Latest guidance and health advice
Luton is classified at the ‘medium’ alert level meaning the current national guidelines apply. However, we're seeing a worrying increase in cases locally.
To slow the spread, we're asking you to go further than the government guidelines and do all you can to limit meeting with people you don't live with.
Unless we act now, it's likely that the rate of infection will continue to rise and new restrictions will be brought in. It is absolutely essential that we all follow the latest government and local guidelines below.
- Latest guidance
- 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
While we are asking everyone to limit meeting people you don’t live with socially, if this is not possible you must follow the rule of 6:
- when seeing friends and family you do not live with (or who are not part of your support bubble), you must not meet in a group of more than 6, indoors or outdoors
- this limit of 6 includes children of any age
- these rules can be enforced by the police who may issue penalties for anyone not obeying them
You should continue to:
- work from home where you can effectively do so
- when travelling, plan ahead or avoid busy times and routes
- walk or cycle if you can
- guidance for meeting people from outside your 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
The government will only reintroduce formal shielding advice in the very worst affected local areas, and only for a limited period of time. This will only apply to some, but not all, very high alert level areas and will be based on advice from the chief medical officer.
The government will write to you separately to inform you if you're advised to shield. You're only advised to follow shielding advice if you receive a new written shielding notification.
If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you are advised not to enter any area where shielding advice is in place.
You will still be able to get:
- local volunteer support by contacting us
- prescriptions, essential items and food you buy delivered by NHS Volunteer Responders
- priority slots for supermarket deliveries (only if you previously registered for free food parcels).
Find out more information on shielding
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:
- 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