Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Cases are currently high, which may affect the delivery of some of our services. Check for service disruptions and find advice and support for residents and businesses.
Toggle menu

Service updates archive

29 September 2020

£500 self-isolation payment

If you have lost income because you have been required to self isolate, you may be eligible for a payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support payment scheme. The government has made this available to some people who are on a low income who claim certain benefits and have had to self-isolate on or after Monday 28 September 2020.

The scheme will run until 31 January 2021. If you have more than one period of self-isolation during the life of the scheme you can apply more than once. The payment is taxable but not subject to National Insurance.

Find out more about the scheme

28 September 2020

Further restrictions announced for region

Tougher restrictions have been announced for the region.

Following increased coronavirus rates, the Government has announced that households cannot mix with people you do not live with, unless they're in your support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to venues such as pubs and restaurants. The restrictions apply to Gateshead, Durham, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland. The changes are in addition to existing regulations prohibiting household mixing in private homes and gardens.

This guidance will now be enforceable by law and subject to fines from 00:01 Wednesday 30 September

Find out more about the restrictions

7 September 2020

St Mary's Heritage Centre reopening

St Mary's Heritage Centre is reopening to the public from Wednesday 9 September, with reduced services and amended opening hours.

Temporary opening hours:
Wednesday to Friday: 10am to 4pm
Saturday: 10am to 1pm
Sunday to Tuesday: Closed

1 September 2020


We have missed having visitors at our libraries, and although things are going to be different, we are pleased to announce that some of our libraries will be reopening from Monday 7 September with revised opening times..

10 August 2020

Go Gateshead sports and leisure facilities - phased reopening

From Monday 17 August the gyms at Gateshead International Stadium and Birtley Leisure Centre will reopen. Additionally, all outdoor facilities, including the athletics tracks and 3G pitches at Gateshead International Stadium and Blaydon Leisure and Primary Care Centre will reopen to structured sports club bookings. 

Further proposals around a phased approach to reopening the remaining leisure facilities and services including swimming pools will follow in due course. 

During lockdown we have been improving our gyms which all now benefit from brand new, state-of-the-art equipment and fresh new décor throughout, together with the necessary measures being put in place to exercise safely.

All direct debit payments will remain suspended and members will be contacted with the options for their return to the centres and advice on when payments will restart. Suspended payments will still be available to those not yet wishing to return to our facilities.

Gateshead Libraries - phased reopening

On Monday 7 September we plan to reopen Central, Chopwell, Crawcrook and Pelaw libraries with revised opening times. Opening times will be published on the libraries website nearer the time.

A timeline for reopening the remaining libraries (Birtley, Blaydon, Leam Lane and Wrekenton) will follow in due course.

All library service group-based activities will remain suspended, as will group bookings of library community rooms.

3 August 2020

Restrictions on waste types lifted at Household Waste and Recycling Centres

Gateshead's Household Waste and Recycling Centres are now accepting the full range of waste - though strict social distancing measures remain in place for the moment.

From 4 August, the full range of waste materials will now be accepted at both sites, though the current odd and even number plate system will continue to apply for the moment.

It means that items such as metals, rubble, textiles and large electrical appliances can all now be disposed of.

Previously, each site was divided into four separate zones providing access for one vehicle at a time. This has now been changed to two larger zones serving three vehicles at a time. However, manoeuvring space will still be limited so current restrictions on the types of vehicles allowed to use the sites will remain.

As a result only cars, car-derived vans and pick-ups will be permitted to use the HWRCs with no access for large vans, vehicle trailers or commercial vehicles of any type.

23 July 2020

Fixed play areas reopening

Fixed play areas in Gateshead have begun to reopen and all of them are expected to be open to the public by the end of the week.

The need to guarantee that social distancing can be maintained to reduce the risk of cross-infection has meant that each site has had to be carefully risk-assessed before it can be reopened to the public.

Certain types of play equipment have had to be taken out of use for safety reasons and a number of swings have been temporarily removed to ensure there is only one swing per bay.  

Warning signs are in place to advise parents how to take responsibility for maintaining a safe distance from other people and giving advice on how to use the site safely.

The public toilet block at Saltwell Park is also now open between the hours of 11am and 3pm. The toilets need to be cleaned after every use so entry is limited to one person at a time and queues are likely at busy periods.

10 July 2020

Leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools to remain closed

The Government announced last night that indoor sport and leisure activities can start to re-open from 25 July as lockdown measures continue to ease. In Gateshead, our primary concern remains the health and wellbeing of our residents during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, all GO Gateshead leisure centres have been closed since March to help control the further spread of the virus and will remain closed for the time being.

While we understand this will come as a disappointment to our valued customers, preventing and controlling the spread of the virus to protect lives must be the main consideration.  

