Coronavirus (COVID-19) - information for residents and businesses

We’ve created this page in response to the ongoing situation with coronavirus. This is where we will publish the most up to date information about our services.

We are working as close to normal as possible and essential services are being provided. We are helping to keep people across the borough safe, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities.

As of Friday 18 September, our borough has been listed as an 'area of concern' by the government. Unlike areas of intervention or areas of enhanced support in other parts of the country, an area of concern does not face additional lockdown requirements at this stage so long as people act now to contain and reduce the spread of the virus.

Please follow these simple actions to do your bit to protect your community and help prevent further restrictions:

  • Wash hands - be extra vigilant about washing your hands regularly and thoroughly
  • Cover face - wear a face covering over your nose and mouth as per the regulations and in busy outdoor places
  • Make space - stay at least two metres apart - or one metre with a face covering or other precautions
  • Avoid large crowds altogether
  • Follow the new ‘rule-of-six’ regulation
  • Take extra care when leaving home if you have an underlying health condition or have been advised to shield
  • If you have Covid-19 symptoms, you must get a test. Isolate until you get a test and persist in trying to book one if you are experiencing difficulties
  • If you do not have symptoms, do not get a test, unless directed to do so. Priority is being given to those with symptoms

For the very latest information, take a look at the government website and NHS 111. You can also subscribe to receive email alerts.

Information about Test and Trace

Information about the new Test and Trace Support Payment (self-isolation payment).

If you have to go out to work, refer to guidance for employees and going to work.

Our buildings

Customer First in Scarborough is open only for the most vulnerable residents, 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday. Please do not visit unless absolutely necessary and you have no other way of contacting us.

Please self-serve online or call our customer service team on 01723 232323.

The following sites are closed to the public until further notice:

  • Customer First offices in Filey and Whitby
  • Falsgrave Community Resource Centre (access maintained for businesses)
  • Evron Centre (access maintained for businesses)

Public toilets are open.

Support for vulnerable residents

We are working with North Yorkshire County Council and the voluntary and community sectors, playing an important role in the co-ordinated effort to support our borough’s most vulnerable residents.

This is led by Age UK for the Scarborough and Filey area and CaVCA for Whitby and the northern area. Our Home Improvement Agency is also part of the collective effort, providing practical support for people that are socially isolated.

Anyone that cannot access support through family, friends, neighbours or established community groups, should call 01609 780780 for assistance. This will ensure you receive the most accurate and up to date information about who can help you in your area.

Our critical support service for the homeless continues. If you are worried about your housing situation please contact 01723 232323.

Support for businesses

Preventing and Managing Covid-19 in Hospitality Settings – Local Guidance

Get your premises ready for the NHS test and trace app, which launched on 24 September.

Click to download the NHS test and trace app

Test and Trace workplace guidance - all sectors.

For information on working safely in a wide range of business sectors during coronavirus, including hospitality, see government advice for working safely.

To help you understand and access the financial support available, including information about paying your employees, sick pay and tax, business rates relief, business support grant funds, support for the self-employed and support for different types and sizes of businesses, refer to government information about financial support for businesses.

Government's Bounce Back Loans scheme for small businesses.

Advice for culture, tourism, leisure and sports sectors.

Advice for food businesses, including food hygiene information.

Guidance on temporary reduced rate of VAT for the hospitality sector.

Sign up to the new 'We’re Good To Go' industry standard from Visit Britain and Visit England to give extra confidence to your returning customers.

Below you will find additional information, including details about how we are helping businesses at a local level.

Supporting a COVID-19 safe return to the hospitality and retail sectors

As restaurants, cafés, pubs, bars, hotels and other guest accommodation return to business from 4 July, we have introduced some practical measures to support communities to trade as safely as possible.

We have produced two guidance documents to help you prepare safely for opening your business. One is for restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs and takeaway services. The other is for hotels and other guest accommodation. You can view and download these from our business pages.

