Use the links below to find the information you need
- Local coronavirus restrictions including Christmas
- Help accessing food, medicines and other support
- Help with your Council Tax
- Help paying your fuel and other essential bills
- Apply for a self-isolation payment
- Support for businesses
- Lateral flow testing for businesses and communities
- Funding support for community groups and charities
- Impact on our services
- Ways you can help
- List of businesses offering food takeaway or delivery
- Be aware of coronavirus scams
- Advice on looking after your physical and mental health
- Symptoms of coronavirus and advice on self-isolating
- Advice on face coverings
- Our response and recovery
- Download the NHS Covid-19 app - the fastest way to protect you and your loved ones
From 4 January 2021 you must stay at home to help control the spread of Covid-19, protect the NHS and save lives.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave your home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.
If you need help accessing food, medicines, financial advice or other types of support then please contact the organisations below.
- pdf Hardship Support and Advice (261 KB) . A list of local and national organisations supporting anyone in need. This includes help with clothing, counselling, financial support, food, housing, other support and general information and advice.
- Ready Steady Worcestershire provides information about food, activities and support available to families in Malvern Hills District during the school holidays.
- Here2Help is for anyone who is vulnerable and needs help but does not have family, friends and neighbours to support them. Fill in the online form and someone will get back to you shortly.
- Malvern Hills Good Neighbour Network provides details of local community support groups.
A £500 million hardship fund has been created to help vulnerable people pay their Council Tax. Visit our Benefits and Council Tax page for more information.
If you are in financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak then we would advise you to consider making a claim for Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Council Tax Support.
More information is available on the Government’s coronavirus and claiming benefits page.
You can also spread your Council Tax payments through to March next year.
The service is extremely busy at the moment so please bear with us if we cannot respond straight away.
If you are struggling to pay your fuel bills due to the impact of Covid-19 you may be able to apply for a Winter Warmer Fuel Voucher.
Fuel vouchers are available for families and households in Worcestershire on pre-payment meters, paying by Direct Debit, paying when billed or direct to a suppler, for example someone using LPG, oil or solid fuels.
You can apply for a Winter Warmer Fuel Voucher if:
- You receive Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit
- You have an annual household income, before tax, of £30,000 or less, have recently been made redundant, have been furloughed and are waiting to receive your first payment and don’t now when it will be, are self-employed and your income is unpredictable and/or you are waiting to apply for payment from the Government.
People can also be referred by a food bank.
The Government has issued advice to people struggling to pay essential bills because of the Covid-19 pandemic. You can also visit our money advice page for further help and support.
From Monday, 28 September 2020, you are required by law to self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace.
The Government has introduced a £500 support payment to help people on low incomes who have to self-isolate. We are responsible for making the payments.
New grant funding available for businesses affected by national Coronavirus restrictions. Read our Covid-19 information page for advice and business support.
Councils across Worcestershire are working together to roll out free of charge lateral flow testing to communities and businesses. The aim is to find people who are asymptomatic (do not have symptoms but are infected without knowing it). The focus will be on testing people who cannot work from home during the national lockdown. We will update this page when we have more information.
You can pay for a test from a private sector business for a charge. Such tests have been available nationally for some time, especially for people going on, or returning from, holidays.
The advice from central government is that people should do their own research into the business offering the test and the test itself before paying for a COVID-19 test. The Government has a list of people who have met criteria either for general testing or testing for those travelling for holidays but these businesses are not necessarily recommended by the Government.
Whilst these businesses are not recommended by public bodies like government or local authorities, this list may provide a helpful starting point for those wishing to pay for a test. If the provider you identify is not on the Government list, you may wish to question why this is the case. Alternatively, you may wish to wait until free testing becomes available locally, especially if you have no symptoms.
If you have any real concerns regarding anyone offering testing, you should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0800 223 1133 and details will be passed to Trading Standards who may need to refer the matter to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency.
Each week we are adding new sources of funding support available to community groups and charities who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak or who are working to support vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19. The latest sources include grants for voluntary and community organisations who provide mental health services, support for professional and recreational cricket clubs and funds to help low-income families.
Visit Support for community groups and charities page for more information.
- Our reception at the Council House is closed. You can still use our online services or contact us by phone. If you urgently need to speak to someone face-to-face then appointments are available by calling 01684 862413. If the phone is not answered, please leave a message and we will get back to you within 1 working day.
- Children's play areas Malvern Hills District Council is responsible for are open. Our parks remain open but you must follow the rules on social distancing and household mixing.
- Leisure centres are closed.
- Public toilets are open.
- Tourist Information Centres are closed but are still available to contact by phone or email. Find out how to contact our Tourist Information Centres.
- Household Recycling Centres are open. These are run by Worcestershire County Council. Find out more about visiting a Household Recycling Centre during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Libraries (run by Worcestershire County Council) can still offer some limited services. Read more about using libraries during the coronavirus pandemic. You can download free audio books.
- Committee meetings are being held virtually.
- Our licensing functions have also been affected. Visit the Worcestershire Regulatory Services website for more information.
We are still carrying out grass cutting but we are focusing on areas that are being used for exercise such as Priory Park. Other areas will be cut depending on staffing.
Waste and Recycling
We have a plan in place to maintain our waste and recycling collections throughout the duration of the outbreak.
