We have plans in place to deal with the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the impact the virus will have on life in the city.
Our Public Health team is working in partnership with the NHS and Public Health England.
If you have any concerns about coronavirus, all the important official advice to help restrict its spread and how to deal with any infection can be found on the NHS website.
The following is a list of service alterations as a result of the COVID-19 virus.
As this is a rapidly-moving situation, please accept our apologies for any errors or omissions.
This page will be updated regularly to give the most accurate picture, so please keep checking back for updates.
Schools: Birmingham schools are closed except to very specific groups of pupils. These pupils are children with social workers or children of specified key workers who cannot stay at home safely and the children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) who are safest at school at this time. Other children with EHCPs are remaining at home. Now the number of children attending schools is known, schools are working with other schools and the local authority to group together and make the best use of resources.
Other schools/education issues: Home to school transport routes are continuing to run to schools where they are required. Any parents who no longer require transport should make their transport provider aware as soon as possible so that resources can be used as efficiently as possible for the children who are attending school.
Vulnerable children: Staffing reductions will mean that resources will be focused, with our partners, on a smaller number of the most vulnerable children in the city. If you are worried about a child, then please contact the Children’s Advice and Support Service as you normally would. Anyone concerned about a child can contact 0121 303 1888.
Adult Social Care: Adult Social care staff are working closely with NHS partners to manage the demand created by the COVID-19. We are continuously revising our Business Continuity Plans to ensure that emergency social care services are available to our local vulnerable citizens.
Care Providers: We are taking additional steps to ensure that care and support needs continue to be met for those citizens who are already in receipt of care in line with national guidance.
We are working closely with care providers to minimise the impact on citizen’s care and support. We would ask citizens to consider seeking support from their family, friends and local community networks where possible in the current unprecedented circumstances.
If staff shortages do occur in care provider services, they will prioritise those services to people for medication and safety reasons and we will take extra steps to assist them where possible.
Available care beds: We are working with Senior Leaders of NHS to find all available care beds in the Health & Social care market to identify and create capacity, in order to support hospital discharges. If a placement is required your Social Care or Health Workers will assist you with this.
If a Personal Assistant falls ill: Citizens are able to use other personal assistants without the need to contact Birmingham City Council. This could be a neighbour, someone else you know, or have recruited or a family member that does not usually live with you. If this is not possible, the council can increase your direct payments, to provide you with agency cover, until your personal assistant is able to offer care and support to you again. There always remains the option of suspending care and getting a commissioned service.
If you wish to have a commissioned service then please contact your Social Worker and request this. If you are unable to contact your nominated Social Worker then please ring Adult Social Care on 0121 3030 1234 and request for this change in your care provision.
Please follow the above advice and request for a commissioned service if you as a citizen are self – isolating and your PA is unable to deliver care as they have no Personal Protective Equipment PPE supplies.
Direct payments: PPE (Personal Protective Equipment): rsonal Assistants need to ring the supply line and ask them for any information and register themselves on their delivery rota. This service can also direct them to suppliers.
The National Supply Disruption line Tel: 0800 915 9964
Careline: Careline are providing an essential telecare service at the present time. This means that they will only install urgent telecare referrals via Carefirst for citizens that are being discharged from hospital. They will still provide a 24/7 emergency response service for any existing citizen who require emergency support.
Advice for Shared Lives Carers: No social visits to the homes will be permitted, unless under exceptional circumstances. The home staff will contact you if it is necessary to do so. If your contact number has changed, please email the home with the new contact number.
Difficulties in contacting the homes: Please avoid telephone calls to any residential or Nursing home as answering calls will put additional strain on the limited staffing resources. For contacts please look on the internet for the email details for the home, and request information via email. Birmingham City Council staff will not contact homes for people unless in very exceptional circumstances.
