Latest advice and useful links

The latest Government guidance

A national lockdown was announced by the government and introduced with immediate effect on 4 January 2021 to control the spread of coronavirus.

Please do all you can to follow lockdown restrictions and public health advice to keep yourself and loved ones safe, including:

  • Stay at home unless you're leaving the house for a permitted reason in which case, stay local
  • Only leave home to exercise once a day - alone, with your household, support bubble or 1 person from another household
  • You must work from home if you can
  • You must not socialise indoors or outdoors with anyone you don't live with or are not in a support bubble with
  • You must only travel for a permitted reason and walk or cycle where possible
  • Schools will remain closed until February Half Term, except for vulnerable children and children of key workers

To read the guidance in full go to gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

Advice for people who are more at risk from coronavirus

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, the government will be writing to you to ask you to resume shielding. This means you should stay at home as much as possible but you're encouraged to leave the house to exercise because it's good for your physical and mental health. Please make sure you follow public health advice though. Please also continue to attend medical appointments.

If you haven't already done so, please register for the government's Shielding Support Service. This will enable you to register for a priority supermarket delivery slot and register your need for local support (if you have a priority delivery slot already, you will keep it). You will need your NHS number to apply, which you can find at the top of the letter from the government. If you need support to register, please call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9).

You are strongly advised to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you should not go to work. To support your income, you may be able to be put on furlough or access Statutory Sick Pay or Employment Support Allowance. You can apply for both of these benefits at the same time online at gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/how-to-claim  or by calling Job Centre Plus on 0800 169 0350. If you are worried about losing your job or have an employment-related question, you can access advice through a local voluntary sector organisation. Find out more at coronavirus-help.camden.gov.uk

Got coronavirus symptoms? Get tested at a local test site or via an at-home test kit

If you develop coronavirus symptoms, it's vital that you self-isolate and get tested. Requesting a test takes 5-10 minutes at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 where you'll be given the option to book a test appointment at a nearby test site or you can request an at-home test kit. Find out more

We are now also offering rapid tests for people who need to work home for work and no dont have symptoms. Find out more and book a test.

Access support to self-isolate

Self-isolating is important because it will prevent you from passing it on to other people and keep those around you safe. If you need help to self-isolate, whether it be accessing food or medicine, support with your job and work needs, or help with your children’s education and caring responsibilities, please call us on 020 7974 4444 (option 9).  

Face coverings

Wearing a face covering is important because coronavirus usually spreads by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. You can help prevent it spreading by covering your mouth and nose with a face covering but if it doesn’t cover both, it’s not going to work.

You must wear a face covering on public transport, in taxis and in all indoor public spaces. You could face a minimum fine of £200 for not wearing one. 

The following people are exempt from wearing a face covering:

  • Anyone under the age of 11
  • Those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering

If you are exempt from wearing one, you can request a free print or digital exemption badge at gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Camden’s Local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan

To learn more about the Council’s plans to prevent and control local cases of coronavirus, read its Local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan (PDF) which explains how we will support all of our residents, communities and businesses to understand and follow public health advice to prevent and control the spread of coronavirus.

Download Camden's Local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan (PDF)

Latest advice for businesses

National lockdown

On top of national measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and business loans schemes, where businesses are legally required to close in Tier 4, they will be eligible for grants of up to £3,000 per month. Local authorities will also receive additional funding for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) to make grants of up to £2,100 per month, depending on their rateable value, to businesses which are able to remain open but are impacted by restrictions. These schemes will continue to April 2021.

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. These include:

  • non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods - these venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor tennis and basketball courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor climbing walls
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks
  • indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other people’s homes
  • community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect services

These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:

  • education and training - for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
  • childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
  • hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
  • to provide medical treatment
  • for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
  • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • for the purposes of professional film and TV filming

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods and services, including:

  • essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and Christmas tree retailers, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
  • petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical and dental services
  • vets and pet shops
  • animal rescue centres, boarding facilities, and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
  • agricultural supplies shops
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • outdoor playgrounds
  • outdoor gym, pools, sports courts and facilities
  • golf courses
  • archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors)
  • outdoor riding centres.

