The Government has announced a further national lockdown, and there are many questions and concerns about how the necessary government measures will affect us all and differ from previous tier restrictions. We’ll do our best to answer your questions, and keep this page updated with useful information.
What does a national lockdown mean?
Due to the rapid rise in coronavirus cases, the Government has instructed a national lockdown, this means that you must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
You are allowed to leave your home to:
- shop for basic necessities (for you or a vulnerable person)
- to go to work if you cannot do so from home
- exercise once a day with your household (or support bubble) or with one other person from another household, while following social distancing guidelines
- meet your support bubble
- seek medical assistance
- remove yourself from domestic abuse situation
Schools and colleges will only remain open for the children of keyworkers; all other children will learn from home until the February half term.
Hospitality establishments, such as bars, pubs, cafes, and restaurants must continue to remain closed except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services.
Essential shops can remain open, all non essential retail must remain closed and can only open for click and collect and delivery.
You can leave your home to exercise by yourself, with your household or support bubble, or with one other person from another household.
If you do have to leave home then please remember to wash your hands, cover your face and make space by leaving at least 2m.
Further information and guidance on the lockdown restrictions can be on the Government’s website.
Where can I find a list of which local shops/bars/eateries are open or offering deliveries?
We have a fantastic range of shops and despite the restrictions of lockdown, many of them will still be operating, offering online sales, local delivery, click and collect or telephone orders, take a look at our shopping guide.
If you’d like to support local businesses but still want your groceries delivered, look no further! There are a number of local, independent shops that offer deliveries and/or order & collect services – take a look at our local food delivery services page.
You can also find details of businesses that are delivering food and drink locally, those offering takeaways for collection in our Take Out to Help Out guide.
We’re regularly updating our directories on Discover Frome so please let us know if you are a business and would like us to include you in the listing.
I have been offered the vaccine, can I still get it during lockdown?
Yes, if you or a family member have been offered the vaccine through your GP then it is important that you attend the appointment. Please wait until you contacted by your GP, they will be in touch directly once you are eligible. Frome Community Drivers may be able to assist if you have trouble getting to your appointment, call them on 07596 591391. It is important that you still attend the second follow up vaccination too
Is Fair Frome still operating?
Yes, although opening hours and services may need to be altered and as the situation progresses. For up to date information please visit the Fair Frome website, call 01373 488578 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I help others?
Get to know your neighbours and offer help where needed. There are a number of local charities maybe looking for more help over the coming weeks and months including Active and in Touch and Fair Frome. There is also an online register of volunteers that you can add yourself to here
I have elderly relatives in Frome who may need help/support, but I’m too far away/in self-isolation, what help is available?
We are encouraging people to activate their support network in the first instance. Local group Active and in Touch offer a befriending service and are also co-ordinating a volunteer matching service to shop on behalf of a resident should they not have a support network and are isolating. Please send them an email to email@example.com with a name, contact information and a brief outline of the circumstances. Health Connections Mendip are also available for more local advice
I’m unable to leave home/self-isolating, how can I get food/prescriptions?
We are encouraging all Frome residents to get to know their neighbours and be aware of anyone in their street who may need help. Making contact with somebody near by is your best source of support in the immediate future. You may be able to sign up for the online prescription service here, and over on Frome Community Drivers website you can find details of how they are helping with prescription delivery or call 07596 591391.
I have symptoms, can I book a test locally?
A Covid Mobile Testing Unit operates in the car park next to the Cricket Club. The testing unit is open on Sunday, Monday and Thursdays from 10am – 4pm. Please note, that this is subject to change based on demand.
All vehicles must now enter and exit the test centre via Rodden Road entrance.
If you have symptoms and need a test, you will need to book this prior to arriving. Please do not just turn up as you will be turned away.
The Coronavirus symptoms are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
To book a test please visit the Government’s covid test page. As tests are currently in high demand, you may be allocated a home test or an alternative test centre further afield if there is no availability in Frome.
If you’re getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must self-isolate until you get your result. This also applies to anyone in your support bubble.
When and where do I have to wear a mask?
It is the law that people must wear a face covering on public transport and in shops & supermarkets, please look at the full list on the Government’s website.