Day Care Centres: The following day care centres are now partially or completely closed. Some of the centres are providing alternative support such as home visits, hot meals drop off. Adults that attend the centres and their carers and families will have been notified directly by each centre.
|Age Concern Brookmeadow Court|
|Age Concern Wellington Court|
|Age Concern The Laurels|
|Age UK Community Centre|
|Age UK Oscott Seymour Centre|
|Age UK Village Court Day Centre|
|Age UK Onneley House Day Centre|
|Beetori Day Centre|
|Blanning Day Centre|
Birmingham centre for Art Therapies
|Balance day Centre based at Kenrick centre|
|Chinese Community Centre|
|Cotteridge Church Day Centre|
|Dolphin Healthcare Day Centre|
|Evergreen Care Home|
|Family Care Trust
|Holly Oaks Day Care Services CIC|
|Mackadown Day Centre|
|Masriq Challenge Resource Centre|
|Nightingales Day Centre|
|Resources For Autism|
|The Robin Centre|
Sense Day Services Birmingham
|St Marks Day Services|
Council run day centres that are now closed are listed below, Council staff will continue to support users with wellbeing calls and checks.
Elwood Day Centre
Ebrook Day Centre
Hockley Day Centre
Moseley Day Centre
Alderman Bowen Day Centre
Heartlands Day Centre
Harborne Day Centre
Beeches Gold Day Centre
Fairways Day Centre
This will be a very isolating time for many people. Please try to have contact using telephone calls, social media or other ways of using the internet to remain in contact.
If you have no one to be in contact with, please call 0121 303 1234 (the Adult and Communities contact number) and, if you are happy to, we will pass you details on to voluntary and community groups who are looking to support people from being isolated.
Meals/food services: There are many ways that food is getting to vulnerable people. Birmingham Council will be working to achieve that the right type of service goes to the right people. These could be food bank parcels, meals services or home support for the most vulnerable. This will be done in partnership with BVSC (the centre for Voluntary action).
To register for a food parcel online please visit: gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
Registrations will open on the 23rd March 2020. Parcels will be arranged within a week.
Any concerns, please email BVSC at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We would request that the families/friends who are able to, support those in social isolation at this time. Please leave food either in a porch, or wait until a person has opened a door and moved 2 metres from the door before entering and leaving the food.
For non vulnerable people, many restaurants and catering businesses are still operating take away/drive through services.
GP/Medical services: GP and medical services are now operating voice appointments or other alternatives to surgery appointments. This is to keep people safe, and to reduce the spread of the virus. Please do not contact them unless completely necessary to do so.
They are managing repeat prescriptions either online, or posting these into the surgery boxes. The most vulnerable can call in for these, if you have no one to do this for you. There are many people in communities offering to do this for those in isolation. Your social care worker can support you to link up to community offers in your area.
The surgery will send the prescriptions directly to chemists, for pick up. Many chemists are offering delivery to those in isolation. Please give plenty of notice for any prescriptions you require. This process will take at least 3 days.
If medical attention is required, Birmingham Council are working with partner agencies to ensure that those in isolation get the medical support, or any other support they require. This may be from a Doctor, Dentist, Social Worker, District Nurse, Occupational Therapist etc…
BCELS (Birmingham Community Equipment Loans Service): BCELS is currently fully operational to provide vital pieces of equipment to support hospital discharges, avoid admission and support the needs of Birmingham citizens. We are, however, prioritising orders for the most urgent so some citizens may find their equipment is not delivered in the allotted timescale. We will be operating over the weekend so changing from a 5 to 7-day service so citizens may find their equipment is delivered on the weekend. If citizens have any concerns or queries regarding community equipment, they should be signposted to Medequip on 0121 503 8850.
Waste collections (residential): Household waste and recycling collections are being carried out as scheduled as far as possible.
We apologise for any missed collections – the position is being closely monitored and reviewed daily and we will be taking into account the impact of school closures now they have begun.
From Tuesday 24 March, all garden waste subscribers should continue to present their brown-lid bin as normal, but to ensure the most reliable service possible, the garden waste may be mixed by the crew with your general household waste.
