Last updated: 05/01/2021
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: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
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.
You should follow this guidance immediately. The law will be updated to reflect these new rules.
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.
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.
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 https://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-updates
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.
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
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: https://interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111 or by calling 18001 111 on a textphone.
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.
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.
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.
Advice for people at high risk
From 1 August 2020, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable were advised that shielding has been paused. With the introduction of the COVID-19 alert levels, the guidance has been updated.
Healthwatch England has pulled together some information to help you understand what the current situation and advice, including some FAQ.
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
Coronavirus is affecting my mental health - what can I do?
The Coronavirus pandemic may cause you to feel worried, anxious, or scared.
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.
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.
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.
Information in different languages
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 Print, Getting NHS help when you need it during the coronavirus outbreak - Easy Read, Getting NHS help when you need it during the coronavirus outbreak - plain English
Learning Disability England - Keeping informed and in touch during Coronavirus
Other places for information:
- NHS coronavirus information
- GOV.UK information on coronavirus and the situation in the UK
- GOV.UK foreign travel advice
- World Health Organization: coronavirus myth busters