Coronavirus: latest guidance

Updated: 2 March 2021 

National lockdown: stay at home

  • Do not leave your home unless necessary
  • Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or bubble
  • 1 in 3 people who have the virus have no symptoms, so you could be spreading it without knowing it
  • You should only leave your homes for limited reasons, guidance is available from GOV.UK including advice on what you can and cannot do.
  • If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you are advised to follow the shielding guidance

Plan to ease lockdown announced

A roadmap for easing restrictions in England has been announced by the Prime Minister. The ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ document sets out four steps for easing restrictions.

You can read a summary of the road map here.

‘Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of the previous step.'

The assessment will be based on four tests:

  • the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern

It advises that ‘It takes around four weeks for the data to reflect the impact of the previous step and the Government will provide a further week’s notice to individuals and businesses before making changes. The roadmap therefore sets out indicative, “no earlier than” dates for the steps which are five weeks apart. These dates are wholly contingent on the data and are subject to change if the four tests are not met.’

Changes to restrictions from 8 March

Guidance on the changes from 8 March has been published. The changes include:

The Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are advised not to attend work, school or education until 31 March.

No further significant changes will be made on 8 March and restrictions requiring you to stay at home will remain in place. Later changes, including from 29 March, are set out in the COVID-19 response roadmap.

COVID-19 vaccination programme 

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

The order in which people are offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination is published on GOV.UK. 

It is currently being given to:

The JCVI has now published its advice for Phase 2 of the vaccination programme. After groups 1 to 9 in Phase 1, people aged 40 to 49 years are at highest risk of hospitalisation, with the risk reducing the younger you are. Prioritisation will therefore continue in the following order, once all at-risk groups in Phase 1 have been offered at least one dose of the vaccine:

  • all those aged 40 to 49 years
  • all those aged 30 to 39 years
  • all those aged 18 to 29 years'

Read more about the vaccination process from the NHS and local information from Herts County Council.

For further information please visit the official guidance available via the NHS and GOV.UK:

How to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Guidance is available on GOV.UK:

Visit the GermDefence website for further advice on reducing the risks from COVID-19 in your home.

Further information is available on the Coronavirus: Protect yourself and others page.

Beware of COVID Scammers

Beware of vaccine scam messages where fraudsters send out fake texts offering a COVID vaccine in an attempt to steal personal and financial information. Further advice on how to spot COVID scams is available below:

Official guidance

If you have symptoms - Managing a possible coronavirus infection 

Get a Test

Self-isolation and support payments

Staying safe and social distancing

Test and Trace

  • Test and Trace: how it works - an overview of the Test and Trace service, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

Advice and support

Tracking the pandemic (including vaccination data)