THE multi-agency Cumbrian group coordinating the county's fight against Covid-19 has released its latest update, declaring: "This is a life and death situation."

The statement - the group's strongest yet - is from the Cumbria Local resilience Forum, which includes police, NHS bosses, and councils. It confirms the suspension of some key public services but the continuation of others, including burials and cremations.

The statement says: "With the Prime Minister’s announcement of a national lockdown, agencies in Cumbria are working together closely ensure Cumbria is prepared for the full impact of Coronavirus.

"Partners are focused on four key areas: supporting the NHS to ensure they have capacity to deal with a major increase in the number of very ill people over the coming days and weeks; supporting people in communities during the lockdown period, particularly the vulnerable; taking clear action to enforce the lockdown restrictions; supporting Cumbria’s economy to survive during lockdown and be ready to bounce back when restrictions are lifted.

"Cumbria has seen more than its fair share of major emergencies over recent years, but this challenge is on a different scale. We absolutely need the support of the whole population if we are to get through this together.

"This is a life and death situation, and everyone must play their part and act on the instructions they are being given.”

The county's Assistant Chief Constable Andy Slattery said it was vital that people heed the Government's social distancing advice, saying this would save lives.

More information:

The summary from the Forum is as follows:

Cumbria County Council

Registration Service: Following the announcement by the Government last night, ceremonies and notice appointments will not be taking place until further notice. You will be contacted with further information around your options.

We are continuing to experience an extremely high volume of calls.

Can we therefore please ask that if you have an enquiry about your ceremony booking you do not call us and instead email us at

We have set this email up to enable us to deal with ceremony enquiries more effectively. A member of the team will endeavour to contact you about your enquiry as soon as possible. Please note the emails will be prioritised in date order of current bookings.

Further information is available on our website at and we will be updating this as we get further guidance. Thank you for your patience.

HM Coroner Service

HM Coroners Service in Cumbria continues to be fully operational at this time.

However, this is being reviewed on a daily basis, and is subject to change based on national guidance.

In order to minimise the risk of infection to staff, their families and the public, flexible working arrangements have been put in place, including remote working. Deaths should continue to be reported to HM Coroner Service in line with current legal requirements. As key workers, all staff members are committed to dealing with these in accordance with the usual timelines and statutory requirements.

Where practical, inquest openings will continue, but the wider inquest programme is obviously subject to change following recent government announcements.

The service will continue to support the bereaved families and next of kin, and ensure the impact on them is kept to a minimum during these difficult and exceptional circumstances.

Local community updates

Cumbria County Council Area Teams are working closely with partners to coordinate support for local communities across Cumbria, particularly vulnerable and isolated people, during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The county council has published a new webpage at which residents can access for updates specific to their local area and subscribe to regular email alerts.

The county council will continue to update this webpage on an ongoing basis as more information and guidance becomes available, people are encouraged to share updates with their community to support each other as much as possible during this time.

Please only use and share credible and trusted information and guidance from, Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS and local agencies including councils and Police.

Household waste and recycling centres open

All 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC'S) are currently open in Cumbria. Please consider if your trip to a HWRC is strictly necessary at this time.

In order to reduce your risk to the coronavirus, HWRC staff will no longer be able to assist you with the disposal of your waste whilst on site. Please try to maintain the recommended safe distance of 2 meters from other persons whilst at the centre.

Please be aware that it may be necessary to temporarily close a Household Waste Recycling Centre at short notice, or to suspend collections of certain materials at the centre. The Cumbria County Council website will be updated regularly with information.

Active Cumbria – Stay In, Work Out

Active Cumbria has new resource available via their website:

The page signposts to lots of different activities that people can do indoors during this time – for children and adults of all ages.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

Landowners urged to only carry out controlled burning if essential

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service is asking all land managers to not undertake prescribed or controlled burns unless it is absolutely necessary to minimise the potential for wildfires. Please help us as we deal with the additional pressures and challenges associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Group Manager Kevin Johnston said: “It is essential that Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service continue to provide an effective emergency response in these unprecedented times, so we will require everybody to maintain high levels of fire prevention and protection to reduce the risk of fires to a minimum.”

