken due to the unprecedented threat to Public Health posed by the outbreak of COVID-19, and will help to support official guidance about social distancing.
Parks are still open, however, please follow government advice by avoiding gatherings and maintaining social distancing.
Visit GOV.UK for the latest coronavirus information and guidance.
Coronavirus - Business support to launch from today
Businesses will be able to access government support from today (Monday 23 March) to keep operating in the face of the global economic emergency brought on by coronavirus.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will provide government-backed loans of up to £5 million to small and medium businesses.
Full information on the support for businesses on the gov.uk website
Waste collection services are all operating as normal this morning
Please remember to wash your hands before and after putting rubbish out for collection, Thank you
Canon Pyon School Closure
Canon Pyon Academy is closed until further notice. Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils requiring provision will join staff from the school at the HMFA North Hub at Sutton Primary Academy.
Kings Caple Academy closure
Kings Caple Primary Academy is closed until further notice. Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils requiring provision will join staff from the school at the HMFA South Hub at Llangrove CE Primary Academy.
Pencombe CE Primary School - closed - 23 March 2020
Pencombe CE Primary School is closed until further notice. Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils will join staff from the school at HMFA North Hub at Sutton Primary Academy.
Brockhampton Primary School - Closed - 23rd and 24th March 2020
School will re-open to Key Worker children on Wednesday 25th March.
An update from Halo Leisure
Leisure centres have closed as the government steps up its emergency measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.
All Halo centres closed on Friday 20 March 2020. Head to the Halo Leisure website for more information on what the closure means for children's coaching lessons and Halo memberships www.haloleisure.org.uk/news
Friday 20 March
8 St Owen St reception now closed
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the reception will be closed at 8 St Owen Street, Hereford with immediate effect.
We are currently not accepting paper copies of applications or supporting documents. Please email copies of all paperwork to email@example.com (for all applications other than those relating to taxis) or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will accept photographs of the paperwork taken on smart phones provided the photographs are clear.
In the ‘Subject’ line of the email, please write your name, the type of licence it refers to (i.e Premises Licence or Driver badge etc.) and the type of document/s you are submitting (e.g. Premises Licence Application, insurance, MOT, renewal application form etc).
Taxi licence plates and badges will be sent out by post, and all forms of paper licences will be emailed, so please ensure the licensing team have an email address for you.
The Department for Education has announced further details on arrangements for exams which have been cancelled to fight spread of coronavirus.
This year’s summer exam series, including A levels, GCSEs and other qualifications, and all primary assessments, have been cancelled. The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer. University representatives expect universities to be flexible and do all they can to support students.
Read more at Gov.uk
Update from Wye Valley NHS Trust
Wye Valley NHS Trust suspends all non-urgent elective operations and introduces changes to outpatient appointments.
The Trust is contacting patients directly regarding these changes, so there is no need to call the hospital.
Read more on the Wye Valley NHS Trust website.
Self-isolation notes now available online
If you’re having to self-isolate, do not go to your local GP surgery or hospital, you can now get a note for your employer via the NHS app or online
The Prime Minister has announced schools will continue to be open for students of key worker families, those with education, health and care plans and other vulnerable children, for example those open to children’s social care. The extent of the transport network required to facilitate this attendance is currently being assessed. To ensure transport is available from Monday for those students that do still need it the current network will continue. With the exception of transport to Barrs Court, Blackmarston, and Westfield Schools that are closed, school & college transport services will continue to operate as normal from Monday 23rd March 2020 until further notice.
Latest advice from the Government
- Supplementary info for parents and carers
Information for parents and carers about the closure of schools and other educational settings following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Key workers
Schools are being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Thursday 19 March
Elections and referendums postponed
Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus, the Returning Officer has made the decision that all Neighbourhood Planning Referendums and local by-elections are to be postponed until further notice to ensure the safety of all voters and elections staff.
An update on Keep Herefordshire Warm services, provided by Severn Wye
Many Keep Herefordshire Warm clients fall into ‘at-risk’ categories and so to safeguard their health and wellbeing and we have taken the decision to cancel and postpone home visits. We will provide advice over the phone instead, where possible. The best way to reach us is via our website or social media.
All public events are being postponed until a time where they are considered lower risk, and we are exploring ways that we can bring engagement events and training to our communities and clients digitally.
For anybody expecting an installation, our contractors are following government advice and will confirm the health and welfare of both parties before going ahead with installations.