In order to do this we may need to stop other services such as litter picking, street cleaning, emptying public litter bins, clearing fly-tips etc. This will depend on how many staff we have off sick or self-isolating at any one time. We will update this page as and when we need to implement this plan.
You can also sign up to our email alerts service to receive the latest information to your inbox.
Please do not use bonfires as a way of disposing of garden waste during the outbreak. Not only is it anti-social, as smoke could get into somebody’s home, it could also cause breathing issues or prevent someone using their garden for exercise. You could also be committing an offence and they can easily get out of hand resulting in pressure on the fire service.
Please be considerate to your neighbours and consider alternative ways to dispose of your garden waste:
- Leave your grass cuttings on the lawn, it will help keep moisture in during warm weather
- Compost your garden waste. You can buy a bin at www.getcomposting.com
- Sign up for our paid for garden waste service
- Store your waste if you can until later in the year. Some Household Recycling Centres will be open again from Monday, 11 May but restrictions are in place. Find out more about visiting a Household Recycling Centre during the coronavirus outbreak.
Do not use bonfires to dispose of non-garden waste (furniture, general household rubbish etc).
Our priority during the Covid-19 outbreak is to help those who are in emergency need and at risk of homelessness.
If you are renting and are worried about making payment, please speak to your landlord or Housing Association as soon as possible. The Government has introduced additional protections for renters to ensure they cannot be evicted as a result of hardship caused by the outbreak.
If you have issues with your home, like a serious defect such as a broken boiler, you should speak to your landlord first. Our officers are still available to help resolve issues with defects but in most cases will only be able to do so over the phone.
You can find more information on our Housing pages.
The Government has asked us to maintain the planning system as far as possible.
There may be a delay to registering and approving planning applications due to staff absence caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. Please bear with us during this period.
All Planning Committee meetings are being held virtually. See our Planning Committee and Meetings page for more information.
If you want to help volunteer to deliver food and supplies to elderly and vulnerable people then please complete the Offer of Help form on the Worcestershire County Council website.
There are five ways you can help your community:
Take care of yourself and stay healthy – wash your hands and follow advice on self-isolation or social distancing
Call, chat and check – swap phone numbers with your immediate neighbours, check on neighbours and loved ones - particularly if they are vulnerable - help provide them with food and other essentials, alert relevant organisations if you are concerned about their welfare
Be kind and think of others – Don’t bulk buy. There are plenty of supplies for everyone if people just buy what they need. Use local community information groups on social media to share information, offer surplus supplies of essentials to those in need and avoid wasting food.
Get online to stay in touch – use your phone, video calling and social media to stay in touch with people, especially if you are self isolating
Share accurate advice and information – do not speculate or scaremonger. It only heightens people’s anxiety. Use reputable news sources as a source of information, the Government website or the NHS website.
For more help and advice visit the Here 2 Help website.
Our councillors are also working hard in their community to support people. Find your local councillor by using our postcode search.
Businesses offering food takeaway and delivery
There are lots of scams related to coronavirus circulating at the moment. Some involve fake calls, texts, emails and social media messages. West Mercia Police have issued advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of a coronavirus scam.
Social workers are also reporting a number of suspicious volunteers targeting vulnerable people in the county.
Worcestershire County Council's advice is to take normal precautions but don’t be afraid to accept offers of help from those you know and trust.
We are reminding people to follow normal checks to make sure their volunteer helpers are genuine.
We advise people ask to see identification, and not allow anyone in their homes unless they are certain they are genuine.
Advice on looking after your physical and mental health
We have posted some challenges on the Malvern Hills District Council Youtube channel
You can also find links to a number of different workouts on the Sport England website
Every Mind Matters has advice on looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
Symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19)?
Covid-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
You should stay at home if you have either:
A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
A loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
Do not leave your home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms and get a test.
Further guidance can be found using the links below:
- What to do if you have symptoms?
- Advice on self-isolating
- Worcestershire County Council coronavirus information page
From 8 August 2020, you must legally wear face coverings in England in most indoor settings. Further changes were announced on 22 September 2020.
Our response and recovery
National and local government are working together with the NHS to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and keep people safe.
We have produced an eight point plan to help guide our response to the outbreak. You can also read our pdf recovery framework to help residents, businesses and communities to rebuild. (2.11 MB)
1 To preserve life and protect vulnerable groups by working with and supporting our partners (NHS, Public Health England, adult social care, other emergency services, community and voluntary sector)
2 Contribute to national actions to help delay the spread of the virus
3 Ensure continued delivery of our critical services particularly those vital to supporting the vulnerable and limiting the spread of the virus. Critical services are: Supporting the elderly and vulnerable, waste collections, revenue, benefits and welfare, housing, homelessness and temporary accommodation, customer services, WRS, dangerous structures and dangerous trees.
4 Support NHS and Public Health communication campaigns to ensure our communities are kept informed of the latest information and to act as a trusted source of information
5 To offer advice, support and appropriate signposting to our residents facing financial hardship as a result of the outbreak
6 To implement government measures to support businesses as soon as possible, to continue to monitor the impact on the local economy and to respond appropriately
7 Continue to provide targeted support to help those sleeping rough and at risk of homelessness as a result of the outbreak
8 To put political differences aside and work together to help our district meet the challenges it faces