Carlisle City Council

Play areas - closure: All our play areas, open-air exercise areas, Multi-Use Games Areas and the Skate Park are closed until further notice.

Our parks and green spaces will remain open for exercise, but gatherings will be dispersed. Visitors need to follow social distancing rules - stay two metres (6ft) away from other people. More information is available at


The Shopmobility facility, based in The Lanes Shopping Centre, is now closed until further notice.

Public toilets: All public toilets are closed. The closures will be in place until further notice.

Bereavement Services

Our Bereavement Services is continuing to take both burial and cremation bookings.

However, to allow colleagues to concentrate on these bookings, we are not able to make any garden appointments or burials of cremated remains for the foreseeable future.

Following advice from the government and ICCM, the Cemetery and Crematorium office is now closed to the public. However, the Bereavement Services can still be contacted by 01228 817390 or email

All mourners are being asked to stay outside the Crematorium building until just before a funeral starts.

We are communicating daily with funeral directors and providing updated guidance regarding social distancing.

Hand sanitizer is provided at both the entrance and exit to the chapel.

Following the government's announcement on Monday March 23, we are working with Funeral Directors to put in place further safeguards at funeral services at the Crematorium.

These include limiting the maximum attendance at funerals (cremations and burials) to up to 12 mourners (excluding clergy/celebrants/funeral director’s staff) and putting extra social distancing and cleaning operations in place at the Crematorium.

It may be possible to have the service live streamed (via the funeral director) in order to allow more people to participate.

The office remains closed to face to face visits (the telephone and email service continues as normal). Funeral Directors will arrange collection of cremated remains. The crematorium building will be closed to visitors at weekends (the grounds will remain open).

Allerdale Borough Council

Allerdale play park closures: Following on from the Government directive regarding access to play areas, all Allerdale Borough Council owned or managed play areas are now closed. This applies to the following play areas:

  • · Hunter’s Drive, Seaton
  • · Recreation Ground, Flimby
  • · Camp Road, Maryport
  • · Ennerdale Road, Maryport
  • · Bellbrigg Lonning, Cockermouth
  • · Harris Park, Cockermouth
  • · Horse Close Skate Park, Hall Park, Workington

If a play area does not appear in the list, it is not owned or managed by Allerdale Borough Council and is likely to be the responsibility of your local town or parish council or alternatively a housing association. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Our parks and open spaces remain open for exercise, but we expect users to behave responsibly in line with government directives, in particular those around social distancing.

Closure of public toilets: To reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus, and to allow staff to be redeployed onto other duties, the council has also closed all its public toilets in Aspatria, Allonby, Caldbeck, Maryport and Workington with immediate effect.

Trade Waste services: The council is currently contacting all their trade waste customers asking about future arrangements and possible suspension of services if their business is closed due to the government’s restrictions. If there are any queries then email the team at


Allerdale Borough Council announced yesterday, March, 23, 2020 that it is suspending its street markets for two months in line with official advice and guidance relating to COVID-19.

The markets which operate in Keswick, Wigton, Workington and seasonally in Silloth are suspended with immediate effect.

Council Deputy Leader Councillor Mike Johnson, said: “Markets are a much loved and vibrant feature of our towns. I really appreciate the efforts market traders put into offering a wide range of goods with excellent, personal service.

“However, we must do the right thing and follow the government’s guidance on social distancing and staying at home, hence the suspension of the markets.”

The council has signposted the range of government support for businesses on its website and is encouraging market traders to check their eligibility for the business support measures.

Executive member for tourism echoes sentiments of Cumbria Police and Cumbria Tourism regarding visitors

In line with the latest government advice surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19), many businesses in Allerdale have announced that they have closed for the foreseeable future.

The Government has been very clear on social distancing and the need not to undertake unnecessary travel. Cumbria Police have now also issued a request for tourists “not to travel to the Lakes or other Cumbrian holiday destinations.”

