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Coronavirus information

We are in step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown restrictions. You can find out more about what this means by visiting the Government website.

As restrictions are lifted, please remember that COVID-19 case rates are high in our district and we must all think about our own risk and play our part in keeping ourselves and each other safe.

To help limit the spread of the virus, you should: 
  • Get both doses of vaccine without delay.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) you must self-isolate immediately and book a test by calling 119 or visiting

Changes to self-isolation rules

From 16 August, there are changes to who is required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

Who is exempt?

  • Fully vaccinated adults: those who received their final dose of an MHRA* approved vaccine in the UK vaccination programme, at least 14 days prior to contact with a positive case
  • Children and young people: those under the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • Clinical trial participants: those who have taken part in – or are currently taking part in – an MHRA approved Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial
  • Medical exemptions: those who can evidence that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons

*Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Who must self-isolate?

The following groups will still be required to self-isolate, should they be identified as a close contact of a positive COVD-19 PCR test:

  • People over 18 years and six months who have not received their COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Those who have not received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Those who have received their second dose within the last 14 days.
  • Those who have tested positive following a PCR test.
  • Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, whether or not they have been vaccinated. These staff must self-isolate and book a PCR test.

Advice for those who are exempt

Those who are exempt and are identified as close contacts will continue to be advised to take a PCR test, to detect the virus and variants of concern. Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status.

As double vaccinated people identified as close contacts are still at risk of being infected, we’re advising staff to consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and limiting contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. They will not be required to self-isolate while they wait for the results of the PCR test.

Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age in order to break onwards chains of transmission. Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms must self-isolate and get a PCR test, and remain in isolation until the result comes back.

The government expects and recommends that you should:

  • Consider your own risk and think of others
  • Get vaccinated
  • Limit the number of people you mix with who are not in your household. Where possible, people should meet people outdoors or in well-ventilated places. 
  • Wear face coverings in crowded, indoor settings. 
People who work from home are advised to return to work gradually. .You can find out more about work and financial support here. 

The Government will continue to keep key protections: 

  • symptomatic testing and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk
  • self-isolating when a person has tested positive
  • border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries, and for those people arriving from amber list countries, other than those UK residents fully vaccinated in the UK vaccine programme
  • encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use certification in high risk settings. The Government will work with organisations where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their
  • household to encourage use of certification. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating certification in certain venues at a later date


Vaccines are the best way to protect people from COVID-19 and have saved thousands of lives. Vaccinated people are less likely to be seriously unwell with COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it.

You can find out more about how to get your vaccine here.


Testing is important in our fight against the virus. Finding positive cases means that contacts can isolate, stopping the spread and reducing cases. You can find out more about our testing programme here.

Life events

There are no restrictions to life events as long as social distancing can be met.


On Monday 19 July 2021, seating capacity was increased to:

  • Pontefract Crematorium. 100 seats – 85 in main chapel; 15 on balcony. Due to limited ventilation in the waiting room this will remain closed.
  • Wakefield Crematorium. 87 seats – 80 in main chapel; 7 in the waiting room.

Capacity within both crematoria buildings is limited to seating only, with no standing in the chapels, waiting areas or foyer, so the above numbers are the maximum number of people are allowed into the respective buildings for a service.

People can still gather outside and speakers can continue to be put on. Please ensure you advise your guests about the specific seating capacity. Chairs are interlocked as before the pandemic and we request that they are not moved during the service.

The following risk control measures remain in place to ensure the safety of both mourners and staff:

  • Windows remain open where possible in the Chapels to ensure sufficient ventilation.
  • The entrance and Chapel doors remain open to allow additional ventilation. This is because it has been shown that the most effective way to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in an indoor setting is to open as many windows and doors as possible.
  • Whilst not mandatory, we strongly advise and request all attendees continue to wear a face covering whilst inside the buildings. We also request all funeral directors and celebrants continue to wear a face covering.
  • We continue to provide sanitising stations as mourners enter the buildings, and encourage all attendees to use them.
  • We have amended our cleaning regime between services to reflect the additional seating; but please note, we only have a limited ten minute period between services to sanitise and would be grateful if you could ensure services remain on time and do not overrun.
  • We have removed the barrier around the catafalque.
  • No hymn books will be available for use.
  • To ensure the ongoing safety of staff, the front offices at both crematoria will remain closed for access and we request that nobody other than staff enter these rooms. Staff will be available for Funeral Directors to confirm their service arrangements prior to the service commencing and for the collection of cremated remains but we would ask that people do not directly enter these offices.
  • Please advise your guests that they must still notify us if they know of anyone attending who has either tested positive for COVID-19 or who has been asked to self- isolate so that we can put in place appropriate arrangements.

We no longer need to collect contact details for track and trace.

Close contact

It is your choice to decide whether to maintain social distancing with close family and friends.

However, we urge caution about the risks that come with close personal contact such as hugging, as this remains a direct way of transmitting the disease. Our case rates remain high and we ask that you take steps to keep yourselves your loved ones safe. Please remember that some people are more vulnerable than others. People should make space for others to maintain social distancing if they want to.


The Government has set out how international travel can resume and has introduced a 'traffic light' system to categorise destinations as green, amber or red. Further guidance on the countries in each category and the quarantine arrangements in place for each can be found here.

The Government has updated travel guidance here.

Council services

Information on all changes to services can be found here.

For frequently asked questions click here.

For information on what financial support is available for businesses, click here

COVID tests 

There are two different types of COVID-19 testing available and it is important that you access the right one:

  1. Tests for people with symptoms (symptomatic testing or PCR); and

  2. Regular testing for people going out to work who don't have symptoms (symptom-free testing or LFT)

Money advice and support during coronavirus