For the latest medical advice, visit NHS.uk/Coronavirus.
On the left-hand side of this page (or at the bottom, if you're on a mobile device) you can see a number of links which set out the support for businesses and individuals, as well as more information on the Coronavirus outbreak
Changes to advice for the 'Shielded'
Shielding guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable has been paused across England.
This means those who have been shielding over the course of the pandemic are no longer be advised to do so, and can begin to go back to work and school as long as the sites are COVID-secure.
People are also be able to go outside as much as they like, and visit supermarkets, pubs and shops, with social distancing guidelines still strongly advised.
The latest scientific evidence shows that the average incidence across the country remains lower now than the point when the decision was made to proceed with the pausing of shielding nationally. This has allowed for the relaxation of the guidance.
Some changes postponed for at least a fortnight
The government has announced that changes previously expected to come into force at the start of August will now be delayed for at least two weeks.
Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed. Indoor performances will not resume. Pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place. Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, but ceremonies can continue to take place, in line with COVID-Secure guidelines.
Extention of the self-isolation period
Evidence has strengthened and showing that people with COVID-19 who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset.
That's why those showing symptoms of coronavirus, or who have a positive test result, must now self-isolate for 10 days, rather than 7 days.
Find businesses taking part in 'Eat Out to Help Out'
Throughout August, you can use the 'Eat out to Help Out Scheme' at a participating restaurant to get 50% discount off food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner) every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3 and 31 August as many times as you like.
Spain and Luxembourg removed from travel corridors exemption list
People returning to the UK from Spain (including islands) or Luxembourg will now need to self-isolate for two weeks. This follows a significant change in the last week in the level and pace of change in confirmed cases.
If you are currently in these countries, you should follow the local rules and return home as normal. You can check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Travel Advice pages for further information.
You now need to wear a face-covering – for example, a fabric covering, scarf or bandana – that covers the nose and mouth in additional enclosed public spaces, as well as frequent hand washing and careful social distancing. This includes shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs.
It is also compulsory to wear a face-covering when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops. If you are in the premises where you are able to sit down and consume food or drink that you have bought, then you can remove your face covering in order to eat and drink on-site.
The requirement to wear a face-covering has also been extended to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. These changes will be enforced from 8th August.
The government has announced further measures to lift the lockdown in England. That means:
- Households containing one adult (including those with children under 18) can join another household to form a 'bubble' to act as if they live within the same household. This means they can spend time together inside, and do not need to stay 2m apart. These bubbles must be exclusive, meaning you cannot switch the bubble you are within, or mix with multiple households. If any member of the support bubble develops symptoms, all members of the bubble will need to follow the normal advice and self-isolate. This does not apply to those who are shielding, however, more details will be unveiled next week about the arrangements in place for those shielding beyond the end of June.
- Zoos, safari parks, and outdoor attractions such as drive-in cinemas can open with social distancing in place.
- Places of worship can open for individual prayer, with social distancing in place.
Stay safe from coronavirus scams
There have been concerning reports of NHS contact tracing scams by those trying to take advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Contract tracers will NEVER:
❌ ask you to make payment.
❌ ask any details about your bank account.
❌ ask you for any passwords or PINs.
❌ ask you to download anything.