Speaking yesterday, Monday March 23 Councillor John Cook, Executive member with responsibility for tourism, said: "Allerdale is a fantastic place to visit and tourism obviously plays a large role in our economy. However, we are joining Cumbria Police and Cumbria Tourism in asking people to follow the government's advice not to make any non-essential journeys and come and visit the area. We will do whatever we can to help and support those tourism businesses affected by these events. But at the moment, we must all be responsible and follow the government guidance on social distancing and staying at home so that we protect each other from infection, especially the most vulnerable. By doing this we will also protect and support the local NHS services, so that they can do their job helping those who are sick."

In the meantime…visit Allerdale virtually

Allerdale remains a fantastic visitor destination and the Allerdale Borough Council’s tourism team look forward to welcoming visitors in the future when the advice from Government changes. In the meantime, they are encouraging people to ‘virtually’ experience some of the great attractions and locations in Allerdale by viewing our 360 degree videos that can be found at

Copeland Borough Council

Information for community groups and volunteers

We need to hear from all the groups helping their communities during the coronavirus crisis. This is so that we can co-ordinate and support those groups, and make sure help is being offered where needed.

Community groups should get in touch with the officer for their area:

Northern Copeland (Distington to Seascale): James Young at

Southern Copeland (Seascale to Millom): Jan Fotheringham at

Any individuals who want to volunteer should visit

Copeland play park closures

In a further effort to combat the spread of Coronavirus we will be closing all Copeland owned or managed play areas. As it is not yet known how long the virus can survive on surfaces, and we are all required to social distance, we want to ensure that we help prevent the spread of the virus by closing communal leisure areas and play equipment to the public.

Play areas that are already, or will be, closed in the next 24 hours include:

  • Rosebank (Hensingham)
  • Kells Welfare (Whitehaven)
  • Castle Park (Whitehaven)
  • Jericho (Whitehaven)
  • High St (Whitehaven)
  • Barfs Road (Distington)
  • East Rd (Lowca)
  • Orgill (Egremont)
  • Ling Road (Egremont)
  • Brisco Mount (Egremont)
  • Egremont Skatepark
  • Moresby (Moresby Parks)
  • Jacktrees Road (Cleator Moor)
  • Moor Row

Newlands (Mirehouse)

All play areas not on this list are not owned or managed by Copeland Council. Please contact your local town or parish council if you are concerned about a park or play area near you. Thank you for you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Cumbria Police

Appleby Horse Fair 2020 will not take place this year, in line with Government advice about avoiding large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The message comes from Billy Welch, who is the Gypsy and Traveller representative on the Appleby Horse Fair Multi-Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group – the collection of public sector organisations who come together to help co-ordinate the Fair.

Billy said: “Whilst we are extremely disappointed to have to make this announcement, it would be irresponsible for the Fair to go ahead at a time when everyone must do everything they can to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

"It is not just disappointing for the Gypsy and Traveller community but for the settled community too and the local economy.

“But people’s health must come first, which is why the Fair – along with other events across the country – cannot take place.

“When the Fair was cancelled in 2001 during foot and mouth, the Gypsy and Traveller community respected the decision and stayed away and I am confident of the same response now.

"Everybody in the UK needs to pull together now and do their best to beat this terrible virus.

“This will be only the second time the Fair has not taken place in the past 250 years. However, the Fair will be back in and it will be better than ever.”

Appleby Horse Fair is an annual gathering and an event with no organiser which sees tens of thousands of Gypsies and Travellers, as well as visitors, travel to Appleby-in-Westmoreland.

Chair of the Appleby Horse Fair Multi-Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group, Les Clark, said: “We appreciate Billy Welch and the Gypsy and Traveller community stepping forward, recognising the situation we are all facing and making this announcement.

“The fair taking place would increase the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading amongst the Gypsy and Traveller population, the population of Appleby and the wider population, putting lives at risk. It would also put further strain on the emergency services and other public authorities who are already working at close to capacity coping with the impact of the global pandemic.

“I urge people to help us spread this message in their communities. We don’t want anyone – Gypsies and Travellers and visitors - to set off for the Fair having not heard the message.”

NHS North Cumbria CCG

Living With and Beyond Cancer

Our support line will now available every Wednesday and Thursday from Wednesday 25 March between 9:30 and 4:30 at all other times there is an answerphone for people to leave messages.

This service is for people who are affected by cancer living in North Cumbria. We are able to offer a friendly listening ear and help to find local support.