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COVID-19 Government information and support

Date created: 6/29/2020
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Square Mile currently remain low. This information is being kept under continuous review and is updated often. Please be sure to check the COVID-19 webpage from the Government for the latest advice.

The new NHS COVID-19 app is the Official NHS contact tracing app for England and Wales.It is the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk from Coronavirus.

The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones, and your community.The more of us that use it, the better we can control coronavirus.

Visit the NHS COVID-19 app webpage to download.

Anyone of any age who has symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested for coronavirus. The test only checks if you have coronavirus at that point and involves taking a swab of the throat and nose. You can do the swab yourself or someone can do it for you.

The symptoms are:

  • a new, continuous cough and/ or
  • a high temperature and/ or
  • a loss or change in normal sense of smell or taste

Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested through the test and trace process. This will help make sure people who need a test can get one.

If you require a test, visit the NHS Testing webpage.

If you need help booking a test, call the Coronavirus Testing Call Centre on 119 between the hours of 7am and 11pm. The service can be accessed by people with hearing or speech difficulties by calling 18001 119 (in England and Wales). To receive the test results you will need a phone number and – if you are booking the test online – an email address. If you do not have either of these, you can nominate someone to receive the results on your behalf. Their telephone number and/ or email address will need to be provided when you book the test.

Please note that the Call Centre cannot provide clinical advice. If you are concerned about your health and wellbeing following your test result, or if your condition gets worse, or does not get better after seven days, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

If you, or someone you live with, has symptoms of coronavirus:

  • do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online by phone, or ask someone to deliver it to your home. If this is not possible and you are a City of London resident, let the City of London Corporation know that you need assistance, by filling in the COVID-19 form, by emailing the COVID-19 mailbox, or by calling 020 7606 3030
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family
  • do any exercise at home – you can use your garden, if you have one

You will be prioritised for testing if you have symptoms and are an essential worker or you live with an essential worker, or, if you do or do not have symptoms and are a resident or staff in a care home.

If you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you may be alerted by NHS Test and Trace. You and others in your household will need to isolate for 14 days, following Government guidance about household isolation. You will need to book a test if you develop symptoms.

If you are emailing, please provide the below information. The mailbox is treated with confidentiality and any personal data provided might be shared with relevant individuals for the purpose of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please send your or their (if you are sending on someone else’s behalf):

  • name
  • address
  • phone number
  • date of birth
  • date self-isolation began
  • and let us know if you or they have any concerns or special requirements.

Please indicate if you are happy for your contact details to be shared with local voluntary and community groups who may be able to support you.

You can access Government information on Test and Trace in other languages. You can also access guidance if you have had contact with people with confirmed COVID-19 infection that you don't live with (this is available in other languages).

Guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable (available in other languages) is that shielding has paused. You are no longer advised to shield and you can now visit shops, places of worship and other venues. You can return to work if your workplace is Covid-secure but should carry on working from home wherever possible.

You should maintain social distancing wherever possible and adopt other measures to keep yourself safe, such as regular hand washing and wearing a face covering. The government website has more information on how to keep yourself safe.

However, local advice may vary where incidence rates and transmission are a concern. The government will write to those affected when advice is changed. You can check if there are local measures in your area on the Government website.

Advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable has been and remains advisory.

Is this safe?

The guidance has been updated in line with the latest scientific and medical advice and with the safety and welfare of the clinically extremely vulnerable in mind. Current scientific evidence indicates that average incidence rates across the country are lower now than when the decision was made to pause shielding

We will monitor the virus continuously over coming months and if it spreads too much, we may need to advise you to shield again. Your name will be kept on the Shielded Patient List held by NHS Digital so the Government can write to you if this happens.

Returning to work

You should continue to work from home if you can. If this is not possible, your employer should take steps to make your workplace Covid-secure. Find out more about safety measures in your workplace, for example if you work in a supermarket, you can read the ‘Shops and branches’ guidance.

If your employer cannot make your workplace Covid-secure, they can access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for those who have been furloughed for a three-week period prior to 30 June, until the end of October.

If you are concerned about your safety at work, talk to your employer and look to come to an agreement. For example, you could discuss staggered working times or taking on a different role. You can get advice on your specific situation and employment rights by visiting the Acas website or calling the Acas helpline: 0300 123 1100


Government-provided food boxes and medicine deliveries have now stopped. However, there are a number of ways you can still access support.

