Council services will continue to be delivered for the people of South Tyneside despite the current lockdown.
South Tyneside Council bosses are reassuring residents that they are open for business - providing essential and support services for the Borough.
Almost all council services are running as normal with the exception of leisure centres which continue to be closed.
In line with the Government's announcement, all of South Tyneside's leisure facilities; Haven Point, Hebburn Central, Jarrow Community Pool, Jarrow Focus, Monkton Stadium, Simonside Climbing Wall and Temple Park Centre will have to stay closed until further notice. All duo and multi-activity leisure memberships have been frozen. All grassroots football and athletics will also stop during the lockdown period.
Leisure members can however continue to take advantage of a 60-day free trial of the virtual Les Mills fitness classes. Les Mills on Demand enables people to work out in the comfort of their own home while still being led by some of the world's best instructors. (Terms and conditions apply). For details visit Leisure centres.
Libraries also continue to operate with a limited service from The Word in South Shields and Jarrow Focus sites only. Library users will still be able to pre-order books over the phone for collection and reserve access to libraries' public computers for essential use, on a strict appointment-only basis. The Home Readers Service will continue with contact free delivery.
Library users will be able to hold onto books until restrictions are lifted. No new fines will be implemented at this time. Library users can also still access the range of online library services including the complete collection of eBooks in South Tyneside's Digital Library. Full details of the Council's Library Service is available at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/libraries
Schools across South Tyneside will be closed to most pupils apart from for vulnerable children or those of critical workers. Parents and carers are advised to speak to their school direct to make necessary arrangements.
All Stanley day care centres are open as normal. Parents with any queries are asked to contact the day care manager by phone. All Children centres are closed to the general public. Outreach services are continuing and individual families will be contacted by their identified outreach officer. For all other queries, parents are advised to contact their nearest children centre by phone. A program of online activities is in development.
Skills South Tyneside will be adopting remote working throughout the lockdown period to ensure learning continues for those on courses.
Parks, beaches, public toilets and playgrounds will remain open. Car parks will also remain open. However, in accordance with the guidance, people are asked to minimise travel, stay local and take exercise close to home, wherever possible.
At present waste services continue as normal. The Recycling Village in South Shields is open as usual from 8am - 6pm every day this week, and from 9am - 6pm, from Monday 11 January onwards. The 'Even Plate, Even Date / Odd Plate, Odd Date' system will remain in place. Residents are advised to make essential journeys only.
Business centres also remain open, as will the Council's Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000. Face-to-face Customer Services at South Shields and Jarrow town halls will also continue, although residents are advised to use online or phone services wherever possible.
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council said: "As a Council we have been able to put new measures in place and have developed good working practices to enable us to continue providing services in a covid secure way. It means we're able to keep running 'business as usual' as much as possible and provide online alternatives to help people stay at home.
"As well as essential services we are providing support services to those who need them. This includes support for the Borough's most at risk residents, families experiencing hardship and the business community. I want to reassure the residents of South Tyneside that we are here for you and will continue to support you throughout this crisis."
The Borough's Covid-19 Community Support hub has been stepped up to assist those who are identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and have no other means of support as well as those isolated and struggling with their wellbeing. The service is available on freephone 0800 028 2955.
The Hardship Fund continues to support residents experiencing financial crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic and can be reached on freephone 0800 028 4186.
Victims of domestic abuse are reminded that support is still available throughout the pandemic. Anyone who feels that they, or someone they know, is in immediate danger should call 999 and ask for the police. Silent calls can be made to the police if it is not safe to speak - call 999 and then press 55.
A directory of services, guidance and personal safety planning advice can also be found at: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/35217/Domestic-violence-and-abuse-services-
Anyone worried about a vulnerable adult experiencing domestic abuse can contact the Let's Talk Team on (0191) 424 6000 or email LetsTalk@Southtyneside.gov.uk Concerns about a child experiencing domestic abuse can be raised with Children's Services (Integrated Safeguarding Intervention Team), on (0191) 424 5010. (Out of Hours/Emergency Duty Team (Adults and Children): (0191) 456 2093)
People facing homelessness in South Tyneside are urged to contact the Housing Options Service. Housing Options provides advice and assistance to those who are homeless, sleeping rough, fleeing domestic abuse or are unable to remain in their current home due to the crisis. The service is available on freephone 0800 141 2645 or via email Housing.Options@southtynesidehomes.org.uk
Advice and support is also available to help people manage their mental health during the pandemic with details of a wide range of services on the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk as well as advice from Public Health England's Every Mind Matters campaign available at www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
The Council urges everyone to continue following the rules around Hands, Face and Space as well as the current guidance on staying home and restrictions on households mixing. Residents are also encouraged to 'be a good neighbour' where they can, to check in with friends and families and those around them in their communities as we work together to keep people safe.
The Council's website is updated in real time and is the best source of information about any changes to local services. For updates on any service disruption or for details of the advice and support services available, visit South Tyneside Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/coronavirus or follow on social media: Facebook STynesideCouncil and on Twitter @STyne_Council
Information about the lockdown, including the guidance for individual services or business sectors, can be found on the Government website at www.gov.uk