CORONAVIRUS BULLETIN – as at 5th July 2021

Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the country, including for people who have been vaccinated. In England:

  • You can meet indoors in a group of up to 6 people or a group of any size from 2 households
  • You can meet outside in a group of up to 30 people
  • Work from home if you can and travel safely
  • If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home

How to book a test

If you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19

You can book a test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or call NHS on 119 to get a test.

There are two ways that you can get tested to confirm if you currently have coronavirus and both are provided free of charge. The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted).

This can be done:

Driving to a regional or mobile drive-through test site

You can get tested at the Aboyne Community Clubroom, Tooting and the Ethelburga Community Clubroom, Battersea seven days a week between 8am and 8pm. In addition, testing is available at Sudlow Road, Wandsworth on various dates throughout the month. You must book an appointment.

When you book you will be given the option of a test centre based on nearest location to you and availability.

 Requesting a home-testing kit

British Sign Language NHS Facebook page video explaining Test and Trace.

If you are NOT displaying symptoms of COVID-19 you are still encouraged to test

Around 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 do not have any symptoms and can spread it without knowing. The council are making additional testing sites available to support people to get tested locally.

Testing is now available to everyone as national restrictions are eased. Frontline workers in direct contact with local people, volunteers and formal/informal carers are strongly advised to get tested.

Booking is required – book your test.

Should I buy a home-testing kit online?

Some manufacturers are selling products containing COVID-19 testing kits that allow a swab or other type of sample to be taken at home or in the pharmacy setting, followed by a very rapid result within about ten minutes.

The current Government view is that use of products that give a very rapid result is not advised because there is little information on the accuracy of these tests, and no published evidence about the suitability of these tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infections.

For more information, see Government guidance on the rapid point of care tests.

Receiving your results

Symptomatic Testing (i.e. with symptoms)

Whether you visit a testing site or use a home-testing kit, you will receive advice on what to do in order to obtain your test results. Results will be sent out by text within 48 hours from a testing site, and within 72 hours of collection of a home test.

If you or your household member tested positive, you should all continue to follow the Government’s stay at home guidance.

Asymptomatic Testing (i.e. a rapid flow test for those without symptoms)

Results will be sent to you via text message and/or email using contact details recorded at the registration or check-in process. The results will be communicated within a day of the test.

 

Book a Vaccine

The vaccine is currently being offered to everyone over the age of 18 in Wandsworth.

You can book a vaccine here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

If you have previously been contacted and didn’t book an appointment, you can still book one now by visiting the same website.

Everyone over the age of 18 can now get a walk-in vaccine at Queen Mary’s Hospital and many other sites across London. You don’t need to be registered with a GP, you don’t need an appointment and it’s never too late to get the vaccine.

You will just need to bring proof of age such as your driving licence or passport. If you are going for your second dose bring your vaccination card from your first dose appointment if you have it. You are usually required to have a gap of at least 8 weeks between your first and second doses.

You can find details on vaccination walk-in centres by clicking here.

International travel

You should not travel to red or amber list countries or territories. Some countries and territories changed status on 30 June. Check what you need to do to travel internationally.

In England

Step 3 restrictions remain in place. There is currently a 4-week pause at Step 3 of the roadmap and it is expected that England will move to Step 4 on 19 July. From 21 June you can have more guests at weddings, civil partnerships and commemorative events following a funeral depending on venue capacity and how many can be safely accommodated with social distancing. Follow the guidance on what you can and cannot do.

Meeting family and friends outdoors

You should continue to minimise the number of people you meet within a short period of time to limit the risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19). Most restrictions on meeting people outdoors have been lifted, but gatherings must not exceed 30 people unless covered by a legal exemption, such as:

  • for the purposes of work or volunteering
  • to provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people

If you are meeting friends and family, you can make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance from them, but you should still be cautious. You should read the guidance on meeting friends and family.

Meeting friends and family indoors (rule of 6)

It is safer to meet people outdoors. This is because COVID-19 spreads much more easily indoors. However, you can meet up indoors with friends and family you do not live with, either:

  • in a group of up to 6 from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of 6)
  • in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)

If you are meeting friends and family, you can make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance from them, but you should still be cautious. You should read the guidance on meeting friends and family.

If you’re in a support bubble

If you are eligible to form a support bubble, you and your support bubble count as one household towards the limit of 2 households when meeting others indoors. This means, for example, that you and your support bubble can meet with another household, even if the total group size is more than 6 people.