Anyone who has had COIVID-19 or has displayed symptoms should follow government guidance to tie and double-bag their waste – and wait 72-hours before disposing of it in their household bin.
Waste collections (bulky): New bookings suspended until further notice to redirect resources to domestic waste and recycling collections.
Household Recycling Centres (Tips): Closed until further notice.
Housing: Our priorities are responsive repairs, night security, caretaking, and the Housing Options service.
Homelessness support is a priority area for the council and so where capacity issues arise in homeless centres, we will be looking to divert staff from non-essential services across housing and the wider council to support this service.
We will be providing food parcels and daily checks to those self-isolating in temporary accommodation and B&Bs. We are also in contact with the schools to see how we can better support families in temporary accommodation at this time.
We are now providing the service for our Housing Options Centre in a different way. The centre will be closed to the public and moving to a telephone service. Additional capacity has been added to our phonelines to ensure everyone who needs help gets the support they need.
However, we are asking that if you have got somewhere safe to stay, please remain where you are. If you need advice or if you are about to become homeless, please call 0121 675 5779 and support will be available to you by phone.
Over the course of the last few weeks, we’ve been seeing a rise in domestic abuse cases. The Domestic Abuse Hub commissioned by us and run by Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid is now physically closed. However, it has moved to the same model as the Housing Options Centre and continued support is being provided through a telephone service that can be accessed on 0808 800 0028. We are asking that anyone who is suffering from domestic abuse gets in touch with us on that number as help and support is available and will remain so.
The Youth Hub run by St Basil’s is still operational on a limited and emergency basis.
Across the city we have seen capacity and support for rough sleepers and the homeless come under pressure as shelters and other providers are affected by Coronavirus and the need for employees to self-isolate. Fortunately, we have been able to secure 200 bed spaces for our most vulnerable to self-isolate. Holiday Inn has stepped forward to provide a proactive solution and will provide a dedicated section of the hotel where some of these individuals can be accommodated safely with no risk to their staff and other guests staying that the property.
The hotel will also be providing meals – this is making a huge difference and we would like to thank them for their support and for working collaboratively with us during this moment of uncertainty.
If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, please tell Street Link. Our commissioned provider, Trident Reach, has capacity to provide accommodation to any rough sleeper who needs it. Alongside finding bed spaces, we can also arrange transport to get them to the right place. This also applies to those with no recourse to public funding.
While SIFA Fireside has now temporarily closed, they continue to provide limited support services to rough sleepers and are working closely with BCC and other organisations like BVSC, who are coordinating our response with volunteers and community groups.
Repairs and Maintenance: If you are a tenant of Birmingham City Council, please note that our repairs and maintenance service is still operational. However, this is now being run on an emergency and urgent repairs basis only. Please report any repair in the same way which you would normally.
Additionally, all cleaning services in high-rise, low-rise and sheltered schemes will continue to operate with additional focus placed on communal areas.
Libraries: As of Monday 23 March, all Birmingham libraries are now closed.
No fines will be accumulated. Any fines accrued on loans taken from 1 February 2020 will be waived.
Library members can access ebooks through the council’s website
The library service at home and mobile library are both currently unavailable.
Adult Education: All Adult Education centres are closed for the foreseeable future. Classes are continuing online and through other means of flexible learning. Teachers are in contact with learners and supporting them with accessing resources. Birmingham Adult Education Service is taking enrolments and course queries for Term 3 through its website and by telephone.
Youth services: All city council youth centres are now closed and no youth services are operating from the buildings. Outreach youth work has ceased at this time, but support is being provided to young people by telephone and social media. This will continue to be reviewed in line with government guidance.
Leisure centres: All local authority sites are now closed following the Government announcement on March 20. Direct Debit membership payments have been frozen for customers using our Sport & Leisure Health & Wellbeing Centres with effect from March 21 when the Leisure sites closed in line with Government advice/instruction.
Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park: Closed from 4pm on Friday 20 March.
