You can find the latest guidance on new National Restrictions here.
Use this link to the Gov.uk service outlining what support is available – covering economic, social and mental health support.
You can find an explanation about how social bubbles work and who is eligible here.
If you need medical help, please use the 111 online coronavirus service.
STAY AT HOME, PROTECT THE NHS, SAVE LIVES
The second coronavirus peak that we have seen around the world has shown us all that we are going to be dealing with the coronavirus for the long-term. Models of our scientists suggest that unless we act now, we could see deaths over the winter that are twice as bad or more compared with the first wave. Faced with these latest figures, there is no alternative but to take further action at a national level. We had hoped we could manage the situation with our regional system of alert levels, and allow as many people to live as normal a life as possible. That’s because a national lockdown is not cost-free - not only in terms of jobs, businesses, and livelihoods, but also the impact on mental health and loneliness. It was right to try every possible option to get this virus under control at a local level, with strong local action and strong local leadership. Subject to the vote on Wednesday, from Thursday 5 November until the start of December, new national restrictions will be enshrined in law and expire after four weeks. Any further national restrictions will need to be voted on after the end of this four week period. Advice shows that this four-week period will bring R below 1, and we will work with MPs on next steps after that. At the end of four weeks, on Wednesday 2nd December, we will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends. Our priority, remains keeping people in education – so childcare, early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will all remain open. We need to take action now to protect the NHS and to reduce transmission and save lives.
Update on tackling coronavirus 2-11-2020
- This is now clearly a national problem. While the virus is more widespread in the North West, it is doubling faster in the South East, and fastest in the Midlands. On present trends hospitals in the South West would run out of current capacity by the end of November. Other regions would follow soon after. If we do not take these measures, we would: exceed the first wave peak at around 20 November; Exceed currently available hospital beds by around 23 November; exceed surge capacity and capacity freed up from postponing some hospital services – which we do not want to do given the impact on vital care – by around 4 December.
- In the last two weeks we have seen a rise in the incidence of the virus. The number of coronavirus patients in hospital has increased by 77 per cent; the number of patients in ventilator beds is up by nearly 60 per cent; and that means some parts of the country are now approaching 90 per cent ventilator capacity.
- If the NHS were to be overwhelmed, it would mean non-Covid cases turned away from hospital because there is no room left; critically important surgeries and treatments cancelled and many left without treatment. We will increase NHS capacity as much as possible – but even if we doubled NHS capacity, that extra capacity would also be full within a single doubling time of the virus.
- Everyone can see that the situation in the UK, and across other parts of Europe, right now is incredibly serious. Incidence rates are growing and the NHS is under increasing pressure. And if we let the lines on those graphs grow in the way they could and in the way they’re projected to grow, then the risk is that for the first time in our lives, the NHS will not be there for us and for our families
We need to take action now to protect the NHS and to reduce transmission. We must do this to curtail the exponential growth in hospitalisations and deaths.
We are optimistic that this will feel very different and better by the spring. It is not just that we have ever better medicine and therapies, and the realistic hope of a vaccine in the first quarter of next year. But we also now have the immediate prospect of using many millions of cheap, reliable and above all rapid turnaround tests - which people can use themselves to tell whether or not they are infectious and get the result within ten to 15 minutes. And so over the next few days and weeks, we plan a steady but massive expansion in the deployment of these quick turnaround tests.
New national restrictions to control the virus
- The public must stay at home, and may only leave home for limited reasons, including: education; work or volunteering, if it is impossible for do this from home; exercise and recreation outdoors (with your household or on your own with one person from another household); medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm; provision of care for a child – including informal childcare – or vulnerable person. There is no exemption for staying away from home on holiday. This means people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions. Overnight stays away from primary residences will not be allowed, except for specific exceptions including for work.
- Non-essential shops, pubs, bars, restaurants, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed – but will be able to provide takeaway. Essential shops will stay open: there is no need for people to stock up.
- Workplaces should stay open where people cannot work from home – for example in the construction or manufacturing sectors.
- Adults living alone will still be able to form support bubbles, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.
- Those who are clinically vulnerable, or over the age of 60, will be advised to be especially careful to follow the rules. The Government will not ask people to shield in the same way again.
- Children under school age who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside. This will mean that a parent can see a friend or family member with their baby or young children. Children and adults who are dependent on around-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, will also be included.
- Elite sport will be allowed to continue behind closed doors. But there will be no exemption for other organised team sports, and indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools and golf courses will have to close.
- These are time-limited measures. On the 2 December, we will seek to ease restrictions, on a local and regional basis, according to the latest data.
- Our priority remains keeping young people in education - so formal and informal childcare, early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will all remain open. Our senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be.
