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 Aug 2020

Starting today, those who have been shielding over the course of the pandemic can begin to go back to work and school as long as the sites are COVID-secure. People can now go outside as much as they like, and visit supermarkets, pubs and shops, with social distancing guidelines still strongly advised.

The Government had also planned to reopen a number of higher risk settings from today, however these plans have been postponed for at least a fortnight. That means that, until 15 August at the earliest:

  • Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services will 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

In addition, from 8 August the requirement to wear a face covering will be extended to other indoor settings such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.

For more information, read the PM's full statement on the Government's website.


Guidance for safe use and re-opening of multi-purpose community facilities

Community centres, village halls, and other multi-use community facilities can now open, providing relevant guidance is followed to make the space COVID-19 secure. Prior to re-opening a building for permitted activities, a COVID-19 risk assessment should be completed. See guidance on completing a risk assessment.

Many community facilities are also workplaces and those responsible for the premises should therefore be aware of their responsibilities as employers. Organisations also have a duty of care to volunteers to ensure they are afforded the same level of protection as employees and the self-employed. See government information on coronavirus volunteering and how to help safely.

At this time, venues should not permit indoor performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. For more details read the government’s guidance on the safe use of community facilities.

15 July 2020

From next Friday, 24 July, it will be compulsory to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets. This is to ensure that we keep each other safe as lockdown rules continue to ease. Failure to wear a face covering could result in a fine.

Read more about face coverings, including how to make your own, on the Government's website

10 July 2020

The government announced yesterday that more businesses and services will be able to open in the week ahead. From 11 July, this will include some outdoor venues, and outdoor pools and water parks. From 13 July, close contact services, such as nail bars, salons, spas, and tattoo parlours, will be permitted to open with some restrictions, such as not providing services that require working directly in front of the face. For more information, see the government's list of FAQs.

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.

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