If you have any concerns or questions, please get in touch with your usual contact at Severn Wye, or if you have a new enquiry via
Regular updates can also be found on the Severn Wye website
Low-income families whose children are eligible for free school meals will be offered vouchers or meals at home, even if they are no longer attending school due to #coronavirus
A statement from Chris Baird, Herefordshire Council’s Director for Children and Families
"Following an announcement by the Department for Education, schools, colleges and early years provision provided in Herefordshire will be partially closed from Monday until further notice, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus. Provision for vulnerable children, including those with education, health and care plans and the children of key workers will continue to operate and we are working with government departments and local schools, colleges, early years settings and child minders on this.
The government has also announced that national assessments and exams will not go ahead this summer and performance tables will not be published.
We would like to thank the staff and governors who have worked extremely hard over the past few weeks to stay open and who continue to provide for children and young people in Herefordshire in these unprecedented times.
We understand that this closure announcement will have a significant impact on parents and carers, but we ask for them to understand that our top priority is the safety of pupils and staff and protecting the vulnerable. We are facing increasingly extraordinary circumstances and these measures have been taken to help beat this virus."
School Transport payments
Due to the current situation all School and College travel payments for Summer Term are now suspended. Payment will only be required when it is announced that schools will reopen.
Support for businesses
A number of shops, pubs, theatres, music venues, restaurants – and other business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector – will pay no business rates for 12 months. In addition businesses in receipt of Small business Rates Relief and hospitality businesses will receive a grant from Government, which will be administrated by Herefordshire Council. We are currently waiting for further information and advice from central government regarding this additional support for Businesses.
We are ready to operate this scheme as soon as it has received the details from Government. Government has indicated that this will be released by the end of the week. We will publish the details on our website as soon as we receive them.
All reliefs announced due to coronavirus (COVID-19), will be automatically applied to the businesses that we believe meet qualifying criteria. Our aim is to do this within the next few weeks.
Wye Valley Trust
Please see the information from Wye Valley Trust on visitor restrictions.
Latest Update from the Prime Minister
Including information on school closures
Supporting the community
If you are worried about how you might cope in the coming weeks, we are on hand to assist you to connect with the help and support available in your community.
Herefordshire Council is working with a wide range of local organisations and other partners to form the Talk Community Herefordshire Covid-19 Response. The team are support communities to establish a resilient and co-ordinated community response, to help ensure all members of the community are supported, for as long as is needed.
The co-ordinated response will help mobilise the local community and help identify and support those people who are vulnerable within our community. We will be writing to residents to understand who might need support, as well as providing information on social media and our website. More details will follow for assistance to those who are self-isolating and need additional help.
In the coming days, we will be helping to connect those who need support with those who can offer support. If you are part of a group who can provide volunteering support, please complete our online form. Thank you.
Barrs Court School CLOSURE from Monday 23 March
To address the risks to our school community and discussions with the Local Authority, the difficult decision has been made to close the school for an extended period of time. This is a precautionary move to ensure that the families can make the safest arrangements to protect themselves from exposure to the coronavirus, and to avoid hospital admissions. Barrs Court School will be closed from Monday 23rd March 2020 until further notice. The school, in discussion with the Local Authority, will be reviewing the situation on a regular basis. The up-to-date information will be posted on the Barrs Court School website and we suggest that you check this on a regular basis.
Westfield School CLOSURE from Monday 23 March
To address the risks to our school community and discussions with the Local Authority, the difficult decision has been made to close the school for an extended period of time. This is a precautionary move to ensure that the families can make the safest arrangements to protect themselves from exposure to the coronavirus, and to avoid hospital admissions. Westfield School will be closed from Monday 23rd March 2020 until further notice. The school, in discussion with the Local Authority, will be reviewing the situation on a regular basis. The up-to-date information will be posted on the Westfield School website and we suggest that you check this on a regular basis.
Museums, libraries and archives
Will close to the public from Friday for further information see our museums, libraries and archives news item.
Children's Centres Update
Unfortunately there will be no Let’s Play or Baby Let’s Play groups delivered by Children Centre staff as of end of day Friday 20 March until further notice.
Buildings currently remain open, for further updates see the Herefordshire Children's Centres Facebook page.
Earl Mortimer College - Partial Closure
Closed to Years 8 & 9 due to current national conditions.
Whitecross School - Partial Closure
Due to the challenges of staffing during this difficult time, Whitecross High School will be closed to students in Years 8 and 9 from Wednesday 18 March. The school will be open as normal for students in Years 7, 10 and 11. Work for students not in school will be provided via our Show My Homework app. We will keep parents updated via email, so