Council meetings (all types from City council to Ward forums): All ward forums have been cancelled, and we are exploring alternative methods of circulating information to citizens. To check what meetings are scheduled and view agendas, visit the council’s meetings calendar.
Cabinet will continue to take place as scheduled. Members of the public and press will not be able to attend in person, but can still access meetings via the council’s live webcast service. http://civico.net/birmingham/
Planning Committee on Thursday (March 26) has been cancelled.
The full City Council meeting on April 7 has been cancelled.
Street Café Licence renewals: Given the Government advice on social distancing measures, we have declared a moratorium on pavement café licence fees from the date of renewal.
No new licences or renewals of existing licences will be processed until such time as the Government relaxes its advice restricting social gathering in small groups.
Lord Mayor’s engagements: The diaries of the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor have been cleared for the foreseeable future, until further notice. The Lord Mayor’s Fun Day (July 5) will not go ahead.
Neighbourhood advice services: Erdington and Northfield advice centres are closed and a telephone service is being delivered instead.
Please contact the BCC Corporate Contact Centre on 0121 216 3030. The council also has a contract with a number of third sector advice providers to deliver welfare benefits and debt advice. Again, these have also moved to telephone assistance with immediate effect.
The relevant telephone numbers for our third sector partners are:
Citizens Advice Birmingham – 03444 77 1010 or complete the enquiry form available on the CAB website
Birmingham Settlement – 0121 250 0765 or email: email@example.com
Transport: As per the Government’s directive, please only use public transport when absolutely essential.
This means people should only use trains, buses and trams for getting essential food and vital medicine supplies, travelling to work – only if you are a key worker and unable to work from home, and travelling to school if your carer(s)/parent(s) are key workers. People are being urged to cycle or walk where possible.
Anyone who is travelling via any means should ensure they are maintaining social distancing (2m apart at all times) and regularly washing their hands for at least 20 seconds.
West Midlands Trains have been running a reduced timetable since Monday 23 March which will remain in place until further notice. More information: https://www.westmidlandsrailway.co.uk/coronavirus-travel-advice
Starting from the first service on Wednesday 25 March, there will be a reduced service on most bus routes. Enter your bus number on the National Express website to download the new timetable: https://nxbus.co.uk/west-midlands/information/service-changes/coronavirus-timetable-information-update
More information: https://www.networkwestmidlands.com/plan-your-journey/network-overview/
Other travel updates:
- Swift direct debits can be cancelled now and resumed later with a month’s free travel.
- West Midlands Trains are waiving the admin fee on cancelled travel
- Peak time restrictions for concessionary bus passes lifted from March 19 (allows travel before 9.30am).
Parking enforcement: We are providing extra support to key workers who are continuing to travel and work across the City. We are giving them more flexibility over where they park, by suspending pay and display fees for both on and off-street parking.
Civil Enforcement Officers will still be in operation but focusing on dangerous and obstructive parking to maintain road safety and ensure essential supplies and services can get through. Officers will also try to assist key workers, who are helping unwell and vulnerable people, wherever possible.
We will continue to monitor these arrangements and changes may need to be made at short notice, including going back to normal enforcement. Further updates will be provided via the COVID-19 updates on the Birmingham City Council website.
Bereavement services: Following national guidance, where funerals are taking place, attendance will be reduced to six people, consisting of the immediate family only. No person diagnosed as suffering from Covid-19 is permitted to attend a funeral, until they have been confirmed as recovered. Services will be a maximum of 30 minutes and funeral directors will be able to assist with the rules about social distancing. We understand that this is an extreme measure, however, it is imperative that the necessary precautions be taken to stop the spread of the virus.
With this in mind, we welcome the recording of funerals and are working closely with funeral directors to implement a live streaming service. Should the family wish for this to be used, it will be an available option for any wider family members, friends or loved ones who wish to be a part of the funeral.
Birmingham City Council will ensure that the choice of funeral requested will be adhered to in line with religious beliefs.
