Accessing Council Services:
- You can access advice, or support with using our online services, by phoning 01268 882200 (8.45am to 5.15pm Mon to Thurs, and to 4.45pm on Fri)
- The Kiln Road office will re-open for pre-booked appointments only (9.00am to 4.00pm), these can be arranged on a case by case basis by phoning 01268 882200.
- You can find information and advice on COVID-19 and our 24/7 online services on our Coronavirus information page .
Staying Covid-19 secure
A large percentage of people have now received a vaccine for Covid-19 but please remember, even when fully vaccinated it is still possible to catch and spread the virus. Covid-19 will remain with us for the foreseeable future and so it important that we learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others. If you are worried about the changes and returning to “normal” life then you may like to read the information published by the NHS on coping with anxiety about coming out of lockdown
The information below should help you understand what life will be like under step 4 of the roadmap.
Lifting of restrictions
- You will not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There will also be no limits on the number of people you can meet.
- However, in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
- Meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
- The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
- The requirement to wear face coverings in law will be lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
- There will no longer be limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There will be no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
- There will no longer be restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship.
Reopening of businesses
All remaining businesses and venues can now reopen. There are no capacity limits at sporting, entertainment or business events and hospitality venues will no longer be required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules.
To keep yourselves, your staff and your customers safe, please read through the working safely guidance. Employers still have a legal duty to manage risk and if you have not done so already, please complete a risk assessment.
NHS Covid Pass
The government are encouraging organisations in higher risk settings to use the NHS Covid Pass as a condition of entry. This is not currently a legal requirement although at a later date it may become mandatory at certain venues. This Covid Pass should not be used as a condition of entry for accessing essential services and essential retail which have remained open during the pandemic. More information on the NHS app
It is no longer a legal requirement for businesses to display QR codes, but are certainly encouraged to do so. Some customers may feel they still want to check in and you may feel you want to continue collecting contact details to support NHS Test and Trace.
Getting tested and when to self-isolate
It is important that if you develop symptoms you self-isolate and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are only mild. Please stay at home while you book the test and are waiting for the results. Remember, your isolation period starts on the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you have no symptoms), and the next 10 days.
You must self-isolate if you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.
Changes to self-isolation from August
From 16th August, if you’re fully vaccinated you will not be required to self-isolate if you are in contact with someone who is positive, instead you will need a PCR test. You will also be exempt if you are under 18 and are in contact with a positive case. Just as is the case for adults, you will be told whether or not you need to have a PCR test. If you are 18 years old then you will be treated as if you are under 18 until 4 months after your 18th birthday, this is so you have the chance to be fully vaccinate.
If you test positive, you will still need to isolate regardless of whether you have been vaccinated or how old you are.