Where you can meet indoors

You can meet in a group of 6 or a larger group of any size from up to 2 households (including their support bubbles) indoors in places such as:

  • private homes
  • retail
  • indoor hospitality venues, such as restaurants, bars and cafes
  • indoor sports and leisure facilities, such as gyms, sports courts, and swimming pools
  • personal care, such as spas
  • indoor entertainment and visitor attractions, such as museums, theatres, and indoor play areas

Remember to follow guidance on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as letting in fresh air.

When you can meet with more people

Gatherings above the limit of 6 people or 2 households indoors can only take place if they are covered by a legal exemption, such as:

  • organised parent and child groups or support groups which can be attended by up to 30 people
  • for the purposes of work or volunteering. This means, for example, a tradesperson can go into a household without breaking the limit if they are there for work
  • to provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people, including shopping for essential items and accessing services on their behalf.

Support bubbles

If you are eligible to form a support bubble, you and your support bubble count as one household towards the limit of 2 households when meeting others indoors. See the separate guidance on support bubbles.

Up to 6 people from different households or a larger group of up to 2 households can meet indoors without the need for a formal childcare arrangement such as a childcare bubble.

Going to work

You should continue to work from home where you can.

If you cannot work from home you should continue to travel to your workplace. You do not need to be classed as a critical worker to go to work if you cannot work from home.

Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working. Where people cannot work from home, employers should take steps to make their workplaces COVID-19 secure and help employees avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

COVID-secure rules, including social distancing requirements, continue to apply in the workplace. COVID-secure guidelines are available for sectors across the economy to substantially reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

See guidance for restrictions on businesses and venues in England

Meeting others for work

You can gather in a group larger than six people or two households indoors or in a group larger than 30 people outdoors where it is necessary for your work. When working, you should remain 2 metres from anyone you do not live with, or at least 1m with additional mitigations.

Working in other people’s homes

Where it is reasonably necessary for you to work in other people’s homes you can continue to do so, for example if you’re a:

  • nanny
  • cleaner
  • tradesperson
  • social care worker providing support to children and families

You should follow the guidance on working in other people’s homes.

Where a work meeting does not need to take place in a private home or garden, it should not.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable or live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable

If you have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable then you should continue to work from home where possible. If you cannot work from home, you can go to your workplace. Your employer is required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work. Some employers may conduct regular testing of employees as part of these measures. You may also want to consider how you get to and from work, for example, if it is possible to avoid using public transport during rush hour.

If you live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable then you can continue to go to work if you are unable to work from home. As an employer, you should make sure suitable arrangements are in place so that they can work safely. You should consider whether clinically extremely vulnerable individuals can take on an alternative role or change their working patterns temporarily to avoid travelling during busy periods.

You should follow the guidance on how to stop the spread of coronavirus, including what to do to reduce your risk of catching or passing on the virus at home.

If you are worried about going in to work or you cannot work

There is guidance if you need to self-isolate or cannot go to work due to coronavirus and what to do if you’re employed and cannot work.

Citizens Advice has advice if you’re worried about working, including what to do if you think your workplace is not safe, or if you live with someone vulnerable.

Support is available if you cannot work, for example if you need to care for someone or you have less work.

There is further advice for employers and employees from ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service).

Going to school or college

School pupils and students in further education should go to school and college.

All schools, colleges and other further education settings are open for face-to-face teaching during term time. It remains very important for children and young people to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and to help working parents and guardians.

Clinically extremely vulnerable pupils and students should go to school or college.

There is further guidance on what parents need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19.

Rapid lateral flow testing is now available for free for everyone in England. It is recommended for all secondary school pupils and college students, their families and all school and college staff.

See the guidance on how you can get regular rapid tests if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Universities and higher education

All students are now able to take part in in-person teaching and learning. Students should take a test twice a week and before they travel away from university before the break.

There is guidance for universities and students starting and returning to higher education.

Students should follow the guidance on how to stop the spread of COVID-19at all times.

Childcare

Up to 6 people from different households or a larger number of no more than 2 households can meet indoors without the need for a formal childcare arrangement. All children can go to registered childcare, childminders, wraparound care and other supervised children’s activities indoors and outdoors.

Parent and child groups can take place indoors as well as outdoors, with up to 30 people. Children under 5 who are accompanying a parent or guardian do not count towards this limit. See the parent and child groups section of this guidance.

