Information on Coronavirus

Read the advice and information from NHS England, Public Health England and Northamptonshire County Council about the Coronavirus.
Woman washing her hands

Last updated: 03/03/2021 

National lockdown

To help stop the spread of coronavirus, the government is advising everyone to stay at home from 5 January 2021.

This page will be updated once further guidance is available. To check the latest Government guidance, please visit:

View this page in an accessible format

Guidance on the national lockdown

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Roadmap out of lockdown

The ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ provides a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England and sets out how the government will continue to protect and support citizens across the UK:

COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 summary -  

Leaving home

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work. See additional advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.

Find out more

Northamptonshire update

The Government's decision to place England in lockdown (announced 4 January), level 5 on the COVID-19 alert system, is based on the latest available coronavirus data, the rapid rise in case rates due to the new mutant strain of the virus and is in line with the measures set out in the Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan. Find out more here or read the latest guidance on the Northamptonshire County Council website. 

Find out more about new restrictions

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, please self-isolate and get tested as soon as you can. Find out how to book a test and see testing locations in Northamptonshire.

Read the latest updates about coronavirus in the county at

Find local information in other languages on the Council's website under the subheading "Further guidance and information" and NHCP YouTube channel.

If you think you might have coronavirus


  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • Loss or change in sense of smell or taste

What to do if you have these symptoms

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You should stay at home and self-isolate.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

You must get a test. Find out more about testing.

Book a test online

If you have problems using the online service, call 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm.

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 7 days

Use the NHS 111 coronavirus service

If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the NHS 111 British Sign Language service is available here: or by calling 18001 111 on a textphone.

Read the NHS advice about coronavirus

How to self-isolate if you or someone in your house has coronavirus

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should stay home and self isolate. What this means is you should not leave your house, even to do shopping, to avoid spreading the virus. Do not go to work, school, or public areas and do not use public transport or taxis.

Your isolation period includes the day the first person in your household’s symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms, whether this was an LFD or PCR test), and the next 10 full days. 

For more information about when and how to self-isolate and what this means for families visit the Government website.

There is also a Northamptonshire Self-isolation support pack with guidance and suggestions on the NCC website.

Self-isolation support pack

Government advice

NHS advice

Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp

The Government has made a free to use service is an automated ‘chatbot’, allowing people to get answers to the most common questions about coronavirus direct from the Government.

Find out more about the service

How to avoid catching or spreading germs


  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often, and for 20 seconds – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.


  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Watch NHS England's video on how to wash your hands properly

Advice for people at high risk

People who are defined as clinically extremely vulnerable are at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

People who fall into this category will have been advised to ‘shield’. This word is used to describe how people at high-risk should protect themselves by not leaving their homes and minimising all face-to-face contact. 

Healthwatch England has pulled together some information to help you understand what the current situation and advice, including some FAQ.

Coronavirus: What does shielding mean?

Read the information on the government website and visit Northamptonshire County Council's website for further guidance.

Further information

Face masks - when to wear one

To find out which settings require you to wear a face mask click the link below.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • young children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
  • to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • to eat or drink if reasonably necessary
  • in order to take medication
  • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering

Find out more

Coronavirus is affecting my mental health - what can I do?

The Coronavirus pandemic may cause you to feel worried, anxious, or scared.

Read Healthwatch England's seven steps to looking after your wellbeing while staying informed

In recognition of the unprecedented challenges which the outbreak and extended periods of self-isolation can pose, Public Health England has published online guidance setting out principles to follow to help people to manage their mental health during this difficult time, such as:

  • maintaining contact with friends and family via telephone and video calls, or social media
  • keeping a regular routine and sleeping pattern
  • focusing on a hobby or learning something new

Every Mind Matters has released expert advice and top tips on how to look after your mental wellbeing if you need to stay at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It also includes guidance if you’re feeling worried or anxious about the outbreak. 

Find out more

Public Health England has put together advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Find out more

Further information

NHS England has produced a list of common questions about coronavirus, covering advice for you and your family, how it's caught and spread, prevention, self-isolation, testing and treatment and foreign travel. 

NHS coronavirus common questions

Find out more about the NHS COVID-19 app

Information in different languages

Information about coronavirus in other languages - Doctors of the World

Find COVID-19 Infographics in different languages

Find local information in other languages on Northamptonshire County Council's website and the NHCP YouTube channel

Alternative formats of Public Health England national messaging, including BSL, large print, easy read, and audio/radio versions.

Translations of Public Health England national messaging.

Easy Read information about coronavirus and self-isolation

NHS guidance - Coronavirus – Easy Read and Large PrintGetting NHS help when you need it during the coronavirus outbreak - Easy ReadGetting NHS help when you need it during the coronavirus outbreak - plain English

Mencap - Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Learning Disability England - Keeping informed and in touch during Coronavirus - Advice to staff supporting people with a learning disability or autistic people

Easy Read Online - Guide include Easy Read advice about Coronavirus and self-isolatingCoronavirus Glossary - a list of those words and what they mean

Other places for information:

Local services and updates

Advice from other organisations

Tell us your experiences