COVID-19: For all the latest information on Coronavirus, please click here
To contact the Coronavirus Business Support Helpline call 01642 662777 or email open 24/7.


The Latest Government Restrictions in the North-East

Please be aware that the further lockdown measures in North-East England announced by Government on September 17 DO NOT apply to the Tees Valley. The rules affect Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and the County Durham council area however Tees Valley’s five boroughs – Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees – remain unaffected.

Test & Trace

Government has launched a Test & Trace service to help stop the spread of the virus. It provides testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) to find out if they have the virus.

It gets in touch with anyone who has had a positive test result to help them share information about any close recent contacts they have had. It alerts those contacts, where necessary, and notifies them they need to self-isolate from 14 days since their last contact with the infected person

For more information, click here.

For guidance for individuals who have been contacted by Test & Trace as they have been in contact with an infected person, click here.

You can ask for a test via the NHS website here. You can also be tested if you are a frontline health or social care worker whether exhibiting symptoms or not. For more information, click here.

Getting Out and About

Action to suppress the virus is vital to protect each other. To do so, we must:

  • Keep washing out hands regularly
  • Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
  • Stay at least 2 metres apart, or one metre or more with a face covering or other precautions

From Monday 14 September, you must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes. See refreshed guidance by clicking here.

For an FAQ on what you can and can’t do, click here.

More guidance on spending time outdoors can be found by clicking here.

More guidance on social distancing can be found here.

What do to if you are ill

Stay at home if you have either a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or if your senses of smell and taste have been lost or changed. If you have symptoms, stay at home for seven days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms. If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days

Do not go to a GP, surgery or pharmacy and there is no need to call 111. To apply for a test, visit the NHS website by clicking here. Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. This can be found by clicking here.

There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including wash your hands more often; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands; clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home.

A new Coronavirus Status Checker is asking members of the public with potential symptoms to answer a short series of questions to help the NHS coordinate its response and build up data on the outbreak

The survey can be accessed on the NHS website at

Frequently Asked Questions 

My employer wants me to come to work even though I feel ill, what should I do?

  • Employees should take time off work if they are ill. Government is clear that employers should support their staff’s welfare, especially during an extended response

Will my employer be obliged to pay me while I stay at home?

  • Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by coronavirus.

How can I prove to my employer that I need to be off work and self-isolated for more than seven days?

  • Government has launched an online isolation notes service to provide employees with evidence for sickness absence should their self-isolation last for more than seven days. It can be accessed via the online 111 service or

What about if I have a zero hours contract?

What if the whole family has to stay at home and there’s no income coming in?

  • If no one is getting Statutory Sick Pay, the family can apply for Universal Credit. Click here.

Can I still go to the pub/cinema/theatre/parties?

For an FAQ on what you can and can’t do, click here.

More guidance on spending time outdoors can be found by clicking here.

More guidance on social distancing can be found here.

What do I do if I can’t pay my electricity bill or top up my prepayment?

  • Government has introduced measures to support energy customers in financial distress, with immediate effect. Please contact your energy supplier to discuss options of support.

Do I need to send my child to school?

  • Schools and workplaces are now being encouraged to reopen with Covid-19 Secure measures in place following the coronavirus pandemic.

Useful Contact Numbers:

Business Support & Ventilators: 0300 456 3565
HMRC: 0800 015 9559
Universal Credit: 0800 328 5644
School Closures: 0800 046 8687
NHS: 111 (in an emergency call 999)
Darlington (general) 01325 406111        
Children social care: 01325 406222
Benefits: 01325 405444
Council Tax: 01325 405555
Business Rates: 01325 405666
Transport: 01325 405222
Hartlepool (general): 01429 266522
Business Support: 01429 867677
Welfare Support: 01429 284284
Children’s Hub: 01429 284284
Free School Meals: 01429 284188
Council Tax: 01429 284277
Middlesbrough (general): 01642 726001 
Business Enterprise: 01642 528384
Council Tax: 01642 726006
Business Rates: 01642 528384
South Tees Multi-Agency Children’s Hub: 01642 130700 or 01642 726319
Universal Credit: 0800 328 5644
Adult Social Care: 01642 065070
Redcar & Cleveland (general): 01642 774774
Council Tax and Housing Benefit: 01642 774774
Free School Meals: 01642 771106
Housing Advice & Information/Housing Standards: 01287 612455
Adult Social Care: 07796 394602
Children’s Access Team (MACH): 01642 130700
Stockton on Tees (general):                  01642 393939  
Business & Enterprise team: 01642 528384
Business Rates: 01642 397108
Benefit service helpine: 01642 393829
Universal Credit Support: 0800 1448444
Community Transport: 01642 527117
Children’s Hub: 01642 130080
Children, Education and Adult Social Care: 01642 527764 or 01642 065070

To support you it may be necessary to request some personal information from you, any information you choose to share with us will be dealt with under our data protection policy which can be found here.