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 updates

17 May 2021

PM Boris Johnson has outlined a further easing of restrictions in England. Here is a selection of what’s has changed:

  • Care home residents are now allowed up to five named visitors (two at any one time), provided visitors test negative for COVID-19.
  • The majority of sectors will reopen, including pubs, bars and restaurants indoors.
  • Indoor entertainment will resume, including cinemas, museums and children's play areas.
  • Theatres, concert halls, conference centres and sports stadia can all reopen, with larger events in these settings able to resume with capacity limits.
  • Organised adult sport and exercise classes can resume indoors.
  • All remaining accommodation including hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen.
  • Domestic overnight stays will be allowed in groups of up to six people or two households.
  • More details on 17 May rule changes

Rules in place

  • Continue to work from home, if you can
  • People are able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30 people
  • People are able to meet indoors in groups of up to six or as two households.
  • Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you are encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
  • You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops and on public transport, unless you are exempt.

Surge testing

The Government is increasing surge testing (including door-to-door testing in some areas) and enhanced contact tracing in specific locations in England. It involves testing of people who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.  Extensive surveillance of COVID-19 has identified a number of cases of COVID-19 variants and mutations of concern in England.

The government is using surge testing and genomic sequencing to:

  • monitor and suppress the spread of COVID-19
  • better understand new variants

You should get a test for COVID-19 if you:

  • live in targeted locations within one of the areas or are contacted by your local council
  • are in the targeted age group

You should get a test even if:

  • you have no symptoms of COVID-19
  • you’ve had a vaccination for COVID-19
  • you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 previously (but not within the last 90 days by a PCR test)

Latest surge testing areas in England

The next easing of restrictions is proposed for 21 June but this will depend on the Government’s four tests. These are the success of the vaccine rollout, the number of hospital admissions and deaths falling, the amount of pressure on the NHS and the impact of any variants.

On these pages you can find lots of useful information: