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The Prime Minister has today set out the next steps in the easing of lockdown. See the press conference at Youtube: Prime Minister's Coronavirus press conference (10 May 2021) for details.

Between 4.00pm on Wednesday 12 May and 7.30am on Thursday 13 May, the following systems will be unavailable due to essential maintenance: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit overpayments service, our welfare assistance form and our test and trace payments form. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Advice if you're at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)

If you have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable you will receive a letter from the government telling you that you no longer to shield from 1 April.


We understand that this time of adjustment for people who have been shielding may be difficult. If you need any support now or in the future to help you adapt practically, physically or emotionally, our community hub can help you. 

To contact the hub, call 03000 260 260 or email

Although shielding is paused, you are recommended to continue to take extra precautions to protect yourself while the virus is spreading in our communities.

  • Until the social distancing rules are eased more widely, continue to keep the number of social interactions that you have low and try to reduce the amount of time you spend in places where you are unable to maintain social distancing.
  • Everyone is advised to continue to work from home where possible, but if you cannot work from home you should now attend your workplace. Your employer is required to take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. They should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work.
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable pupils and students should return to their school or other educational settings.

You must also continue to follow government guidance that is in place for everyone during the pandemic. This includes rules on mixing with people from other households, even if you have had your vaccination.

During continuing national restrictions, it is important that you contact your GP or healthcare provider if you need to. You should still travel to hospital and GP appointments unless told otherwise by your GP. If you need help to travel to an appointment, speak to your health care professional who will be able to arrange support.

Ask a question

If this page doesn't answer your question, you can use our COVID-19 general enquiry form and we will get back to you with a response as soon as possible.

Contact us
County Durham Together Community Hub
03000 260 260
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