Supermarkets and other retailers are continuing to offer priority delivery slots for the clinically extremely vulnerable, as well as telephone ordering and food boxes to help the most vulnerable shop for themselves.

The NHS Volunteer Responders Programme will continue providing support with food, prescriptions and essential items to those who are self-isolating for any reason. You can contact them by calling 0808 196 3646.

If you are still concerned and need help, you should contact your local authority. You can also find out what support services are available in your area by using this search tool.

Wearing a face covering

For members of the public, face coverings should be worn in:

  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses)
  • taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs)
  • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • premises providing hospitality (bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes), except when seated at a table to eat or drink (see exemptions)
  • post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
  • premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours)
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • places of worship

You can read the full list 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 3 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

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, please visit the Government website.

This information is also available in other languages.

Government guidance on COVID-19 instructs that you can leave your home to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm. Call 999 if you are at immediate risk, and if you cannot talk, dial 55 for Silent Solutions. If you are not at immediate risk, visit the Covid-19 Domestic Abuse Support and Information webage or Women's Aid.

With growing concern for the safety of some children during the COVID-19 crisis the NSPCC wants more people to know how to get advice and support and where to raise concerns about a child’s wellbeing. Visit NSPCC or call 0808 800 5000 if you are concerned about a child. Alternatively you can contact the City of London’s Children and Families Team.

Some non-essential services may be closed or operate at reduced levels to support social distancing for staff and service users.

Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from the virus. The NHS provide guidance on hand-washing.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after seven days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

You can get further information about staying at home on the website.

City residents can subscribe to a weekly email newsletter which brings together the latest advice and news, and also offers ways to keep yourself active both mentally and physically.

Send your email details to the COVID-19 Bulletin Team and we will add you to our subscriber list.

Coping with a diagnosis of cancer is difficult. For many, the coronavirus is an extra concern and worry. Help and support is available and there are things you can do to help yourself.

Local Alzheimer’s Society teams continue to provide information, support and guidance to those who need it. Trained advisors can be contacted via 0333 150 3456 for advice and guidance, visit the Alzheimer’s Society website or join Dementia Talking Point.

To see changes to domestic waste services in the City and find out what to do with waste if you have symptoms, visit the COVID-19 and waste services webpage.

Some concern has been expressed by residents following the announcement by the Government that developers could seek extended working hours as part of the return to normal working.

Construction arrangements are already restricted by planning conditions including a Code of Practice which specifies working hours restrictions but allows for variations if approved by Environmental Health Officers within the Pollution Control Team. This will continue and officers will process applications with due consideration to the ministerial statement but giving primacy to our existing planning policy which requires site noise to be minimised to limit disturbance.

If any changes to the normal practice are proposed the Port Health and Environmental Services and Planning and Transportation Committees will be consulted to ensure residents needs are fully considered.

If you are an individual and wish to donate funding, please donate to the National Emergencies Trust or email the Lord Mayor’s Appeal team.

If you are an individual and wish to volunteer please link to the GLA’s Team London website.

TFL have announced the reinstatement of fares across their bus network in London. Please see the full press release for more information and details of the services affected.

Further information

Getting NHS help when you need it PDF (200KB)

Date submitted: 7/07/20

Accessing health services for people with learning disabilities or autism.

Accessing health services - Easy Read PDF (3MB)

Date submitted: 7/07/20

Getting NHS help when you need it during the coronavirus outbreak

Regional Care Home Resilience PDF (300KB)

Date submitted: 6/29/20

COVID-19 has provided an unprecedented challenge to adult social care services including residential care homes. There are no residential care homes in the Square Mile, but the City of London Corporation does place a relatively small number of people into care homes in other areas. We are working with homes and local authorities to support the safety of residents and staff in care homes. Find out more in this letter from the Director of Community and Children’s Service.

CityResident PDF (4MB)

Date submitted: 10/31/19

Published twice a year, CityResident is also produced by the City Corporation, and contains news about the community, environment, well-being, art and culture, and updates from the City Police.

How to use WhatsApp PDF (2MB)

Date submitted: 6/29/20

Staying in contact with family, friends and colleagues is of the utmost importance for your health.  WhatsApp is one of the most widely used platforms for connecting digitally with others. See our guide on getting connected on WhatsApp.

How to use FaceTime PDF (500 KB)

Date submitted: 6/29/20

FaceTime is another one of the most widely used platforms for connecting digitally with others. See our guide on getting connected on FaceTime.