- We will also keep provision for non-coronavirus healthcare needs going. We will continue to say clearly to the public that unless their clinicians tell them otherwise they should continue to use the NHS, get their scans, turn up for their appointments and pick up their treatments.
Protecting jobs, businesses and livelihoods
- Throughout this crisis, our priority has been clear: to protect lives and livelihoods. The Prime Minister has announced new national restrictions that will prevent further spread of the virus.
- We know how worried people are – about their health, the health of their loved ones, their jobs, their businesses, and their financial security. And that’s why the Government’s economic priority remains the same: protect jobs. We have announced new measures – including extending furlough, more generous support for the self-employed, and plans to extend existing loan Schemes and the Future Fund to the end of January and an ability to top-up Bounce Back Loans.
- These announcements will give businesses, whether they are open or required to close, the flexibility to adjust and plan over the coming months – and comes on top of the £200 billion package of support we have committed since the beginning of the crisis.
We have announced new support for families and businesses
- Extending furlough until 2 December. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – known as the furlough scheme – will be extended until the end of November to cover the new restrictions with employees receiving 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked, up to £2,500 a month. Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time.
- Providing more support for self-employed people. We will provide even more generous support to the self-employed by increasing the support to the self-employed from 40 per cent of trading profits to 80 per cent for November. These grants are calculated over three months, meaning the maximum grant will increase to £5,160. This is £4.5 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April. This comes on top of £13 billion of support provided to between 2.5 million and 3 million self-employed people so far, one of the most comprehensive and generous support packages for the self-employed anywhere in the world.
- Extending the application deadline for loan guarantee schemes – that is, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme – to the end of January 2021. This will give businesses two extra months to make loan applications (relative to the current deadline of 30 November).
- Adjusting the Bounce Back Loan Scheme rules to allow those businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. less than 25 per cent of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan. Businesses will be able to take-up this option from next week; they can make use of this option once. We understand that some businesses did not anticipate the disruption to their business from the pandemic would go on for this long; this will ensure that they are able to benefit from the loan scheme as intended.
- Extending mortgage holidays. Mortgage holiday will be extended to reassure homeowners. These were due to end on 31 October, but borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.
- Supporting businesses forced to close. Business premises which are legally forced to close to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month in England. This is worth over £1 billion a month with the new restrictions in place, and will benefit over 600,000 business premises.
- Providing additional support for local authorities. £1.1 billion will also be provided to Local Authorities to enable them to support businesses which are not forced to close but are facing reduced demand due to the new national restrictions.
- Protecting 9.6 million jobs through the furlough scheme – one of the most generous in the world. We have provided over £40 billion through the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme to protect 9.6 million jobs which otherwise would have been at risk. Our furlough scheme more than stands up to its equivalents across the world, covering 80 per cent of wages from day one.
- Encouraging employers to keep their employees on through the £9 billion Jobs Retention Bonus Scheme. This provides a one-off payment of £1,000 to the business for every employee who was furloughed previously and who is successfully kept on continuously until January.
- Supporting the hardest-hit sectors throughout our response to coronavirus. We have targeted our support at the industries that need it most: we cut VAT for hospitality and tourism from 20 per cent to 5 per cent and extended the cut until March; we provided a £1.57 billion support package for the arts sector. And over 100 million meals were claimed for under the Eat Out to Help Out scheme – protecting 1.8 million jobs in the sector.
- Offering a 12-month business rates holiday for sectors which are struggling with cashflow issues. All eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, as well as nurseries, estate agents and bingo halls, will pay no businesses rates for 12 months, from 1 April 2020.
- Supporting businesses through a variety of business grants. Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector are eligible for cash grants of up to £25,000, and smaller businesses can receive up to £10,000. Up to 1 million business premises are eligible for these grants – worth over £12 billion.
- Announcing extensive loan schemes to get cash to businesses – at a cost of £57 billion so far. Over 1.2 million Bounce Back Loans worth up to £50,000, over 66,000 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans worth up to £5 million for businesses with a turnover of up to £45 million, a £500 million Future Fund for the high-growth firms of tomorrow, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and the Covid-19 Finance Facility for larger companies. And we have given greater flexibility for repaying loans through our new ‘Pay As You Grow’ scheme.
- Injecting more than £9 billion into the welfare system and boosting the value of welfare payments by more than £1,000 a year, so people have more money to support their families. At the start of the pandemic, we boosted the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit by over £1,000 per year for 12 months, part of a £9.3 billion increase to the welfare safety net and give even more support. This built on the 1.7 per cent increase in value of working age benefits that came into effect in April 2020, benefitting 2.5 million households.
