COVID-19 Latest Advice
For information regarding COVID-19 testing, visit the COVID-19 Testing Information page.
As of 12 April, you should do the following to help stop the spread of coronavirus:
- Continue to work from home where possible. If you absolutely must travel for work or another reason, travel at the quietest times
- Wear a face covering when required
- Wash or sanitise your hands regularly
- Maintain a two-metre distance from others not in your household/support bubble
- When seeing others not in your household/support bubble, do so outside
- Ventilate indoor spaces with fresh air, where people from different households are mixing, e.g. if someone comes to undertake essential repairs in your home
- If you do not have symptoms of coronavirus, please get tested regularly (using a rapid test). Rapid tests are now available to everyone in England.
- If you have symptoms of coronavirus, please self-isolate immediately and order a PCR test.
- If you receive a positive result from a rapid or PCR test, please self-isolate immediately.
Remember - anyone, whether they’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine, or not, may be able to pass on the virus, so these rules apply to everyone.
Regardless of your country of origin or immigration status you can access treatment and testing for COVID-19 free of charge. Please register with a GP, if you haven't already, as this is the best way to ensure you can access treatment and testing. Visit the Health and Wellbeing page for more information and what you need to register with a GP.
The Government has set out its roadmap for cautiously easing lockdown restrictions in England. Decisions on easing lockdown across different stages depends on four tests and are driven by the data:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations, which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- The Government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern
As of 12 April, the following changes are in place:
- non-essential retail and personal care premises will re-open
- community centres, libraries and indoor leisure facilities will re-open
- outdoor hospitality and attractions re-open
- the “rule of six” still applies (you can meet five other people or one other household outdoors)
- overnight stays in the UK in self-contained accommodation (where indoor facilities are not shared with other households) is permitted
To read more, visit the Government roadmap web page.
After clean water, vaccines are the most effective Public Health intervention ever and have saved countless lives around the world over the past centuries.
There are now currently three COVID-19 vaccines licensed for use in the UK: Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna. They are free and have been approved and tested to ensure they’re safe and effective. FAQs on the Vaccine can be accessed on the East London Health and Care Partnership website.
The NHS is now vaccinating people in the following groups:
- aged 70 or over or clinically extremely vulnerable (high risk): if you have not had your first vaccination and haven't been booked in yet, please contact your GP
- aged 50 or over: please book using the national booking system, wait to get a letter from the NHS or you will be contacted by your GP
- aged 16-64 and clinically vulnerable, with a condition that puts you at higher risk with regards to COVID-19: please wait to be invited to an appointment by the NHS, or you can book an appointment at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy
- carers (if you are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable: please wait to be invited to an appointment by the NHS, or you can book an appointment at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy. . If your GP record doesn’t show that you are a carer, speak to your GP surgery.
- residents or workers in care homes for older adults: if you haven't had your first vaccine and aren't booked in for one, please contact your manager
- frontline health and social care workers: please book on the national booking system(external link) or contact your manager or book using the staff booking system applicable in your organisation
You will be contacted by the NHS to book an appointment to have your second vaccine dose.
If you have any questions or are concerned about the safety of the vaccine, visit our COVID-19 Vaccine page.
Read our COVID-19 Advice for Vulnerable Residents for the latest information on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable.
As of 31 March 2021, “shielding” guidance ended, but people who have previously been asked to shield should continue to take extra precautions, and get vaccinated when invited to.
Wearing a face covering
For members of the public, face coverings should be worn in:
- transport hubs and public transport including taxis and private hire vehicles
- shops and supermarkets
- high-street services such as post offices, banks and building societies
- places of worship
The full list of places to wear a face covering can be found on the Government website.
Some people will be exempt from these rules including:
- children under the age of 11 (Public Health England does not recommend face coverings for children under the age of three for health and safety reasons)
- people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
- to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others ‒ including if it would negatively impact on your ability to exercise or participate in a strenuous activity
- police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public
You can see more face covering exemptions on the Government website.
How to put on a face covering
- A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably and should be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
- You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off
- Avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times
- Store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash or dispose of them
- You should wash a face covering regularly
- Do not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose
- Once removed, make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched
For more information about how to wear on a face covering effectively, please visit the Government website.
This information is also available in other languages.
For the latest health advice, visit our COVID-19 Advice for Residents web page.