In addition to this, access to all cemeteries and crematoria in Birmingham will be closed to the public. This is due to an increased number of people that have been congregating at cemeteries in groups and the need to observe social distancing.
Register Office: Due to the Government directive to minimise social contact, no appointments to give notice of marriage or civil partnership will be taking place until the restrictions are lifted. Anyone who has an appointment booked will be able to re-book once restrictions are lifted.
Likewise, no ceremonies will take place. Again, anyone who has a ceremony booked will be able to re-book once restrictions are lifted.
Appointments to register a death that have already been booked will be going ahead. Only one informant can attend the appointment. You can still make an appointment to register a death please use the contact form and we will get back to you.
No appointments to register births will be taking place at this time. Anyone who has an appointment booked will be able to re-book once restrictions are lifted.
Citizenship ceremonies: Due to the Government directive to cancel public gatherings no further citizenship ceremonies will be taking place until further notice. Once we have received instruction from the home office, we will contact all new citizens to inform them of new arrangements.
If you would like to be kept informed by email please send a message which includes your Home Office Reference number to Citizenship.Ceremonies@birmingham.gov.uk
Licensing: The reception at Phoenix House in Valepits Road, Garretts Green is closed to the public and, as per advice from central government, all available licensing staff are working from home. New licence applications are not currently being accepted, as our priority is staying on top of renewals of existing licences. In addition, a range of measures have been put in place to ensure business continuity for Hackney Carriage/Private Hire licence queries and procedures, and our Taxi and private hire bulletin page will give you more information on all aspects of the changes.
Pest control: Pest Control have had to reduce their services due to a lack of available pest control officers. Rats inside properties are priority, and then rats in gardens of domestic premises. We have stopped undertaking pest control sprays for bed bugs and cockroaches (which is a paid for service).
Environmental Health – Food Deliveries and Takeaway: We are aware that, in light of the takeaway or delivery service when this was not previously offered. Whilst Birmingham City Council would wish to support this, clearly the method of operation has changed, and appropriate new hygiene precautions may need to be introduced. Officers in Environmental Health are available to provide specific advice and guidance to food business operators by telephone or email, in addition we have general information that can be provided electronically, and links to further advice.
We are also particularly interested in any non-food business that is now providing a food offering, to determine that all relevant hygiene rules are being followed.
Public toilets: The city’s “superloos” are being closed and secured for the foreseeable future. This is on the advice of our contractor JC Decaux who have been working closely with government and taking on board lessons learned from other European cities.
Parks: Any facility that compromises people’s ability to maintain a safe 2m distance is being closed, wherever possible. These closures will be fully in place by the end of Tuesday 24 March. All events have also been cancelled until further notice.
The parks themselves remain open and people are encouraged to socially distance whenever in them.
Note: maintenance activity is continuing in parks with grass cuts, safety inspections etc taking place to ensure park users can visit the sites to keep fit and active in a safe manner.
Golf courses: Mytime Active are contracted to operate and manage golf courses on behalf of the Council. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, the following golf courses will be closed down today (24 March):
- Pype Hayes Golf Course
- Hatchford Brook Golf Course
- Lickey Hills Golf Course
- Boldmere Golf Course
- Cocks Moors Woods Golf Course
- Harborne Church Farm Golf course
Hilltop Golf Course is already closed for redevelopment.
Markets: All Bullring markets are now closed.
Complaints, Freedom of Information Requests, Subject Access Requests, Performance Data Requests to Birmingham City Council: We are working to ensure that business critical services are maintained at this time which means that normal reporting and decision-making rules have changed for the next three months.
Please be assured that if you have submitted a complaint or request for information this will be responded to in due course, however, we cannot guarantee the response timeframes as published on our website.
Council Tax Hardship Fund: BCC has been allocated £17m through the Government’s COVID-19 Hardship Fund to deliver relief to those who are struggling to make council tax payments in the current economic climate. Details of how this will be allocated and the amount of relief available to eligible household are currently being discussed and details will be updated in due course.