Councillor Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council, said: "While coronavirus infection rates in Gateshead are declining, we remain committed to our pledge to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities. We have therefore made the decision to maintain the closure of our leisure centres for the time being while we continue to monitor the local rate of infection. "

Any changes to this stance, including a date for reopening will be communicated directly to GO Gateshead members and residents through broader Gateshead Council communications channels, including social media.

3 July 2020

Fixed play parks

Fixed play parks will not be reopening on 4 July in Gateshead. We are reviewing the government guidance and assessing all of the borough's 120 equipped sites. We will keep our residents updated on progress as soon as available.

30 June 2020

Sports facilities

Following careful consideration of all of the latest evidence and data regarding COVID-19, we have now reviewed our position in relation to taking part in formal physical activity on council land as follows:

Voluntary sports club training

If clubs lease or hold a license for the use of council land, training activity as per government guidance is now permitted so long as the necessary protocols/risk assessments are in place. Those voluntary sports clubs who normally rely on the use of council/school based sports facilities will be permitted to use these facilities where open, or use public parks/open spaces for training purposes. Clubs must adhere to government guidance, risk assess accordingly and ensure the relevant insurances are in place. Clubs are, however, asked to avoid using marked sports pitches (including goalmouth areas) for the purpose of preservation. Clubs are advised to liaise with their relevant National Governing Body for further support and guidance.

Bowling Clubs

We will now begin the process of increasing the maintenance regime over the coming weeks to bring bowling greens to a playable level. Each club will be contacted directly by council officers to agree appropriate operational procedures/risk assessments and agree a date to safely resume play.

Our Go Gateshead Sport and Leisure facilities, including associated outdoor sports facilities, remain closed until further notice. 

Private tuition / personal training / sports coaching

Until local community facilities are fully open, we will allow self-employed coaches/instructors to operate in council parks and open spaces, so long as method statements, risk assessments demonstrating adherence to COVID-19 guidance and insurance documents are submitted. We will then consider the granting of a license to allow operation. For more information please email

Please be aware that all toilet facilities, changing rooms and clubhouses will remain closed.

24 June 2020

Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

On 23 June the Prime Minister announced that from 4 July religious and civil marriage ceremonies and civil partnership formations will be allowed to recommence in England if certain conditions around social distancing are met. As the Registration service did not receive advance notice of this announcement, we must wait for further advice from the General Register Office before we can inform couples how this announcement will affect their wedding or civil partnership.

We understand that you are keen to know how this announcement will affect your special day but we do not yet have all of the information needed to best advise you, we appreciate this news will lead to an increase in enquiries to the local registration service and will be providing further advice and guidance in the coming days; the health and safety of staff and guests is of utmost importance to us and we will expect ceremony venues to accommodate social distancing with spaced-seating arrangements.

More information will be made available on the website.

Notices of marriage

From Monday 8 July it will be possible to give notice of marriage and civil partnership at this office. If you are a resident of Gateshead and pay your council tax to Gateshead Council, and you have an existing wedding booking either in Gateshead or elsewhere, you can give notice of marriage by calling us on 0191 433 3026.

15 June 2020

Bereavement Services

From 22 June, Bereavement Services are making the following changes:

Services can now go ahead for burial of ashes. Where a transfer of Exclusive Right of Burial is required, this will need to be fully completed before a burial of ashes can be booked.

The number of cremation time slots will be reduced. We are reverting back to 8 bookings per day between 9.45am and 3.15pm, Monday to Friday.

We are now in a position to carry out grave searches. Please contact Bereavement Services on 0191 433 3816, 0191 433 3811 or 433 3815 if you would like any searches carried out.

While we are starting to make changes, we still ask that all families follow social distancing guidance. We are still keeping the maximum amount of mourners to 15 per service. All services within the chapel are to be strictly kept to 20 minutes, this is to allow for cleaning between services. Families are asked not to gather outside the chapel before and after services.

The Book of Remembrance Room at Birtley Crematorium and Saltwell Crematorium will remain closed until further guidance is released.

4 June 2020

Bereavement Services

From 8 June, the Bereavement Services office will  be open between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday but will be closed between 1pm and 2pm.

There will be no face-to-face enquiries with the Bereavement Services office until further notice. Please contact us on 0191 433 3816, 0191 433 3811 or 0191 433 3815. You can also email us at

We are now in a position where we can accept memorial, wall and kerb plaque applications as well as Book of Remembrance entries, but there may be a slight delay in processing these. Grave searches will not be carried out at the present time.  

3 June 2020

Events support 

Any events planned to take place on council-owned land or roads will be cancelled until 1 July 2020. This position will be continually reviewed to reach a decision at the earliest possible opportunity regarding events beyond this time. Event planners are advised that planning for events beyond 1 July will be at their own risk and should email the events team.

Visit the event support webpage for more information.

2 June 2020

Birth registration appointments

From Thursday 4 June we will be taking face-to-face birth Registrations at Gateshead Register Office.