Is the Town Council still operating?
Yes, we are although Council staff are working but from home where possible in line with government guidelines. this means the Town Hall is closed at this time.
I’m worried about maintaining good mental health for me and my family during this time, where can I find support?
Somerset County Council have a Coronavirus helpline that is manned 8am to 6pm every day. If you are in need of any help or support please call them on 0300 790 6275 or visit their website. They also have lots of information to help you look after yourself and those around you.
There are a range of groups and charities who are able to offer remote services to help you. Visit our Advice & Support for families page for a list of organisations who can help with a range of issues for families and individuals.
I am on a zero hours contract and have been laid off, what do I do?
You may be able to claim Universal Credit. To find out more and to check if you’re eligible visit www.gov.uk/housing-and-universal-credit or call 0800 328 5644. The Government website has guidance for employees.
I can’t pay my rent/mortgage, what do I do?
You may be eligible for universal credit to help pay your rent if you are unable to work/lose your job due to the Coronavirus. Please visit the Government website for more information: www.gov.uk/housing-and-universal-credit or call 0800 328 5644.
I run an independent business, what help/support is available if I have to close?
We’ve put together some useful links for business owners to help you through this uncertain time.
Are bin collections and other council services running as normal?
Frome’s Recycling Centre is now following their usual winter schedules. Please find more information on opening times and guidance on Somerset Waste Partnership’s page.
Is the Citizen’s Advice open?
Following Government guidelines, Citizens Advice Mendip’s offices are now closed for drop in sessions.
The team are still available to help over the phone, their advice line number is 0344 488 9623. They are also offering an email advice via their website.
Do I still need to pay my Council Tax?
You will still need to pay your Council Tax, you may be able to spread your payment across 12 months if you don’t currently do this, please call Mendip District Council on 0300 303 8588 to see if this is possible. Alternatively, there is a hardship fund available for people to access if you are struggling to pay due to financial hardship
Will local public transport services continue to run as normal?
Some bus and train services may have been reduced. We’ll be updating our Public Transport page as and when we receive new information. You can also find regular updates on the Frome and Villages Bus Users website and GWR.com.
I am concerned about domestic violence
You are allowed to leave home if you are feeling unsafe during lockdown. Those living with domestic abuse can also access safe spaces at Boots pharmacies. Those needing help can ask staff at the counter to use the consultation room, where they will be able to contact services for help and advice.
SIDAS (Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Service) can support anyone effected by domestic violence. Their number is 0800 69 49 999 and is available 8am – 8pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found on the SIDAS website.
Are the parks and green spaces still open?
Yes, our parks and green spaces are still open.
What about play areas – and places like the skatepark?
Yes, our playgrounds will remain open in line with the Government’s lockdown guidance.
The following areas are closed:
- The multi-use sports court at Mary Baily
- The outdoor gyms at both the Showfield and Tower View
- The tennis courts on Mary Baily
- The pump track at Welshmill
You can find up to date and detailed information about tennis guidance on the Lawn Tennis Association website.
And you can find information regarding skateboarding here on the Skateboarding England website.
Sport England also offers lots of general advice about sport and outdoor activity on their Sport England FAQs page.
What about the toilets in Victoria Park?
Yes, the toilets are open. They are cleaned daily, but we’re not in a position to clean them throughout the day.
Is the leisure centre open? What about other venues and community groups?
No, Frome Sport & Fitness leisure centre will have to close their leisure facilities. Please visit their website for more information.
Can I still go to my allotment?
All the town’s allotment sites are still open. People will still need to be mindful of social distancing and where there are gates or padlocks involved in entering the allotments, then please think about good hand hygiene.
What should I do if I see someone not following the Government guidelines?
We should all be following the latest advice on the Government’s website regarding staying home and social distancing. If you feel that individuals or businesses are not following the guidelines and are putting themselves and others at risk you can report it on the Avon & Somerset Police website.
We will keep these pages updated with where help is required and how you can get involved. Somerset County Council also has a Coronavirus latest updates page providing information from the county-wide services they run and support.
If you have a question that we may be able to help with please email email@example.com