Coronavirus: latest guidance

Updated: 23 October 2020

National situation

The COVID-19 alert level has been increased from Level 3 to Level 4 across the UK (a COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation, transmission is high or rising exponentially​).

The latest R number range for the UK is 1.2-1.4. Information on the R number and growth rate of coronavirus is available on GOV.UK. 

The COVID-19 dashboard has data on the latest situation in North Hertfordshire and across the the UK.

Latest updates and guidance

Hertfordshire Local COVID Alert Level - Medium

A tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels, set at medium, high, and very high, took effect from Wednesday 14 October. 

Hertfordshire has been placed under the medium alert level. The Hertfordshire’s Local Resilience Forum (LRF) is calling on the whole community to act now and ‘Play your Part’ to slow the rapid spread of coronavirus in our county and avoid the county moving to high-risk status.

David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, and Jim McManus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council issued a joint statement on the new Alert Level. They advise that 'now is the time to redouble our efforts to keep the virus at bay'.

Further details are provided in the 'Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know' guidance on GOV.UK.

It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:

  • HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • FACE - Wear a face covering on public transport, in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.  In many indoor spaces, you must wear a face covering by law, unless you are exempt
  • SPACE - Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors). Move outdoors, where it is safer and there is more space. If indoors, make sure rooms are well ventilated by keeping windows and doors open
  • Self-isolate and book a test immediately if you get symptoms

Follow the social distancing guidance. Further information is available on the Coronavirus: Protect Yourself and Others page

NHS COVID-19 app

The new NHS COVID-19 app is now available to download for free. It's the fastest way to see if you're at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community.

Using proven technology from Apple and Google, the app will notify you if you have come into contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus. It also allows you to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals that have coronavirus.

Face coverings mandatory

The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others. The guidance on Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own advises on the settings where it is mandatory to wear a face covering and advice on when you are permitted to remove a face covering and those who are exempt from wearing one. When going outside your home you should follow the social distancing guidance.

People wearing face coverings are still strongly advised to:

  • wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting one on or taking it off
  • avoid taking it off and putting it back on again a lot in quick succession
  • store it in a plastic bag in between washes or wearing
  • avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth while wearing one

Official guidance

Tracking the pandemic

Staying safe and social distancing

Managing a possible infection 

Advice and support

Social media

Council service updates