I would like to reassure everyone who lives, works and studies in Barnet that all council services are currently operating as usual.
Message from the Leader: COVID-19 update
The immediate priority is for you to stay safe and prevent the spread of infection. You’ll find the government’s latest guidance below my message.
We know this is very tough time for our residents and businesses. We’re committed to a fast, practical, common-sense response and are looking across our services at ways we can help people over the coming weeks and months.
We have been heartened to see others step up too – this is the Barnet community at its best. We’re working closely with our partners in the voluntary and community sector to ensure that the council supports and enhances everything they’re doing. Some of our neighbours will need our support at this time so please do look out for others. We will work with charities and community groups to ensure the vulnerable have food and assistance.
This is a fast-moving situation and we do expect that there will be disruption to some services as staff are deployed to the most critical functions.
The best way to keep up with our current position is to visit the dedicated COVID-19 web page we have set up. We will be sending newsletters more frequently at this time as new developments happen. You can also keep up to date via Twitter and Facebook.
Supporting vulnerable residents is a priority, and our services – including adult social care and children’s services – have well developed plans to ensure that they continue to operate and serve those most in need. We have been notified by government that additional financial resources will be provided to the council to support vulnerable residents. We will provide more information on this once we receive it.
We will provide regular information on any changes to waste collection and advice on what to do.
We are also working with our local NHS partners, the police and public amenities like libraries and sports centres to ensure that Barnet is prepared as we do our part to prevent the spread of the virus.
For Barnet’s businesses, we are awaiting more details and guidance from government on the various reliefs and grants it announced, with guidance on the rates holiday expected by Friday 20 March. Here is the government's current guidance.
When we have more details we will share them as soon as possible, with the onus on the council to make the process as smooth as possible.
Dan Thomas, Leader of Barnet Council
Government advice on stopping the spread of COVID-19
All residents are encouraged to take steps to avoid catching or spreading the virus. The advice from Public Health England (PHE) is to follow these steps:
- Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
- To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
- Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
What to do if you feel unwell
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. If you have these symptoms, however mild, the advice is to stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of COVID-19, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
For more information about the COVID-19 virus, its symptoms and current advice please visit the Government’s website.
Information and advice is changing quickly. We will keep residents updated via our web page dedicated to COVID-19, as well as our e-newsletter.
Sign up to receive the latest information and advice from Barnet Council via My Account and please encourage friends and family to do the same.