The government has confirmed that legal COVID restrictions are set to end in England on the 19th of July. It is very important that we all continue to manage the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and city and that we continue to show caution.
London has seen a rise in cases over the past week, with 3,314 testing positive, compared to 2,598 in the previous full week. This is a reminder that even with the lifting of most legal restrictions, we are advised to continue to remember the basics of ‘Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air’ and the continued use of face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces, such as on public transport. The Government will also be shortly publishing updated guidance on keeping people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable safe.
An effective vaccine is still the best way to protect people from coronavirus and there is evidence to show that thousands of lives have already been saved because of them. Alongside vaccine rollout, regular testing is at the heart of plans to reopen society and the economy and will help to suppress and control the spread of variants.
Staying safe and helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 From the 19 July, England will move to step 4 of the roadmap. As the number of cases are high and are still rising, we rely on your help to encourage our families and communities to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.
From the 19 July, the following key protections will stay in place in;
• testing when you have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk.
• isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
• border quarantine for all arriving from red list countries and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries. Cautious guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable whilst prevalence is high including:
• whilst Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, they would expect and recommend a gradual return to workplace settings over the summer
• it is expected and recommended that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport • being outside or letting fresh air in
• minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts – keep the number of people you socialise with to a minimum and try to reduce the how long you spend with them and be mindful of how close you get to them
• encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS COVID Pass in high risk settings. The Government has said they will work with organisations where people are likely to be near others outside their household to encourage the use of the pass.
People who have any of the following symptoms overleaf even if they are mild, should book or order a PCR test here as soon as possible:
• a high temperature
• a new, continuous cough
• a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
A PCR test kit can be sent to their home or they can book an appointment at a walk-in or drive-through test site.
They and the people they live with should self-isolate until they get their test result and they should only leave home to take a test or to post a test kit.
There are some reasons people without symptoms may need a PCR test and more information can be found here.
Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms (are asymptomatic) and may be unwittingly spreading the virus. Regular rapid testing for COVID-19 is now being offered to everyone without symptoms and people encouraged to take these tests to help prevent outbreaks. The test usually involves taking a sample from your throat and from your nose, using a swab. You can get a result in 30 minutes.
Anyone in England can access free, rapid lateral flow tests (LFDs) for themselves and their families to use regularly. You can either order testing kits online to be sent to your home or you can collect testing kits from a local pharmacy, a testing site.
When ordering online, you can order one pack a day and each pack contains 7 tests. If collecting the tests yourself from a nearby pharmacy or testing site, you can collect 2 packs at a time, (14 tests in total).
If you cannot order online, then please call 119 (Lines are open 7am-11pm and calls are free).
You can still also be tested at a local testing site. Find a local testing site at:
Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests – NHS (test-and-trace.nhs.uk)
Vaccine roll out
Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious disease. Most of us, including our children and wider families, have already had at least one, and they are responsible for stopping up to three million deaths worldwide every year. New analysis by Public Health England shows that, for the first time, 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.
Over 5 million people in London, including the most vulnerable and those who care for them, have already received their first dose, and over 3 and a half million have now also received their second dose.
All adults aged 18 or over can now get vaccinated against COVID-19 and you do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS.
To find out how, visit: nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or phone 119.
When you have arranged your appointment, please make sure you attend.
If you were contacted but have not booked your appointment, you’re still eligible and can book your appointments anytime.
For the vaccine to be effective, we need as many people to step forward as possible. Doing so means protecting ourselves, our parents, our grandparents, even our children from the impact of this deadly virus. It is a choice that we are very fortunate to have. There is information available about the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme including an easy-read guide to coronavirus and vaccinations. Even when people have had the COVID-19 vaccine, they are advised to continue to following advice to keep themselves safe.