Updated: 3 July 2020
We are monitoring developments relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) daily.
The COVID-19 alert level across the UK has been reduced (from 19 June) from Level 4 (a COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (a COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation).
What you need to know
The latest easing of lockdown measures took effect from 4 July (announced by the Prime Minister on 23 June).
From 4 July:
View the guidance on what you can and can't do after 4 July and meeting people from outside your household from 4 July
- meet in groups of up to two households (your support bubble counts as one household) in any location - public or private, indoors or outdoors. You do not always have to meet with the same household - you can meet with different households at different times. However, it remains the case - even inside someone’s home - that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble (this change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers)
- when you are outside you can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines
- stay overnight away from your home with your own household or support bubble, or with members of one other household
- it will be against the law to gather in groups larger than 30 people, except for a limited set of circumstances to be set out in law and unless all members of the group are exclusively from two households
Additional businesses and venues, including restaurants, pubs, cinemas, visitor attractions, hotels, and campsites will be able to open - but certain premises where the risks of transmission may be higher will continue to be kept closed. Other public places, such as libraries, community centres, places of worship, outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gyms will be able to open
When you leave your home, you should follow the guidelines on Staying Safe Outside Your Home.
To help reduce the spread of the virus if you visit enclosed spaces such shops you should consider wearing a face covering, this is mandatory on public transport as from 15 June. These can be made at home using scarves or other textiles.
Visiting Venues and Supporting the NHS Test and Trace Service
If you visit certain venues e.g. pubs, restaurants, museums, cinemas, hairdressers, you will be asked for your contact details to assist with the NHS Test and Trace service, the records will 'help NHS Test and Trace to reach anyone who may at a later date be found to have potentially been in contact with a positive coronavirus case whilst at a particular venue, helping to quickly contact people at risk of the virus and prevent localised outbreaks before they occur’.
Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
We can all help control the spread of the virus:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- Wash your hands regularly
Plans to ease guidance for over 2 million shielding
The Health and Social Care Secretary has announced that advisory guidance is to be eased for 2.2 million clinically extremely vulnerable people across England.
- From Monday 6 July, those shielding from coronavirus can gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a ‘support bubble’ with another household
- Government shielding support package will remain in place until the end of July when people will no longer be advised to shield
- From Saturday 1 August the guidance will then be relaxed so clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield
Full details are available in the revised guidance.
Test and Trace Service
The test and trace service was launched on 28 May.
There is a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 in premises where customers and visitors spend a longer time in one place and potentially come into close contact with other people outside of their household. To manage this risk, establishments in certain sectors, whether indoor or outdoor venues or mobile settings, should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors. Guidance has been produced on Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace.
Anyone with symptoms will be tested and their close contacts will be traced. Those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.
- Guidance on how the service works is available if you have symptoms or if you are alerted by the NHS test and trace service that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
- Guidance is available for contacts of people with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person
- Information on testing for coronavirus is available on the GOV.UK website including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested.
Staying safe and social distancing
- Coronavirus outbreak FAQ's:what you can and can't do after 4 July
- Meeting people from outside your household from 4 July
- Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
- Face coverings: how to wear and make a cloth face covering
Managing a possible infection
- Guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection - guidance if you or someone in your household have symptoms
- Guidance for households with grandparents, parents and children living together where someone is at increased risk or has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
- Self-isolation if you or someone you live with has symptoms – NHS guidance self-isolation
- How to protect extremely vulnerable people – Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
- Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers - guidance for parents and carers, and information on key workers
Advice and support
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for victims of domestic abuse – support for those who feel they are at risk of abuse
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cyber crime - Simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cybercrime
Tracking the pandemic
- PHE Total UK COVID-19 Cases Update - Track coronavirus cases in the UK
- PHE Number of Coronavirus Cases and Risk in the UK - for information on the latest situation in the UK
- GOV.UK Coronavirus Action Plan
- UK Government COVID-19 Recovery Strategy
- GOV.UK: Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
- Public Health England Twitter feed
- Department of Health Twitter feed
Council service updates
- For information about council services affected by COVID-19, see Coronavirus: service updates
- Frequently Asked Questions from Hertfordshire County Council
Protect yourself and others – wash your hands more often
There are simple actions you can take to help stop viruses like coronavirus spreading including washing your hands for 20 seconds, using soap and water or hand sanitiser as shown in the NHS handwashing technique video.
- wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after you get home or go into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food and after taking public transport
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean