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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Changes to national Covid restrictions from 12 April
On Monday 12 April we moved to step two of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. The following rules now apply:
- All shops can reopen, along with close-contact services, including hairdressers and beauty salons
- Restaurants and pubs can serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
- Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
- Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
- Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place
You should still only meet those outside your household outdoors, in groups of up to six people, or two households. Although the stay at home rule has ended, you should still make efforts to stay local where possible, and continue to work from home where possible. You should continue to keep a 2 metre distance from people from outside your household or support bubble.
For full details visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus
As we take another hugely significant step forward on our journey out of lockdown with the welcome reopening of many more of our shops, services, hospitality and leisure venues,we must continue to do all we can to keep virus rates as low as possible. By continuing to follow the rules and stick to guidelines on regular hands washing, wearing face coverings, keeping a safe distance and opening doors or windows for a flow of fresh air, we can save lives. Thank you for all your efforts to keep Kingston safe.
Rapid testing for everybody in England
Everyone in England without coronavirus symptoms can access free, rapid coronavirus tests twice a week to check whether they unknowingly have the virus.
One in three people who have coronavirus don’t have any symptoms, yet they are still infectious and can pass it on to others without realising. Alongside the vaccine rollout, regular twice-weekly testing for all is at the heart of plans to reopen society and the economy, helping to suppress the virus and control the spread of variants.
Government's 4 stage roadmap out of lockdown
On Monday, 21 February the Prime Minister set out the government's roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions. The 4-stage plan will take place gradually over the coming weeks and months, with around 5 weeks between each step. Each stage of the roadmap is dependent on data on the vaccine rollout, hospitalisations, deaths and new variants. Read our summary of the roadmap below, or find out more on GOV.UK.
- From 8 March all primary and secondary school pupils reopen. Care home residents will be allowed one nominated visitor and outdoor recreation with one other person will be allowed.
- From 29 March up to six people or two households will be able to meet up outside, including in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities can reopen and organised sports can resume. From this date people will no longer legally be required to stay at home, but should continue to stay local.
Stage 2: no earlier than 12 April, non essential retail, personal care, gyms, swimming pools and outdoor hospitality can reopen.
Stage 3: no earlier than 17 May, groups of up to 30 will be able to meet outdoors, and six people or two households can meet inside. Indoor hospitality can reopen, including museums, theatres, cinemas and children’s play areas.
Stage 4: no earlier than 21 June, all legal limits on social contact will be removed and remaining closed sectors can reopen.
What can I do to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect my family and friends?
- Rates of COVID-19 are increasing across the country and we all have a vital role to play in stopping the spread of the virus and protecting our family and friends - particularly those who are most vulnerable to the severest impacts of the disease.
- One in three people with coronavirus don’t have any symptoms. Act as if you already have COVID-19.
- You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by remembering Hands, Face, Space:
- Wash your hands regularly for more than 20 seconds.
- Wear a face covering in shops, on public transport and where you cannot maintain a 2 metre distance.
- Keep a safe distance from people not in your household or support bubble - 2 metres where possible or 1 metre with extra precautions.
- Keep rooms well ventilated - We now know that the virus does not transmit as easily in spaces where windows are kept open, allowing aerosol particles to disperse more easily.
- If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 - a new cough, a high temperature or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell - you must self isolate, that means stay at home, and book a free test as soon as possible. To book a test visit the NHS site or call 119.
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.