Latest guidance and health advice
Covid-19 cases in Luton are still very high so we are encouraging people to protect each other by limiting social interactions.
Please also see out latest advice and guidance leaflet to keep you and your family safe with translated information inside.
- Latest guidance
- Clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable groups
- Rules for meeting up at Christmas
- Guidance for people with symptoms of coronavirus - test and trace
- NHS Covid-19 app
- Where to get medical help
- hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
- face – wear a face covering where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
- space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with
- You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
- Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits
- Everyone who can work from home should do so. Where people cannot do so, they should continue to travel to their workplace
- All pupils should continue to attend school and colleges, unless required to self-isolate
- Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law
- Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
- You can continue to travel to venues that are open, or for reasons such as work or education, but you should reduce the number of journeys you make wherever possible
- Walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport
- Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble
- You must continue to follow Tier 2 rules when you travel to a Tier 1 area and you should try to avoid travel or overnight stays in tier 3 areas
Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and funerals should only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces, unless in exceptional circumstances.
Receptions and wakes should be sit down meals to ensure people can keep their distance from each other and must not take place in private dwellings.
You can have up to:
- 15 people for weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and receptions
- 30 people for funerals
- 15 people for wakes or linked ceremonial events (such as stone-settings) before or after the funeral
You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – also known as the furlough scheme – will remain open until 321 March 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
The thought of a tightening of restrictions will be upsetting and challenging for many of us. If you are worried about your physical or emotional health, please talk to someone. There are many organisations that offer help and support that will be happy to help.
- enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19)
- guidance for meeting people from outside your household
- making a childcare bubble with another household
- safer travel guidance for passengers for walking, cycling, and travelling in vehicles or on public transport during the coronavirus outbreak
- advice on using green spaces safely to protect yourself and others
- guidance for visiting care homes during the coronavirus pandemic
- guidance for the safe use of places of worship and special religious services and gatherings
- guidance for people planning to get married or form a civil partnership
- guidance for funerals during the coronavirus pandemic
- our business pages for guidance for safety in the work place
- full list of local restriction tiers by area
The above guidance only applies to those people who are fit and healthy. You should follow the guidance below if you are more at risk from coronavirus.
Clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable groups
Coronavirus (COVID-19) can make anyone seriously ill. But for some people, the risk is higher.
There are two levels of higher risk:
- high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) - group which has been shielding
- moderate risk (clinically vulnerable)
High risk - clinically extremely vulnerable (previously shielding)
People with certain medical conditions are classed as being clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.
If you're in this group, you would have received a letter saying you are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus and are advised to take extra steps to protect yourself. You would have received another letter with updated advice that Luton is in Tier 2.
- priority supermarket delivery slots
- local voluntary support to help with things such as prescriptions and essential items you need
If you are in need of more urgent support please call the Covid-19 Community Team on 01582 548955 (9am to 5pm weekdays, except Wednesdays 10am to 5pm).
Moderate risk (over 60s and clinically vulnerable)
If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You:
- should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others
- should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace
Clinically vulnerable include people who:
- are 70 or older
- have a lung condition that's not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis)
- have heart disease (such as heart failure)
- have diabetes
- have chronic kidney disease
- have liver disease (such as hepatitis)
- have a condition affecting the brain or nerves (such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy)
- have a condition that means they have a high risk of getting infections
- are taking medicine that can affect the immune system (such as low doses of steroids)
- are very obese (a BMI of 40 or above)
- are pregnant – see advice about pregnancy and coronavirus
Unlike people at high risk, you will not get a letter from the NHS.
If you're at moderate risk from coronavirus, you can go out to work (if you cannot work from home) and for things like getting food or exercising. But you should try to stay at home as much as possible.
It's very important you follow the general advice on social distancing. This includes trying to stay at least 2 meters (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with or anyone not in your support bubble.
Rules for meeting up at Christmas
Guidance for people with symptoms of coronavirus - test and trace
What are the symptoms?
- new continuous cough and/or
- high temperature
- loss of taste or smell
What should I do if I have symptoms?
- Isolate: as soon as you experience coronavirus symptoms, self-isolate for at least 10 days. Anyone else in your household must self-isolate for 14 days from when you started having symptoms
- Test: book a test immediately with the NHS or call 119 if you have no internet access. See government guidance on testing for more information.
- Results: if your test is positive, you must complete the remainder of your 10-day self-isolation. Anyone in your household must also complete self-isolation for 14 days from when you started having symptoms. If your test is negative, you and other household members no longer need to self-isolate
- Share contacts: if you test positive for coronavirus, the NHS test and trace service will send you a text or email alert or call you with instructions of how to share details of people with whom you have had close, recent contact and places you have visited. It is important that you respond as soon as possible so that appropriate advice can be given to those who need it.
For more information see:
- COVID-19 home test: step-by-step guide (adults and children)
- NHS test and trace: how it works
- stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus
- essential workers: get a test today to check if you have coronavirus
- video: how to take a coronavirus self-test swab
- guidance on the different types of coronavirus test available
- guidance for households with grandparents, parents and children living together where someone is at increased risk or has possible or confirmed coronavirus
If you're in contact with someone who has tested positive
If you're contacted by the NHS test and trace service because you've been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus you will be alerted by the NHS test and trace service who will tell you to begin self-isolation for 14 days from your last contact with the person who has tested positive.
Your household doesn’t need to self-isolate with you, if you do not have symptoms, but they must take extra care to follow the guidance on social distancing and handwashing and avoid contact with you at home.
You are now required by law to self-isolate if you test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine of up to £10,000.
You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme in Luton if you're required to stay at home and self-isolate.
NHS Covid-19 app
The government is urging all those over 16 years old to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.
The app is an important new tool to work alongside traditional contact tracing to help reduce the spread of the virus.
You can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play by selecting the following buttons.
Businesses, places of worship or community organisations that are open to the public must create a QR code to display at the venue for visitors to use in conjunction with the NHS app.
The government has also produced videos:
Where to get medical help
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after seven days