Financial support

Find out more about:

Self-isolating and supporting your staff

If you or a member of your staff develop symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate and get tested via nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. This can help prevent the spread of the virus, keeping Camden safe and open for business. If a member of your staff does test positive or is told to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace, we ask that you do all that you can to support them to stay at home. 

We also ask that, should a member of your staff be defined as clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, you do all that you can support them to stay home. You can read more about who is high risk at nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus

Self-isolating staff may also be able access the Test and Trace Support Payment – a one-off payment of £500 to support people on low incomes to self-isolate. More information is on our website camden.gov.uk/apply-for-test-and-trace-support-payment 

NHS COVID-19 app

On Thursday 24 September 2020, the Government launched its NHS COVID-19 app to support NHS Test and Trace. The app will help to prevent the spread of coronavirus by:

  • Helping to identify people who’ve been in recent close contact with someone who’s tested positive for coronavirus – including people they may not personally know.  
  • Enabling people to scan a unique QR code to ‘check-in’ to a venue – e.g. a shop, restaurant or close contact services such as hair salons. 

All local businesses and venues – including shops, voluntary organisations and places of worship - are asked to download and display their own unique QR posters. 

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, the app will use QR ‘check-in’ data to automatically alert people they’ve been in recent close contact with by sending a notification straight to their mobile phone asking them to self-isolate. 

Notifications to NHS COVID-19 app users will not mention the name of your venue, just that the app user has recently been to a venue where they may have come into contact with the coronavirus.

Legal requirements and enforcement

The Government have announced that it will be a legal requirement for all businesses and venues in the following sectors to display a QR poster from Thursday 24 September:

  • Hospitality, such as restaurants, hotels and bars
  • Leisure and tourism, such as gyms, museums and cinemas
  • Close contact services, such as hairdressers and beauty salons
  • Local authority venues, such as libraries and children’s centres

If you are unsure whether your businesses falls into any of these categories, you can find a complete list of affected venues at gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace 

Failure to display a poster and offer a manual option to record customer details could result in fixed penalty notice of £500 within the first 14 days and £1000 thereafter, doubling for a second offence and prosecutable after 28 days for non-payment.

How to create a free QR poster for your business or venue

  • Go to: gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster and register your details including your name and email address. 
  • Enter the verification code sent to your email address into the web form and follow the instructions adding contact details for the person responsible for the venue.
  • Once you have confirmed your details are correct you can download your venue’s QR poster. You will need to print copies for every entrance of your venue. If you have more than one venue, you will need a separate QR poster for each. 

If your customers or visitors check-in using your NHS QR poster then they do not need to provide any further test and trace details to your staff. However, it is important that you continue to offer a manual option for recording visitor’s contact details for those without a smartphone or the app.

The NHS have released a set of Frequently Asked Questions to support both businesses and residents ahead of the launch of the NHS COVID-19 app. You can find these online at faq.covid19.nhs.uk. You can also find further information about the NHS COVID-19 app at camden.gov.uk/nhs-test-and-trace

Direction Orders served on businesses in Camden under Regulation 4 (1) of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (no.3) Regulations 2020.

COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and gives the best protection against coronavirus. If you're 65 or over, or clinically extremely vulnerable, and have not yet been contacted by the NHS, you can now book your own vaccine appointment at a local vaccination centre. You can do this by calling 119 for free or by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccine

You can choose to go to a larger vaccination centre in Camden or a pharmacy in a nearby borough. If you'd prefer to have the vaccine at a local GP surgery, please wait for the NHS to get in touch.

Wherever you choose to go will be run in a COVID-safe way, which means exra precautions are in place to keep you safe.

If you're not yet eligible to have the vaccine, please make sure you're registered with a GP and that they have your most up-to-date contact details so they can contact you quickly when it's your turn.

For more information on the vaccine and who is eligible, go to nhs.uk/coronavirusvaccine

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