Coronavirus - advice and information
Get tested if you have symptoms
You must get a Covid-19 test if you have the following symptoms:
- a new, continuous cough
- a lack of or change in your sense of taste or smell
- a high temperature
You can also choose to get a Covid-19 test if you have the following symptoms:
- aches and pains
- feeling very tired for no good reason
- sore throat
- runny nose
- tummy ache in children.
Get a rapid test
Everyone is encouraged to use a rapid home test twice a week - find out more about rapid testing.
Stay at home if you are told to self isolate
The rules on self-isolation changed on 16 August 2021.
If someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:
- you're fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
- you're under 18 years, 6 months old
- you're taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
- you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Even if you do not have symptoms, you should still:
- get a PCR test on GOV.UK to check if you have COVID-19
- follow advice on how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19
- consider limiting contact with people who are at higher risk from COVID-19
Please remember - you must still self-isolate if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or if you have tested positive regardless of your vaccine status. You must also self-isolate if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
The Government has brought in fines – starting at £1,000 – for people who fail to self-isolate when they are instructed to.
If you are told you must self-isolate because you’ve tested positive for Covid-19 or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has (and you are not double vaccinated or don't need to self-isolate as you are under 18 years and six months old), that means:
- no trips to the shops
- no walks or exercising in the park
- no meeting up with friends.
It's so important to stay at home to protect others and stop the spread of the virus if you are told you must self-isolate. For people on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result, you are able to apply for a payment of £500 if you are required by law to self-isolate.
COVID-19 is a potentially fatal illness. Everyone must do what they can to avoid becoming infected and passing on the virus to others. Make sure you keep your distance from others, wash your hands regularly and wear a face covering.
Any person who has symptoms or tests positive must self-isolate and should maintain their distance from others in the household. If you have symptoms, however mild, get tested immediately by booking a test online or calling 119.
All businesses have a responsibility to ensure COVID-19 safety measures are followed such as social distancing and face coverings where appropriate. Businesses not following the rules face being shut down. Customers are advised only to use businesses that are following the rules. Any concerns can be reported to the council's public health team.
We really need people to follow this important advice to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Check out the Healthy Sandwell website for advice for businesses and reporting a Covid-19 concern.
Sign up to get regular email updates from the council on Covid-19 and other topics.
Advice on care home visits has changed. To find out more about care home visits, please visit the government website.
Care home residents are some of the most vulnerable in the community and care home outbreaks present a significant risk of severe illness and death.
Further announcements will be made by the council as the situation develops.
Anyone in need of urgent help or assistance should visit our emergency help webpage. If you urgently need help or support and you have no family or neighbours to help you, please call 0121 569 2266 (option 2).
Keep up to date with the latest Sandwell news
The tip at Shidas Lane is open every day, 8am - 4pm - booking only
Read about changes to the tip's operation before you go. You must book an appointment to visit the tip. Book your appointment now.
Cemeteries are open from 9am to 7pm each day.
Funerals, weddings and register office appointments
Support if you're hearing impaired
Our friends Sandwell Deaf Community Association are continuing to deliver their services - contact them on 07885 913225 or by email email@example.com
Leisure centres and gyms
Trading standards advice
We've issued advice from our trading standards team on scams and price hiking.
- Do not open the door to anyone claiming to offer testing for coronavirus.
- Do not to give money to strangers knocking doors and asking for cash upfront to do shopping for people who are self-isolating. Ask a family member, friend or neighbour, or seek help if you are self-isolating without anyone to help.
- Stay alert to email scams – such as those asking you to renew their TV Licence online.
For more information visit the Coronavirus scams webpage.
Help for businesses
You'll also find details of help for businesses on our Think Sandwell website.
Government coronavirus advice
Make sure you check our coronavirus homepage for links to the latest information from the council and the NHS.
Please - if you are online use our online services to request something or report a problem. Create a MySandwell account and use it to keep track of your requests.
This frees up our phone lines to help people without access to the internet, who are among some of the most vulnerable.
Details of emergency help from the council
We've issued advice for people who have no family, friends or neighbours and who are in urgent need of support.
This guidance is for everyone. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). People who are at increased risk of severe illness should particularly follow the advice on social distancing.