Meeting others for childcare

Gatherings above the limit of 6 people or 2 households indoors, or above 30 outdoors can take place for the following purposes:

  • for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children – see further information on education and childcare
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • to allow contact between birth parents and children in care, as well as between siblings in care
  • to place or facilitate the placing of a child or children in the care of another by social services

Residential Visits

From 21 June, out-of-school organisations such as Brownies, Scouts, and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions can organise domestic residential visits for children in consistent groups of up to 30. Organisers will need to comply with guidance on reducing risk.

There is guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings.

Parent and child groups

Parent and child groups can take place indoors as well as outdoors (but not in private homes or gardens) if they are for the benefit of children aged under 5 and organised by a business, charity or public body.

Parent and child groups must be limited to no more than 30 people. Children under five and anyone working or volunteering as part of the group, such as a group leader, are not counted in this number.

Providing care or assistance

Gatherings above the limit of 6 people or 2 households indoors can take place for the purposes of providing care or assistance, such as:

  • to visit people in your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to go to a support group of up to 30 participants. The limit of 30 does not include children under 5 who are accompanying a parent or guardian
  • to provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people, including shopping for essential items and accessing services on their behalf

You can also provide care or assistance for disabled or vulnerable people inside someone’s home, where necessary.

You should follow the guidance on how to stop the spread of coronavirus at all times. There is further guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family.

Support groups

Support groups can take place with up to 30 participants where officially organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. Support groups must be organised by a business, charity or public body and if taking place indoors, must not take place in a private home.

There is further guidance on how to run or attend a support group safely within the guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities.

Examples of support groups include those that provide support to:

  • victims of crime (including domestic abuse)
  • those with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour
  • those with, or caring for people with, any long-term illness or terminal condition or who are vulnerable (including those with a mental health condition)
  • those facing issues related to their sexuality or identity (including those living as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender)
  • those who have suffered bereavement
  • vulnerable young people (including to enable them to meet youth workers)
  • disabled people and their carers

The limit of 30 does not include children under 5 who are accompanying a parent or guardian. Where a person has a clear and formal role (paid or voluntary) to run the group or help it operate, rather than only attending as a member of the group to obtain support, they do not have to be counted as part of the gatherings limit.

Exercise, sport and physical activity

You can do unlimited exercise but there are limits on the number of people you can exercise with. You can exercise in a group of up to 30 people when outdoors. When indoors, you can exercise:

  • on your own
  • in a group of up to 6 people
  • in a larger group of any size from up to 2 households (and their support bubbles, if eligible)

You can also take part in formally organised indoor and outdoor sports or licensed physical activity with any number of people. This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take the required precautions, including the completion of a risk assessment. You should avoid contact in training and, for some sports, avoid contact in all activities. Read the guidance on what avoiding contact means for your sport.

Indoor leisure facilities may open for you to exercise on your own, in groups of up to 6 people or in a group of any size from up to 2 households.

You should follow the guidance:

Elite sportspeople

Elite sportspeople (or those on an official elite sports pathway) can meet in larger groups, including indoors, to compete and train. They can be joined by their coaches if necessary, or their parents and guardians if they’re under 18.

Funerals and linked commemorative events

Funerals and linked commemorative events following a death such as a wake, stone setting or ash scattering may take place in COVID-Secure venues. They may also take place in venues other than COVID-Secure venues, such as in a garden of a private home. The number of people who can attend is in most cases determined by how many people a venue can safely accommodate, with social distancing measures in place, including guests of all ages and anyone working at the event.

Regardless of the type of venue, some restrictions for these events will remain in place to enable them to take place safely. This includes table service requirements, face coverings, social distancing, and restrictions on singing.

Inside private homes, and in indoor structures in gardens of private homes, funerals can only be held in line with broader social contact rules of up to 6 people or 2 households.

A marquee or other structure in a private garden of a private home must have at least 50% of its walled area open at any time for it not to be classed as indoors.

The organiser must complete a COVID-19 risk assessment for events taking place in all venues. For events in gardens of private homes or on private land this is only necessary if you plan on having more than 30 people, when you must use it to determine how many attendees will be able to attend and to identify other practical steps to ensure the event takes place safely. You must follow this risk assessment as well as any relevant guidance to make the event as safe as possible.

There is additional guidance on arranging or going to a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic and how to safely plan a wedding or civil partnership, or funeral, wake or commemoration.

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions

Weddings or civil partnership ceremonies, wedding receptions or civil partnership celebrations may take place in COVID-Secure venues. They may also take place in venues other than COVID-Secure venues, such as in a garden of a private home. The number of people who can attend is in most cases determined by how many people a venue can safely accommodate, with social distancing measures in place, including guests of all ages and anyone working at the event.

