Government and NHS advice

Latest advice and guidance on staying safe and well from GOV.UK and the NHS.


Lifting of restrictions from 17 May

From Monday 17 May some of the rules on what you can and cannot do changed. Many restrictions, though, remain in place. Gathering limits have been eased. You can now gather outdoors in a group of up to 30 people. Indoor gatherings are limited to 6 people or 2 households unless you have formed a support bubble with them, or another exemption applies. You should continue to work from home if you can and minimise the number of journeys you make where possible. Find out about the current restrictions on GOV.UK.

You should get a test and follow the stay at home guidance if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

You can read  more about how and when restrictions will be lifted in our summary of the government's Covid-19 - roadmap out of lockdown.

Keeping yourself and others safe

New guidance on meeting friends and family emphasises personal responsibility rather than government rules. 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.

You should follow the guidance on how to stop the spread of Coronavirus at all times, including if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

You should follow this guidance in full to limit spreading COVID-19. It is underpinned by law.

Face coverings

You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops and places of worship, and on public transport, unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse. This is the law. Read the guidance on face coverings on GOV.UK.

NHS COVID-19 app

The NHS COVID-19 app is the fastest way to see if you're at risk from Coronavirus

Keep up to date

► UK Government Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp - free to use service aiming to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19)

Public health information

Public Health England (PHE) is working closely with NHS colleagues and Essex County Council to manage the situation and help reduce the risk of further cases.

Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection - Public Health England advice

Test and trace service - those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms

Social distancing - staying alert and safe; guidance for everyone in the UK

Staying safe outside your home - new guidance for working, travelling and exercising

Working safely during coronavirus - the government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible

►  NHS advice - NHS advice on the risks, the symptoms and what to do if you think you have coronavirus 

Travel advice - countries and areas affected and specific advice from the NHS  

Public Health England blog - PHE's  regularly updated coronavirus blog to help you find out what you need to know 

► Coronavirus updates from Essex County Council - latest information and news from ECC


Additional information

Guidance on making and wearing face coverings | ► Self-isolation - what it is and what it means | ► Contact tracing - what it is and what it means | ►Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do | ►Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK - official figures