Registrations will be strictly by appointment only. If parents are married or in a civil partnership only one parent should attend the office.

Visit the births webpage for more information.

There is no change to the arrangements for registering deaths and stillbirths, this remains by telephone only. 

13 May 2020

Bulky waste collections

Bulky waste collections will start again on Monday 18 May. We will temporarily only be taking online bookings for this service.

We will only be carrying out external itemised collections. We will not be taking bookings for clearances or removal of any items from within your home, garage or any other building.

Find out more on our bulky waste page.

11 May 2020

Grass cutting

We have restarted our grass cutting service this week. However, we've got 5 weeks' cutting to catch up on. This means we are having to cut the grass using our flail cutters, which are designed for longer grass, rather than our rotary cutters which are only suitable for shorter grass.

As a result, the quality of cut might not be as neat as usual and there is likely to be more grass cuttings and cuttings on footpaths. We apologise for any annoyance this may cause. We are trying to work as cleanly and effectively as possible and appreciate your patience while we do our best to catch up as quickly as we can with limited resources.

7 May 2020

Household waste and recycling centres

Our household waste and recycling centres will reopen on Monday 11 May following social distancing guidelines.

Find out more on our household waste and recycling centres page.

4 May 2020

Garden waste

Garden waste collections will start from Tuesday 12 May. 

Find out more on our garden waste page.

30 April 2020

Highways maintenance 

Gateshead Council will be recommencing some minor and routine highways maintenance activities such as pothole repairs, gully cleaning and street lighting maintenance from Monday 4th May. Social distancing measures will be in place to safeguard the health of both the public and our work teams. 

More information can be found on our Highway maintenance schemes and Street lighting pages 

21 April 2020

Bereavement Services- increase in attendance for services

Following further guidance we are now able to increase the number of mourners to a maximum of 15 per service. In order to ensure this only the following should attend:

  • members of the person's household
  • close family members
  • if neither of the above can attend then close friends may
  • the attendance of a celebrant of choice, should the bereaved request this

We apologise for any inconvenience caused, this decision has not been made lightly and we must follow all guidance to protect the public and our staff.

If you have any queries please contact Bereavement Services on 0191 433 3816, 0191 433 3811 or 0191 433 3815 or by email at

More information can be found on our deaths and funerals, crematoria and cemeteries pages.

15 April 2020

Gateshead Register Office

We can only issue copy certificates which are required for urgent legal purposes. If you require an urgent certificate, please call 0191 433 3000.

Certificates will be posted out. There will be no collection service.

27 March 2020

Bereavement Services

Following the social distance guidance and for the protection of our staff, the Bereavement Services office will be closing every day from 3pm.

There will be no face-to-face enquiries with the Bereavement Services office until further notice. Please contact us on 0191 433 3816, 0191 433 3811 or 0191 433 3815. You can also email us at

Due to the current situation unfortunately we will not be processing applications for memorials, wall or kerb plaques until further notice.  Grave searches will also not be carried out at the present time.  However due to deadlines, Book of Remembrance entries will be processed but there maybe a delay in acknowledging receipt of these.

Gateshead Register Office

From Monday 30 March we will be registering all deaths and stillbirths by telephone only. There will be no face-to-face appointments.

Appointments to register a death can still be made as usual by calling 0191 433 3000 or by using the online booking system.

Please see the Register Office webpage for more information.

26 March 2020

Bereavement Services - Limited attendance for services

Attendance at funeral services in the borough is to be limited to a maximum of 10 people. These will include the spouse/partner, parent/carers, brothers/sisters, children and their partners.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused, this decision has not been made lightly and we must follow all guidance to protect the public and our staff.

Please speak with your Funeral Director who has been given more information. 

Licensing service

In light of recent government advice we have had to make some changes to the licensing service. Some of these may affect you and your business. These temporary changes have been made to help minimise the risk and spread of the virus, and to keep our staff and our customers safe. 

Our priority will be to ensure that existing licence holders and businesses can continue to operate, where possible. 

Visit the webpage for more information

25 March 2020

Grass cutting

All grass cutting is suspended until further notice except where it essential, for example where lines of sight may be affected at road junctions.

Tree cutting and pruning

All tree cutting has been suspended until further notice except where it is an emergency, such as a fallen tree.

Play parks

All play parks are closed until further notice in light of the government announcement to stay home. Please do not allow your children to enter or use the equipment in these areas.

24 March 2020

Civic Centre closure

From tonight Gateshead Civic Centre will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future. Please be assured our staff are still working around the clock to support residents, however, in order to follow the Government's guidelines on social distancing, our receptions will be shut and people will no longer be able to walk through the building on the way to and from the town centre.

