Last updated: 16 August 2021 at 9.20am
COVID-19 keep safe guidance
The COVID-19 restrictions around face coverings, gatherings and social distancing are no longer law and all remaining businesses can reopen, as the country moved to step four of the government’s roadmap from Monday 19 July.
The government has published guidance to help people to make decisions that will keep themselves and others safe in this next stage of the pandemic.
Our message to residents, with infections rising, is to protect themselves and think of others by following the guidance.
Our borough has many communities, and residents will have different views, anxieties and personal circumstances. Some may be anxious about the lifting of restrictions while others will be eager to return to normal. Please respect each other’s views and be kind to each other during this period of change.
What the guidance says
- You do not need to stay two metres apart from people you do not live with. There will also be no limits on the number of people you can meet.
- However, in order to minimise risk, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
- Meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
- The government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can but expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
- The requirement to wear face coverings in law will be lifted but expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
- There will no longer be limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There will be no requirement for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
- There will no longer be restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship.
Please read and understand the full guidance.
Businesses and venues
- All remaining closed businesses and venues such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues will be able to reopen.
- All capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events will be lifted.
- Hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants and bars will no longer be required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules.
Symptoms of COVID:
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste Most people with symptoms have at least 1 of these.
About 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms but can still infect others. This is why everyone is advised to get tested regularly. There is more information on the NHS website.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms you must book a PCR test or call 119.
COVID-19 self isolation
From Monday 16 August, people who have received both of their COVID vaccines or aged under 18 will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, visit the GOV.UK webpage When to self-isolate and what to do However, they will be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to check if they have the virus and must have received the vaccine 14 days before.
Despite receiving both vaccines, people identified as close contacts are still at risk of being infected and are advised to consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and limit contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. People are still being encouraged to take lateral flow tests twice a week to help identify more positive cases and break chains of transmission.
Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age in order to break onwards chains of transmission. Meanwhile anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and get a PCR test and remain in isolation until the result comes back.
Residents across the borough can access free supervised testing or self-testing home kits from pharmacies across Hampshire. Find your nearest participating pharmacy.
Regular, twice weekly testing is being encouraged for everyone without symptoms, to help identify more positive cases and break chains of transmission.
The symptomatic testing site at Churchill Way long stay car park also offers test kit collection for people without symptoms from 2.30pm to 8pm, alongside the pharmacy scheme.
When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, talks or breathes, they release droplets and aerosols which can be breathed in by others. Fresh air blows away these particles, reducing the chances of the virus spreading. If possible, meet outdoors or, if you’re indoors let fresh air in.
- Coronavirus outbreak FAQs, what you can and can't do
- NHS advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), including what to do if you think you have it and how to reduce your chances of getting it
- Guidance on use of face coverings on public transport
- Find coronavirus help and support
Hampshire COVID-19 data
Support for residents and businesses
Is run by Hampshire County Council is still available to residents who need support and assistance. Get information on the support available including the careline set up to support vulnerable residents.
The government has put in place a number of measures to support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.