We have also produced guidance to help non-essential retailers prepare safely for opening, which can be viewed and downloaded from our business pages.

If you have any queries, irrespective of the type business you operate, please contact us via or 01723 232323.

Signage advising people to maintain social distancing, practise good hand hygiene, pick up their litter and pay by contactless payment where possible, has been rolled out in Filey, Scarborough and Whitby. The messages feature on street signs and lamppost banners, in shop windows and on floor stickers. If you wish to supplement our efforts by commissioning signage for your business, you are welcome to use our artwork, courtesy of Blue Raptor Signs. We have also commissioned artwork specifically for hospitality and retail businesses to use.

You can download all the artwork here.

We installed 30 hand sanitiser units throughout our three towns. Social distancing ambassadors are on hand in town centres and busy seafront areas to offer advice and help businesses and customers to remain COVID-19 safe.

Selected road closures and on street parking suspensions on busy days are being deployed by North Yorkshire County Council, to help manage flows of people and maintain social distancing.

These interventions are government funded as part of the national agenda to support the reopening of town centre high streets.

Free membership to the Federation of Small Businesses

We realise that not all businesses in the borough, particularly the smallest firms, can get help from the government's job retention, business rates discount or support grant schemes. We are investing £50,000 to fund memberships to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The offer is to the self-employed, micro and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

Up to 300 businesses can access the free membership, which provides a range of services, from legal help and advice to cyber protection and assistance to access funding opportunities.

Applications are still being accepted.  You can apply for the free membership offer by emailing Please add the words ‘Scarborough Borough’ to the subject field of your email.

Business rates relief

We have now issued amended business rate bills in all cases where the extended retail discount applies. If you have not received an amended bill and you think that your business is eligible for the relief, then please email local taxation. Information about other existing business rate reduction schemes is available on our business rates pages.

Discretionary Business Grant Scheme

Certain small and micro businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property related costs that were not eligible for the Small Business & Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants (as detailed below) may have been eligible for a grant from our discretionary scheme.

We have paid 316 discretionary grants from the two phases of applications, equating to 3,210,000. Application windows relating to this grant scheme have now closed and all payments have been made.

You can view the eligibility criteria we applied in our Discretionary Grant Scheme Policy. The policy was amended from phase one to extend the categories of business that can apply. We have received a capped sum of £3.23m from the government for the discretionary scheme.

Small Business & Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants

This scheme has now closed. The deadline for payment of grants under the Small Business and Retail, Leisure & Hospitality Grant Scheme was 30 September 2020.

At the closure of the scheme, we have made payments equating to £60,365,000 to 5,345 businesses in the borough.

We will now be conducting post assurance checks in relation to payments that have been made to ensure that grants have been awarded legitimately to qualifying businesses. The government has made it very clear that they will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any business caught falsifying their records to gain grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back. We will be given access to additional tools to offer support in identifying this activity.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) advice

Before ordering equipment, please read the current guidance via the links below:

What steps should I take to order PPE?

  1. Try your normal suppliers
  2. Get in touch with other local suppliers
  3. Link to national suppliers

If all the above suppliers are unable to help you, you can contact us at to see if we can assist.

Advice for landlords

Other resources

The government has scaled up its business support helpline in light of the current situation.  As a business owner you can speak directly to an advisor. The number to call is 0300 456 3565.

HMRC has launched a tax helpline to help your business if you are concerned about paying any taxes due and Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus means you need more time to file your accounts.

Advice and information is also available from the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Waste and recycling

Our collections of waste, recycling and garden waste (for those households subscribed to the service) are continuing. Please continue to put your bins/sacks out on your usual day.

We are suspending commercial waste collections where businesses are unable to operate, which will keep bins on site, enabling collections to quickly resume when government advice allows businesses to reopen. In these instances, please do not cancel direct debits as our systems automatically invoice for the remaining billing period. If you’re still operating and require collections or wish to report any issues, email call 01723 232323.

