Latest news, advice and guidance

This page signposts you to the latest COVID-19 news, advice and guidance from the council, NHS and Government. 

You can find more information and support on the main COVID-19 page.

We are sending regular weekly updates about what the council is doing and how to stay safe and healthy during these challenging times. Keep up to date by signing up to receive these newsletters to your inbox. You can also read previous updates.

Latest updates

1 July 2020

A message from Councillor Caroline Kerr, Leader of Kingston Council - respect public spaces and keep everyone safe.

24 June 2020 - Government announces easing of lockdown restrictions from 4 July 

The Prime Minister has set out new changes to lockdown measures in England to enable people to see more of their friends and family, help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs. 

From Saturday 4 July the following changes apply:

  • Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines.

  • Two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures.

  • People can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites.

  • Some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely. This includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.

  • Where it is not possible to stay two metres apart, government guidance will allow people to keep a social distance of ‘one metre plus’. This means staying one metre apart, plus mitigations which reduce the risk of transmission.

Full details of the new guidelines can be found on the GOV.UK website

It is vital we all continue to follow social distancing guidelines to keep the virus under control and enable the country to continue to emerge from lockdown safely. The measures will be kept under constant review and may be reversed if the virus begins to run out of control. 

New guidance for people who are shielding and clinically extremely vulnerable

As COVID-19 infection rates continue to decrease, the Government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding and clinically extremely vulnerable

From Monday 6 July, those shielding will be able to start to spend more time outside their home and meet outdoors in groups of up to six people.

They will also be able to create a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if they live alone or are a single parent household, following the same rules that apply to the public now.

From 1 August, people who are shielding will be able to return to work if they cannot work at home, provided their workplace is COVID-secure.

Full details of the new guidance are available on the GOV.UK website.

1 July 2020 - Mobile testing unit in Kingston

A mobile COVID-19 testing unit (MTU) will return to Kingston on Tuesday 7 and Friday 10 July. Anyone with symptoms in eligible for testing. You should book a test as soon as possible on the NHS website. Additionally, essential workers can also visit the GOV.UK website to apply for a test. Please note that these dates may be subject to change and will be updated accordingly.

You should only visit the MTU if you have a confirmed test appointment and please drive to the testing site wherever possible. The MTU will be in the Cattle Market car park in Kingston town centre. 

5 June 2020 - Face coverings mandatory on public transport

The government has announced that face coverings will be mandatory on public transport from 15 June. You should still work from home if you can, and if you must travel, try to use alternate forms of transport such as walking, cycling, or driving. However, if you need to take public transport, face coverings will be required to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

1 June 2020 - New guidance on staying safe outside your home

The government has release new guidance on staying safe outside your home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should not leave home. Otherwise, you should still stay home as much as possible, including working from home if you can, but if you must go out:

  • practise social distancing by staying at least 2 metres away from people outside your household
  • keep your hands and face as clean as possible, washing your hands often with soap and water
  • reduce the amount of people you spend time with in a work setting
  • avoid crowds
  • avoid public transport whenever possible, and walk or cycle instead
  • wash your clothes regularly
  • keep indoor places well ventilated
  • wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces, such as public transport, where social distancing isn't possible

Updated rules on spending time outdoors

New government guidance on spending time outdoors means you can now leave your home more than once a day and spend as much time outdoors as you like, as long as you stay 2 metres apart from anyone who is not in your household. 

Parks and outdoor spaces across the borough are open, but playgrounds and outdoor gyms remain closed in line with Government rules. 

Updated rules on meeting people

You are now allowed to meet in groups of up to six people from different households outside, as long as you keep 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. 

Dos and don'ts

The government has produced a list of FAQs to help explain what you can and cannot do

18 May 2020

A message from the Leader of Kingston Council - The NHS is here for you

13 May 2020