There's lots of things you can do online from home instead of visiting us in person. Use our website if you need to apply for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Crisis Support, Free School Meals or a Discretionary Housing Payment or report a change. If you can't use or access a computer or smartphone at all, or have reading or learning difficulties, phone us on 0191 433 4646.

Please note our registrars office will be open only to people who need to register a death. visit our Register Office page for more for information.

People who are facing homelessness and need advice should call 0191 4333174 or contact

Book of remembrance room closures

As from today we are closing the book of remembrance rooms at Birtley Crematorium and Saltwell Crematorium.

The public should not be making any visits to the crematoria and we are operating to provide cremation and burial services only.

Pest control appointments suspended 

Due to the government's announcement last night on social distancing and the need for non-essential services to cease, we are temporarily suspending pest control services.

Bulky waste collections suspended 

Due to the government's announcement last night on social distancing and the need for non-essential services to cease, we are temporarily suspending the Bulky Waste collection service. If you have a bulky waste collection booked we will contact you.

Garden waste collections suspended

Due to the government's announcement last night on social distancing and the need for non-essential services to cease, we are temporarily suspending the Garden Waste collection service which was due to begin next week.

We appreciate that people have paid for 15 fortnightly collections and may not now receive them all. We will look at this issue once the current situation has subsided and services have returned to normal. 

School admissions

As a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic and following government advice, unfortunately at this time we are unable to continue to work on any school admissions processes. Please visit the school admissions page for more information.

Events on council owned land

Any events planned to take place on council-owned land or roads will be cancelled until 1 June 2020. This position will be continually reviewed to reach a decision at the earliest possible opportunity regarding events beyond this time. Event planners are advised that planning for events beyond 1 June will be at their own risk.

Library services

Following government instruction all libraries are now closed until further notice. If you have a booked checked out do not worry about returning at this time. You will incur no fines for overdue books during the closure.  

Household Waste and Recovery Centres

Both of our Household Waste and Recycling Centres are closed until further notice.

Gateshead Register Office

We will now only allow one person to attend the register office to register a death. If you are showing symptoms of coronavirus, or fall into the vulnerable category, please do not attend but send another member of the family. If you are unsure please call us on 0191 4333026.

We will not be registering births, or issuing certificates in person. Certificates can still be ordered by phone and posted out. There will be no collection service.

We will not be taking notices of marriage or civil partnership, or wedding bookings. We will not be arranging any cancelled weddings until further guidance is given by the government.

23 March 2020

Public toilets

All public toilets within our parks are now closed for the foreseeable future.

Library services

All council operated libraries in Gateshead will close at 5pm on Monday 23 March until further notice. From Tuesday 24 March, Central Library, Birtley, Blaydon and Leam Lane libraries will be open for essential job seeking activities only. We are not currently holding any group activities or events in our libraries.

Gateshead Awards 2020

Unfortunately due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, Gateshead Awards 2020 have been cancelled. Voting will be suspended with immediate effect and all nominations for the awards will be carried forward to next year.

20 March 2020

Bereavement Services

From Monday 23 March, there will be no face to face enquiries at the Bereavement Services Office until further notice. The service can be contacted during office hours (9am to 1pm and 2 to 4pm, Monday to Friday) on 0191 433 3816, 0191 433 3811, or 0191 433 3815. You can also email

19 March 2020


Following government guidance we have taken the decision to put the majority of our volunteer roles on hold as they involve face to face contact and group gatherings. 

During difficult and unprecedented times such as these, the Gateshead community will always pull together and as a result there are lots of new support groups starting up and people offering their help.

If you would like to be directed to an active group who may need help with activities such as telephone befriending please email

View advice for Gateshead volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic

Gateshead Children's Centres

Gateshead Children's Centre buildings will close from Friday 20 March 2020 at 4.30pm until further notice. All events, activities and services after this time are cancelled. Gateshead Children's Centre staff are available to offer advice and support to parents or carers by telephone: 0191 433 5055 or by email: Information, advice and activities will be shared on the on the Gateshead Children's Centre Facebook page.

18 March 2020

Sport and leisure

From 10pm tonight, all Gateshead Council leisure centres including Gateshead International Stadium will close for the forseeable future. All GO Gateshead members will have their membership frozen. Direct debits for any courses, including swimming lessons, will also be frozen. 

Any events which are due to take place on Council land will be cancelled for the forseeable future.

Library services

Council operated libraries in Gateshead are closed as of today. However, five will remain open for book borrowing and computer access. These will be Gateshead Central, Leam Lane, Birtley, Blaydon and Wrekenton. 

We would encourage members, if they have access to a computer and wifi at home, to access ebooks and audio versions from our online Borrow Box 

All library group activities are cancelled. 

St Mary's Heritage Centre

As of this evening, St Mary's Heritage Centre is closed to the public and regular user groups. If you have a private hire booking, for example a wedding, please contact the centre to discuss on 0191 433 4699.

Help us improve this site by giving feedback