Coronavirus

We have set up a dedicated Coronavirus/COVID-19 webpage. Click here or go to www.newcastle.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus: Council service disruption

UPDATED 03 April 16:50

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 make sure you bookmark www.newcastle.gov.uk/coronavirus on your browser and check back regularly.

Staff will also be on hand to issue updates and answer questions on social media platforms seven days a week.

If you don’t follow the council already you can do so on Twitter - @NewcastleCC, and Facebook - /NewcastleCityCouncil

On this page

What the Government has said

People should only leave the house for four reasons:

  • shopping for necessities, as infrequently as possible.
  • one form of exercise a day, either alone or with members of your household.
  • for any medical need or to provide care or help for a vulnerable person.
  • travel to and from work, but only when it can’t be done from home. 

The latest government advice on staying away from others can be found here and further information for businesses is here.

New measures in place include:

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for the very limited purposes above.
  • Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

In addition, the Government is stopping social events, including weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies. This will exclude funerals, which can be attended by immediate family.

How Newcastle City Council services are affected

Social distancing

Please be aware there are social distancing measures 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 metre apart distance to stop the spread of the disease and to keep our staff safe.

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 accessing emergency services should now visit the Civic Centre. 

Grainger Market 

The Grainger Market remains open for fresh food and grocery shopping, though with reduced hours (9am-4.30pm), and shoppers reminded to remain two metres apart.

Council parking enforcement officers are supporting traders, who are offering a home delivery service.

Libraries and community hubs

Libraries and some community hubs are closed to the public. Find out more here.

Museums

The following museums closed on 18 March until (provisionally) 1 May - Discovery Museum, Laing Art Gallery, Hatton Gallery and Great North Museum.

Car parking

To support key workers in the city we will provide free parking in all our pay and display bays across the city for 21 days from Tuesday 24 March 2020.  We will then review this at an appropriate time.

Electoral services

Local elections and elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner will not go ahead this May and have been postponed for one year.

Environmental services

Bin collections

Families should “clean, clean, clean” and store used cloths and tissues separately for 72 hours prior to placing them in their general waste bins to help fight coronavirus (COVID-19).

All bin collections are continuing, with green general waste, blue recycling and brown garden waste pick-ups scheduled to take place on their usual days. Please place your bins out as normal.

There are no changes to existing bin collection days in 2020/21 (other than pre-planned bank holiday arrangements). 

The bulk of the city has received new bin calendars but due to the current situation we have not been able to complete distribution. We will look to restart deliveries as soon as it is safe to do so.

Find out more about what to do with your rubbish during the outbreak on our Waste Disposal Advice page.

And to check which day your bin is collected use our online My Neighbourhood system.

Household Waste & Recycling Centres

Following Government advice to minimise unnecessary journeys and to comply with social distancing measures all of our Household Waste & Recycling Centres are closed until further notice.

Please store your rubbish appropriately until it can be disposed of correctly. 

For more information on reducing the amount of rubbish you create, visit our Food Waste page.

Pest control

Due to current circumstances we are only able to accept pest control bookings for the treatment of rats, mice and cockroaches.

YHN properties can also still book for the treatment of bedbugs.

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

Other environmental services

Grass cutting and shrub bed maintenance has ceased until further notice.

Highways 

Construction sites for Haddricks Mill and smaller roadworks schemes have been shutdown to allow staff to be reallocated to other essential services.

Housing

Housing Advice Centre 

Newcastle City Council’s Housing Advice Centre will not be open for face-to-face advice until further notice.

However staff continue to provide advice by calling 0191 277 1712 or 0191 277 1716or 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 about the support available visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/homeless

Your Homes Newcastle 

YHN housing and customer service staff are delivering services as usual and they can be contacted directly by phone or email. 

Only emergency repairs are being carried out at this time. They can be reported by calling the enquiry centre or visiting the website www.yhn.org.uk 

Licensing

Taxi licensing service

All face-to-face appointments for applications for private hire and Hackney carriage licences are suspended until further notice, along with all interview assessments.

The licensing office and test station facility at Newington Road East is also closed and will re-open when normal service resumes on the advice and guidance from the government and Public Health England.

For existing licensees who are due for renewal during this period, temporary exemption certificates will allow them to continue to work in the absence of renewed permissions, identification and vehicle markings. However, the exemption certificate will only be issued to those existing licensees who reply and return renewal forms which have been e-mailed out to them.

For any taxi licensing enquiries, please email licensingnewingtonroad@newcastle.gov.uk.

Registration and bereavement services

Births

There will be no birth registrations for the next three weeks, at which time the situation will be reviewed.

Registrations can be done at a later date.

Marriages

Under government measures, no weddings will take place. 

Any ceremonies booked will receive a full refund.

Please contact registrars@newcastle.gov.uk for further information.

Deaths

As of Monday 30 March all death and still-birth registrations will be carried out, by appointment, over the phone.

Informants should continue to make a registration appointment in the usual way – by phoning 0191 2787878 - and asking for Registrars. The process will be explained fully at the time of making an 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

Only immediate family are allowed to attend funerals, with no more than 20 mourners allowed.

The council offices at West Road Cemetery are now closed and additional cleaning is taking place between funerals.

There will be no public access to the book of condolences at the Crematorium.

Funeral directors are requested to scan and e-mail documents where possible and drop off statutory documentation to a central point for collection. 

Cremation and grave memorial applications will not be processed at this time. 

Please contact bereavementservices@newcastle.gov.uk for more information.

Certificates

Requests for copies of birth, death and marriage certificates can be made via www.newcastle.gov.uk/copycertificate, however we will be dealing with urgent requests only.

Applications for copies of certificates can also be made to the General Register Office via their online application form www.newcastle.gov.uk/registeroffice

Citizenship ceremonies

Customers would normally be expected to book their citizenship ceremony within three months of being sent an invitation from the Home Office.

Due to the current pandemic circumstances UKVI have extended this period to six months and will keep this under constant review. Customers should be advised that no adverse decisions will be made on applications because of delays caused by Coronavirus.

EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme ID Verification Service has been suspended until further notice.

Parks and leisure 

Parks remain open for brief exercise, but all play areas are closed. 

Social events, sports and gatherings

Last week, the Government ordered certain businesses - including pubs, cinemas and theatres - to close. The Government is now extending this requirement to a further set of businesses and other venues, including:

● all non-essential retail stores - this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.

● libraries, community centres, and youth centres.

● indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.

● communal spaces within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.

● places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.

● hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers).

Schools

Schools remain open across Newcastle for children who are deemed vulnerable or those of key workers who genuinely need a place.

So far that has seen approximately 1,100 children attended 83 schools across the city.

Social care 

Home visits continue following Public Health England guidelines 

All adult care centres are open and are following Public Health England guidelines, however some are closed to visitors.

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