Latest news, advice and guidance
This page signposts you to the latest COVID-19 guidance from the council, NHS and Government. You can find more information and support on the main COVID-19 page.
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Surge testing in Kingston
Cases of coronavirus in Kingston are rising sharply. This is linked to a broader national increase seen in the Delta variant (formerly widely referred to as the ‘Indian variant’). We need to act now to stop the spread, and keep our borough safe.
We are stepping up our testing and vaccination programmes for a period of three weeks from Wednesday 9 June, as well as supporting those who test positive through providing practical and financial help to self-isolate.
Everybody in Kingston can now get PCR tests, whether or not you have symptoms, and we are especially urging everyone aged 19-24 to get tested. We are also increasing testing in schools and workplaces.
Visit www.kingston.gov.uk/surge for more.
Play your part by:
- Getting tested at one of our PCR testing sites.
- Getting vaccinated when you can. If you are eligible, book your first appointment now. If you have had your first dose, make sure you get your second - now available after an 8-week interval.
- Taking twice weekly rapid tests to ensure you are not spreading the virus without knowing.
Why should I get tested?
PCR tests are swab tests which can be analysed in a laboratory. They are the only way to accurately identify specific coronavirus variants. The benefit of this is that it allows us to identify any new variants, including potential Variants of Concern.
You should get a PCR test even if you have been vaccinated as you could potentially still spread the virus to people without knowing, especially to those who have yet to be vaccinated or fully vaccinated.
What if I test positive?
If you test positive for coronavirus, we can help you with practical and financial support through the Kingston Stronger Together Support Hub.
How else can I help?
You can help to keep Kingston Safe by continuing to follow the rules. The current rules are:
- You can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30 people. You must not meet in groups of more than 30 people.
- You can meet indoors in groups of up to six people, or of two households. Overnight stays within these numbers will also be allowed.
- Most businesses can reopen, including indoor hospitality and indoor entertainment, such as cinemas, with Covid secure arrangements in place.
- Up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions and wakes. This limit also applies to other types of significant life events including bar mitzvahs and christenings. Blanket attendance limits for funerals have been removed. Attendance is dependent on the capacity of the venue, with social distancing in the place.
- Higher education providers (such as universities) can resume in person teaching. View the full guidance for students returning to university in May.
- You should continue to work from home if you can.
It is still safer to meet outdoors where possible, and hugging someone is safer when you have both had two doses of the vaccine.
The current rules about social distancing are:
- You can choose whether or not to maintain social distancing with close family and friends, However, remember that staying 2m apart helps reduce risk of contracting COVID-19.
- We should remain cautious about the risks from close personal contact such as hugging, as this remains a direct way of transmitting the disease, and take steps to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
- We should continue to make space for other people to maintain social distance.
To ensure that we can continue to reopen safely, please continue to do everything you can protect yourself, your friends and your family. As well as making sure that you are following the rules, this includes:
- Washing your hands regularly, with warm soapy water, for at least 20 seconds
- Keeping a safe distance from others
- Wearing a face covering in public indoor spaces, such as shops, public transport, and restaurants and bars when you are not seated at your table
- Maintaining a flow of fresh air. As we begin spending more time indoors with those outside of our household, it is especially important that we keep windows and doors open - even if only slightly. This keeps rooms ventilated, and significantly reduces the risk of spreading coronavirus.
- Getting tested regularly. One in three people with coronavirus have no symptoms at all. By getting regularly tested, you are making sure you aren’t accidentally spreading it to your friends and family. Find out how to access tests locally.
- Getting vaccinated when it is your turn.
Thank you for all that you are doing to Keep Kingston Safe. Read the full guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Rules on self isolation
- If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started. Anyone you live with must self isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started.
- If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must self isolate for 10 days. You should only book a free test if you develop any symptoms.
- The Government will be imposing fines starting at £1,000 and rising to £10,000 for those who do not follow the rules on self isolation. This will be enforced by the Police.
- The council and other agencies will support you if you and your family need to self isolate. To find out what support and advice is available, visit Connected Kingston or call us on 020 8547 5000 or complete our support form
- Kingston Council has established a Coronavirus Winter Support Fund to provide support to Kingston residents who need additional assistance over the winter months.
- The Government has announced financial support for those on low incomes and in receipt of benefits who cannot work from home if they are required to self isolate. More details will be made available as soon as we receive them.
NHS contact tracing app
- The NHS COVID-19 App was launched by the Government on 24 September. A range of businesses including hospitality venues, close contact services, community centres, libraries and places of worship are required by law to collect contact details for all their customers for NHS Test and Trace. The app will enable you to register your details with the venues you visit via your smartphone.
- If someone you have been in close contact with tests positive for the virus, and shares this information with the NHS Test and Trace app, you will receive an alert telling you to self isolate for 14 days.
- The more people who use the NHS Test and Trace app, the more the NHS will be able to track the virus and send alerts to those who may have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID.
Why should I follow the rules?
- The rules are here to protect everyone, and to help us protect each other. If you increase your risk of exposure to the virus, you increase the risk of everyone around you.
- By following the rules and playing our part, we can protect jobs and protect our local hospital and NHS services. We need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to ensure the NHS can continue to provide all the essential services people across our borough rely on.
Latest government guidance
- What you can and cannot do
- Staying safe outside your home - social distancing
- What are the rules inside your home
- Face coverings - when to wear one and how to make your own
- Traveling abroad - rules on quarantining when you return home
- Countries exempt from quarantine rules
- Guidance on self isolating
- Guidance on shielding
- Find the latest health advice on NHS.uk
- Find government guidance, including guidelines on social distancing and how to protect yourself and others from the virus, at Gov.uk
- Find the latest council news on the news pages of our website.