National Updates

Here you can find the latest updates from the government, NHS England, Public Health and Healthwatch England. 

For information about rules that are currently in place click here

There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other

  • Wash hands keep washing your hands regularly
  • Cover face wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
  • Make space stay at least a metre apart

Covid-19 remains a serious health risk

Covid-19 continues to be a serious health risk, we should all stay cautious to help protect ourselves and others. You should:

  • Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer
  • Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • Get tested and self-isolate if required
  • If you haven’t already, get vaccinated

New variant restrictions

Some of the rules have changed to help fight the new variant of Covid-19 called the Omicron variant.

A new Covid variant – Omicron – has been identified, and there are fears that it could be more infectious and less responsive to vaccines. Precautions are being taken until scientists can properly assess what the new variant’s impact could be. The government says it will review the changes.

The changes include:

  • You should work from home if you can
  • Face maks are compulsory in shops and other public venues such as cinemas and on public transport
  • You should take daily lateral flow tests if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, even if you are fully vaccinated – if one of the lateral flow tests comes back positive you should self-isolate and book a PCR test 
  • Pupils at secondary schools in England are being “strongly advised” to wear face coverings in communal areas. The guidance also applies to staff and visitors at all schools and childcare settings
  • Anyone entering the UK will be required to have a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and will need to self isolate until they have a negative result 
  • You will need to show your NHS Covid Pass to enter some venues including nightclubs and large events to show that you are fully vaccinated, have had a negative test result or are exempt

You must also self-isolate for 10 days if:

  • you test positive for Covid-19 or have Covid-19 symptoms
  • you are waiting for the results of a PCR test after developing Covid-19 symptoms or following a positive lateral flow test 
  • you are an adult who has not been double vaccinated, who lives with someone who tests positive or who has Covid-19 symptoms
  • you are an adult who has not been double vaccinated, who has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive

Testing advice update

The government has updated its Covid-19 testing guidance in the run-up to Christmas, recommending that people in England take lateral flow tests before going to high-risk settings. This includes spending time in crowded areas such as busy shopping areas, or when visiting vulnerable people in enclosed spaces.

Taking a lateral flow test before seeing family or friends this Christmas could help stop the virus from spreading. 

You should do this even if you are vaccinated, this is because you could still catch Covid-19 and pass it on to others. 

If you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, you should take daily lateral flow tests for at least 7 days even if you are fully vaccinated. 


Urgent appeal for people to get their booster vaccines 

You can get a booster dose if you had a 2nd dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago and:

  • you are aged 18 or over
  • you are aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19
  • you are a frontline health or social care worker
  • you live or work in a care home
  • you are aged 16 or over and are the main carer for someone at high risk from Covid-19
  • you are aged 16 or over and live with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

People who are pregnant and in 1 of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.

Visit our vaccinations section to find more information about the vaccines and how to book your jabs. 


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