The most up to date information about how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus is available on GOV.UK.
To protect yourself and others, the government recommends that you:
- keep washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
- wear a face covering (unless you're exempt) in indoor places and on public transport
- meet outdoors if possible (if you meet inside, open windows for ventilation)
Vaccines give you the best protection against coronavirus. A booster dose of the vaccine is available for everyone aged 18 and over, and some people aged 16 and over, who have had 2 doses of the vaccine at least 3 months ago. You may be able to get your jab at a walk-in clinic, without an appointment. Find out more on the vaccinations page.
If you do have coronavirus symptoms, you should try and stay at home as much as you can. This might include working from home if you're able to, and asking friends or family to shop for you if possible. If you do leave the house, try to avoid coming into close contact with people, especially people who are at higher risk of illness because of their immune system. Washing your hands regularly and covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough can also stop you from passing on coronavirus (as well as other viruses like the flu).
Testing for coronavirus has changed. All public testing sites have now closed, and most people can no longer get free home testing kits. There are only a small number of people who will still be able to get free coronavirus tests from the NHS. Find out who is eligible for a free NHS coronavirus test.
If you want to get a coronavirus test and you're not eligible for a free NHS test, you must pay for the test yourself. You can buy a test from some pharmacies and retailers, in person or online.
Money and housing
If you need help with food in an emergency, the White Feather Project offers help 7 days a week, from 9am to 10pm. If you need support, please contact the White Feather Project on 07552 830185.
We also offer emergency help through the Community Support Team, who can be contacted on 0808 1789278 (Freephone).
You can call us on 01642 726006 if you need help or you're struggling to pay your Council Tax because of coronavirus.
Are you struggling to pay your Council Tax or Housing Benefit Overpayment? Are you struggling to make payments as part of an arrangement we've put in place with you? Please complete the online budget sheet to help us understand your current financial situation.
A caseworker will review the information you give us, and get in touch with you. They'll help you put a plan in place for making payments which works for both you and us. They'll also help you to keep on top of your current payments, and tell you how to get in touch with charities or organisations who can help you, if you need it.
Crisis Awards (food, clothing, utilities)
If you cannot afford to buy food, pay your gas and electric, or buy urgent clothing essentials due to coronavirus, you may be eligible for a Crisis Award as part of the Community Support Scheme. You can make a crisis application by calling the Freephone number 08081 789 278 or you can apply online. Find out more about Crisis Awards and apply online.
Any awards will be delivered via email / text where possible, given the current guidance to avoid contact with people. Awards are usually made as vouchers or pre-paid cards. So if we can, we'll email the Award to you, or send you a text message telling you how to use your Award at a PayPoint outlet.