We are working hard and have plans in place to ensure customers and staff are protected and essential services are maintained during the coronavirus outbreak. We regularly update this page, so please check back daily to get the latest information.
Follow the latest advice
With so much conflicting and often false information going round we're advising customers and colleagues to follow advice on how to prevent or minimise the spread of coronavirus from authenticated sources of information, including the NHS and Public Health England. In addition, colleagues working in our care and support schemes are following advice from the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care in England. You can also find the latest news and advice on the Government's website or why not join the Government's coronavirus WhatsApp service which provides official, trustworthy and timely information and advice. Find out more about the service and how to access it.
Latest update: 13 January 2021
As the number of cases across London and the south in particular has risen dramatically in the last couple of weeks due to a new far more virulent and transmissible strain of the virus, some of our teams are now working with reduced staff numbers. We have therefore, reluctantly, taken the decision to deal with emergency repairs only from this Thursday, 14 January 2021. For full details of what this means, please check what you can expect from our repairs service during the pandemic.
5 January 2021
The Prime Minister announced yesterday that England is to go into a third national lockdown, subject to a vote in Parliament tomorrow. The new restrictions are expected to be in place until the middle of February.
The main changes are:
Everyone will be asked to immediately stay at home and only leave for the following specific reasons:
- To go to work or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home – this includes key workers and those in the construction industry.
- To shop for food and/or medicine for yourself or a vulnerable person.
- To provide care or help to a vulnerable person.
- To exercise – see below for specific rules.
- To seek medical care or an appointment or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm, including domestic abuse.
- To meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one.
- To attend education or childcare if you are eligible.
Outdoor socialising and exercise - Socialising outside is allowed only with people from your household or bubble. Stay at least two metres from anyone not in your household. Outdoor exercise such as walking or running can be done with your household or bubble, or with just one person from another household. Exercise should be limited to once a day and you should stay in your local area. Sporting venues including pools, gyms, tennis courts and golf courses will close, but playgrounds will remain open.
Education and childcare - Schools, colleges and universities will be asked to close with immediate effect, remaining open only to vulnerable children and the children of key workers. Nurseries will be able to stay open.
Retail, hospitality and tradespeople - All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services such as hairdressers and salons must shut if not already, and remain closed. Essential retailers, which include supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, and builders’ merchants, may stay open.
Public events - Elite sporting events such as the Premier League will be able to continue, but with the same restrictions, but grassroots sport is being put on hold again. Communal worship can continue, with social distancing. Weddings will be allowed only in exceptional circumstances. There are so far no plans to postpone the local elections.
Older and vulnerable people - Close-contact indoor visits in care homes will not be allowed, but visits involving screens, pods and through windows can go ahead. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you should only go out for medical appointments, for exercise, or if it is essential. You should not attend work.
Police will have powers similar to those in last year’s lockdown to arrest or fine those who breach the rules and the plan is to return to a tier system after mid-February.
We urge you all to continue doing what you can to minimise the spread of the virus by regularly washing your hands, wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing of at least two metres whenever possible.
We continue, as always, to follow all government guidelines which, at the moment, means we can deliver a full repairs service, with colleagues and contractors following guidelines at all times. It is essential that you let us know if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms or is self-isolating so that we can ensure they are wearing the appropriate PPE or rearrange any appointments if necessary.
On these pages you can find lots of useful information:
- What you can expect from our repairs service
- What we’re doing to keep our estates and communities clean and safe - and how you can help
- Which staff are classed as key workers and what essential services they are providing
- Useful information about paying rent, including advice related to your employment status and circumstances
- Our commitment to you during the pandemic
- What’s happening in our care schemes
- Answers to your frequently asked questions.