Help prevent the spread of coronavirus in Swindon View in browser
Update from Steve Maddern, Director of Public Health

From next Monday (14 September), new Government rules come into force in England. It will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than six - unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble. The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, which could include issuing fines.

The new rule applies to people in private homes, indoors and outdoors, and places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and public outdoor spaces. It does not apply to schools and workplaces and in a number of other situations set out here.

The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including issuing fines (fixed penalty notice) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

Please make time to check these frequently asked questions if you’re in any doubt about what you need to do to keep yourself and others safe.

In the Government’s latest national watchlist report published today, reflecting case numbers and infection rate data up to the week ending 6 September, Swindon moved down to become an 'area of concern’. While things continue to move in the right direction in terms of the latest data that we monitor daily, the national situation and announcements this week, remind us all that we cannot be complacent and let our guard down.

Applying the guidance in our daily lives will remain critical for all of us, for the foreseeable future. Thank you for continuing to play your part.

Latest government updates

This week, a number of changes were made to national coronavirus guidelines, including the removal of several countries from the travel corridor list.

From Monday, 14 September:

  • You must not meet socially with people from other households in groups of more than six, indoors or outdoors. Find out more here.
  • From 4am on Saturday, 12 September 2020, people arriving in England from Portugal (apart from the Azores and Madeira), Hungary, French Polynesia and Réunion will need to self-isolate for two weeks.

Visit the Government website for more information on what you can and can't do, including links to the latest travel advice.

Swindon's Bouncing Back

Times have been hard for our local economy recently; we know COVID-19 has made things challenging for everyone but Swindon’s bouncing back. 

Councils up and down the country play a key role in helping to support and shape their local economy and here’s some of the things we’re doing in Swindon:

  1. Supporting hospitality businesses to reopen safely and serve customers outdoors
  2. Passing on more than £30m in lifeline COVID-19 funding to local businesses
  3. Enhancing one-to-one wellbeing advice to local businesses
  4. Working with landlords and businesses across the borough to welcome people back safely
  5. Helping to fund £17.5 million upgrade of Junction 15 of the M4
  6. Paving the way for Zurich’s new state-of-the-art office
  7. Revitalising the town’s unique heritage
  8. Bidding for £55 million in government funding to invest in town centre regeneration, public transport improvements and digi-tech business workspace
  9. Facilitating new fibre broadband infrastructure
  10. Promoting and supporting Swindon’s tech businesses through the Tech Swindon initiative 

We’ll be sharing more of this work over the next few weeks on our social media accounts, or you can read more about how we support the local economy here. 

COVID-19 testing in Swindon

You may have seen reports that there are ongoing, national issues with the level of laboratory capacity to process COVID-19 tests – which is having a knock-on effect on the availability of sites for test bookings across England. This is being managed by the Government's Test and Trace programme.

We know that residents have been able to successfully book tests at both testing sites in Swindon, however there may be instances where residents try to book a test online and are not offered a test locally at a Swindon site. The Government advice is to try again later, as new test slots are added during the day.

Please note, testing capacity must be prioritised only for people experiencing coronavirus symptoms (rather than those who are asymptomatic wanting to test if they have coronavirus).

The mobile testing unit at the County Ground ends operation today (11 September). From tomorrow (Saturday, 12 September), a new mobile testing unit will be operational from the Council’s Civic Annexe on the Civic Campus, with the entrance from Beckhampton Street. Testing at the site will be bookable in the usual way - through the NHS online portal or by calling NHS 119.

Sharing Elaine's story with you

On 4 April this year, Elaine, who lives in Swindon, was admitted to Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with COVID-19. Her story is a reminder of how serious this virus can be, and why it is so important we all play our part to prevent it spreading in Swindon. By following government guidance, you can help keep your loved ones safe. 

We answer your COVID-19 questions

You may have seen some of the live Q&A sessions held on our Facebook page to answer your COVID-19 questions. Our next session will be on Tuesday (15 September) at 5pm. Leave your questions for Steve Maddern, our Director of Public Health, in advance and get a notification when the livestream starts here

Until then, why not re-watch our Facebook Live from a few weeks ago, when Steve was joined by Annette Perrington, our Director of Inclusion and Achievement to discuss the safe reopening of schools. Click the video above to watch. 

Whitworth Road partial closure

A short section of Whitworth Road is due to be closed for an initial period of three weeks as part of the £2.8m improvements at the Moonrakers junction. The closure will come into effect from next Monday (14 September) and will allow our contractors to begin the next phase of the scheme. The closure will also help to reduce the overall timescales of the project. For more information, sign up to our Moonrakers newsletter.

Are our services meeting your need?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we want to make sure our services meet the needs of our community as far as possible. We’re working on plans for things like health services, employment, social care and general support in the community. To help us do this, we've launched a survey and would welcome responses from as many residents as possible. There are just two weeks left until the survey closes, so please spare a few minutes to give us your views.


If you’ve been out and about in Swindon recently, you might have seen that we’ve teamed up with inSwindon BID to display 28 colourful lamppost banners across the town. On each of these, one side promotes the BID’s #ShineOnSwindon campaign, which supports local businesses, while the other side shares key public health messages and advice of what we all need to keep doing to stay safe.

inSwindon BID also unveiled a mural at the bus station last week as part of their #ShineOnSwindon campaign – read more about the mural experience here.

Other council news
  • On Wednesday (9 September), significant excavation and repair work started on the access road into popular Stanton Country Park.
  • Two popular paths in Swindon, Old Town railway path and Kingsdown Lane, are being improved to make it easier for people to walk and cycle.

Make sure you are following our social media channels to get the latest COVID-19 alerts as and when they happen

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