North Yorkshire County Council’s household waste recycling centres in our area are open. Before you set off, please check locations and opening times on their website.


Please do not come into our Customer First centre; call us on 01723 232372.

You can email any documents to us at or post to Benefits Office, PO Box 148, Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, YO11 2ZH. Originals are not required; you can send a copy. You can also email a photo of your documents to us.

COVID-19 hardship fund

As part of its response to coronavirus, the government is providing local authorities in England with grant funding to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area. 

The expectation is that we will provide all recipients of working age Local Support for Council Tax (LSCT) with a further reduction in their annual council tax bill of up to £150.

Where someone’s liability for 2020/21 is, following the application of LSCT, less than £150, then their liability will be reduced to nil. 

If you currently receive LSCT, there is no need for you to make a separate claim for a reduction under the scheme. We will assess who is eligible for support from the hardship fund and automatically rebill those people once the computer software is available.  

When assessing eligibility for the reduction, we will not take into account whether or not you have been affected, directly or indirectly, by coronavirus.

Job retention scheme

If your employer has temporarily closed their business due to coronavirus, they can carry on paying you under the job retention scheme. Your employer will need to contact HMRC to apply. Under the scheme, employers can claim a grant of up to 80% of your normal pay, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. More information is available on and the Money Advice Service website. Speak to your employer about this scheme.

Changes in your circumstances

If your circumstances have changed due to coronavirus that means you might get more benefit then you can tell us here or email

Other assistance

Information about the new Test and Trace Support Payment (self-isolation payment).

The government has provided guidance on who can get statutory sick pay (SSP). Those who aren’t entitled to SSP are advised to claim universal credit and/or new-style employment and support allowance.

You can use the government benefits calculator to find out what other means tested benefits you may be able to claim. The Money Advice Service also provides up to date information and guidance.  

You can apply for LSCT here.

If you are receiving housing benefit or the housing element of universal credit and you are struggling to pay your rent, then you may qualify for a discretionary housing payment.

The Department for Work and Pensions has launched a new website that will be updated regularly, which provides the latest guidance on new and existing benefit claims, sick pay and self-employment. 

Council tax

If your income has changed and you are worried about your ability to pay your council tax, we can help. We can review your monthly payments or arrange payment deferral.

Contact us: 

Parking and car parks

In agreement with North Yorkshire County Council,  on street parking enforcement was reintroduced on Monday 15 June. Charging and enforcement in our off street car parks also began on the same date.

People are encouraged to pay for parking ‘hands free’ using the RingGo app. Anyone needing to pay by cash (or card where the parking machine has that facility) is asked to use hand sanitiser before and after using the machine to minimise their risk of catching or spreading the virus.

NHS and critical care staff, NHS coronavirus volunteers and social care key workers (employed through the local authority) still benefit from concessions for parking as long as they display an approved permit issued by their employer. This is a nationally recognised scheme and permits can only be issued by the worker’s employer. The permits are only valid whilst on duty. Find out more information and how to use the pass.

Anyone with an expired parking permit should reapply online, email or call 01723 232323. Due to reduced capacity within our Customer First centre, permits can only be renewed online or via the telephone/postal application option and not face to face.

Funeral services

The waiting room at Woodlands Crematorium remains closed, but the reception area to the main office is open to visitors.

Funeral services are taking place although we are limiting the number of family and friends that can attend services to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Please ask your funeral director for more details.

Live streaming of services online is available for a modest fee. For more information, email or call 01723 372652 / 354393. You can also ask your funeral director.

We have re-opened the book of remembrance chapel at Woodlands Crematorium. You can also access the online version of the book.

Thank you for your understanding.

Public meetings

We’re reviewing essential meetings on a meeting-by-meeting basis. Some meetings are being streamed on our YouTube channel. All non-essential meetings have been postponed until further notice.