Regardless of the type of venue, some restrictions for these events will remain in place to enable them to take place safely. This includes table service requirements, face coverings, social distancing, and restrictions on dancing and singing.

Inside private homes, and in indoor structures in gardens of private homes, weddings or civil partnership ceremonies, wedding receptions or civil partnership celebrations can only be held in line with broader social contact rules of up to 6 people or 2 households.

A marquee or other structure in a private garden of a private home must have at least 50% of its walled area open at any time for it not to be classed as indoors.

The organiser must complete a COVID-19 risk assessment for events taking place in all venues. For events in gardens of private homes or on private land this is only necessary if you plan on having more than 30 people, when you must use it to determine how many attendees will be able to attend and to identify other practical steps to ensure the event takes place safely. You must follow this risk assessment as well as any relevant guidance to make the event as safe as possible.

There is additional guidance on arranging or going to a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic and how to safely plan a wedding or civil partnership, or funeral, wake or commemoration.

Significant life events

Significant life events such as christenings or Bar/Bat Mitzvahs can also be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Anyone working is not counted in these limits.

Places of worship

You can go to places of worship for a service. When a service is taking place indoors you must not mingle in groups larger than 6, except when everyone present is from no more than 2 households (including support bubbles). You should maintain social distancing between groups at all times.

When a service is taking place outdoors, you must not mingle in groups larger than 30. You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

Volunteering and charitable services

Gatherings above the limit of 6 people or 2 households indoors, or above 30 people outdoors can take place for the purposes of providing voluntary or charitable services.

You should follow the guidance on Volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Other circumstances where you can gather in larger groups

Larger gatherings mean they are above the limit of 6 people or 2 households indoors, or above 30 people outdoors.

You may gather in larger groups:

  • to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • to fulfil legal obligations
  • to carry out activities related to buying, selling or moving house
  • for the purpose of COVID-secure protests or picketing where the organiser has taken the required precautions, including completing a risk assessment
  • where it is reasonably necessary to support voting in an election or referendum (such as vote counting or for legal observers).

Those who are campaigning for a specific outcome in elections or referendums can carry out door-to-door campaigning activity in accordance with guidance on elections and referendums during COVID-19.

You can gather in larger groups within criminal justice accommodation or immigration detention centres.

If you break the rules

The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).

You can be given a fixed penalty notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

You can be fined £800 if you go to a private indoor gathering such as a house party of over 15 people from outside your household, which will double for each repeat offence to a maximum level of £6,400.

If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people indoors or 50 people outdoors, the police can fine you £10,000.

Care home visits

The guidance depends on whether you are visiting someone in a care home or a resident is having a visit out of the home.

Visits into care homes

Residents are able to nominate five named visitors each, with two visitors being able to visit each day; subject to the visiting arrangements specific to each care home or any local guidance issued by Directors of Public Health.

For visits into care homes, all care home residents will be able to nominate an essential care giver. These essential care givers will be able to visit the care home resident, even if the resident is isolating.

Visitors are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before a visit can take place, and visitors should follow local care home guidance on infection and prevention control measures when visiting a care home.

There is additional guidance on care home visiting.

Visits out of care homes

In most cases, residents who go on a visit out of a care home will no longer need to isolate for 14 days when they return. Residents returning from high risk visits out of the care home, such as an overnight stay in hospital, will still be required to isolate. Decisions on risk will be made following a risk assessment by the care home for each visit out.

There is additional guidance on care home visiting.

Staying away from home overnight

All holiday accommodation may reopen. You can stay overnight in a:

  • hotel / Bed & Breakfast
  • campsite
  • caravan
  • boat
  • second home
  • other accommodation.

You may stay overnight in holiday accomodation in groups of up to 6, or larger groups if everyone present is from 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible) unless a legal exemption applies.

You can also stay overnight with friends and family in their homes in groups of up to 6, or larger groups if everyone present is from 2 households (including support bubbles).

Further guidance on hotels and other guest accommodation is available

Local groups

I have set up a Facebook support group for local residents to share what support they can offer and so we can all help each other. You can join the group by clicking here. See below for more information about community groups providing support.

Wandsworth Council Coronavirus guidance. The Council Community helpline for support is 0208 871 6555 and the email is covidsupport@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk.

Putney Coronavirus Mutual Support Group – for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields

Putney Street Volunteers Sign Up

Southfields Grid Alliance

Roehampton COVID 19 Support Group (Facebook page)

St Margaret’s Putney Community Care team

Putney and Wandsworth COVID 19  Mutual Support – a network of local Whats App groups

 

 

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