- Increasing support with housing costs, so people have more money to spend on their priorities. We have increased local housing allowance rates for housing benefit and universal credit claimants to the 30th percentile of local rents, providing additional support for private renters. This significant investment cost almost £1 billion and ensures that more than 1 million households will see an increase, on average, of £600 per year. In addition, more than 2 million people who own their home benefited from our six-month mortgage holiday, helping to limit household outgoings during the first wave of the virus.
- Helping families with their council tax bills. Our £500 million council tax hardship fund has enabled local authorities to reduce the council tax bills of economically vulnerable people in their area and will support 2.5 million vulnerable people in receipt of local council tax support.
You can find the latest guidance on new National Restrictions here. Use this link to the Gov.uk service outlining what support is available – covering economic, social and mental health support. For the Devolved Administrations, please use these links to see the latest restrictions for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can find an explanation about how social bubbles work and who is eligible here.
We are better prepared but we must protect the NHS’s ability to provide vital care
- We have built the largest diagnostic network in British history:
- One of the best testing rates in the world outpacing Germany, Spain, and Italy.
- Capacity for over 310,000 PCR tests on 9 October – this doubled over the summer.
- We will increase this to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.
- 7 Nightingale hospitals (2 of which are being used to tackle cancer backlogs). Today (12 October) Nightingales in Sunderland, Manchester and Harrogate are being asked to prepare to accept patients.
- Over 3.8 billion items of PPE delivered since the start of the outbreak – and we are building a strategic stockpile and domestic pipeline to ensure our resilience.
- 30,000 ventilators, up from 9,000 in March.
- 99 per cent of GPs able to offer video consultations – from 3 per cent pre-pandemic.
- Two of the world’s leading vaccine programmes, here in the UK – and the first country to discover a proven therapy with dexamethasone.
Information about COVID-19
Coronaviruses are a ‘type’ of virus. The coronavirus we are all hearing about is called COVID-19, but you may also hear it called - coronavirus.
How serious is COVID-19?
The evidence shows us that the vast majority of people who get this virus have relatively mild symptoms and make a full recovery. But in a small percentage of cases, the virus can cause more severe symptoms. This is particularly true for people with a weakened immune system, for older people and for those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
A lot of false information about this virus is being shared - it’s very important that you make sure that the information you use comes from a trusted source - all of the information on this page has been sourced from the NHS.
What are the symptoms?
If you are infected you may have very minor symptoms, minor symptoms or more severe symptoms, but the NHS cites two symptoms to look out for as:
- A new continuous cough
- A fever or high temperature
What should I do if I have either of the above symptoms?
- Protect others - don't call NHS 111
- Protect others - don't call, or go to your GP
- Protect others - don't go to your local hospital
If you live alone - isolate yourself at home immediately for 7 days
If you live with others - you should all isolate yourselves at home for 14 days - this 14-day period starts from the day the first person in the home noticed the symptoms.
The evidence suggests - your staying at home for 14 days will significantly reduce the number of people in the community that will become infected with the virus.
For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.
If at-risk people share your home - such as those who are older and those with underlying health conditions - it is advisable for them to move out, perhaps to stay with friends or family for the whole isolation period. They need to minimise contact with others during this period whether or not they are able to move out.
For further information read this government advice on staying at home and isolating.
What should I do if self-isolation is challenging?
- You can't manage with your symptoms at home
- Your conditions get worse
- Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
You should use the online 111 service or if you can't use the online service call 111
How can you avoid getting and spreading the virus?
Scientists think the virus spreads via droplets from coughs and sneezes and we know it spreads easily and can stay on surfaces for a while. It's possible that a lot of us will get it and be affected by it, but if you follow the advice below you will reduce your risk and the risk to others.
- Avoid non-essential contact with others - work from home if you can, avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and mass gatherings
- Wash your hands - with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds. Do this before leaving home and after returning home, before eating and drinking, and after coughing or sneezing
- Cover your mouth and nose - with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze - tissue in the bin and wash, or disinfect, your hands immediately
- Don't touch your face - especially your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean surfaces - disinfect surfaces around you - especially mobiles, computers, keyboards, worktops, desks, handles...
- Stay at home for 7 (individual) or 14 (group) days - this means not going out at all - do this even if you think your symptoms are mild
- Ask for help - if you find it hard to stay at home - text, email, phone, friends, family, employers or your community to get help - but they mustn't come into your home
- Keep your distance - keep 2 metres (around 3 steps) away from others - including family - for the full period - do not go to your GP surgery or hospital
- Sleep alone - if you can sleep alone you must - it will help ensure people you live with aren't infected
- Keep washing your hands - often and for 20 seconds with soap and water helps
- Drink plenty of fluids - and take everyday pain killers like paracetamol if you need to
- Keep cleaning - so you keep surfaces clean
- Reduce contact with at risk people - people over 70, women who are pregnant and those with underlying health conditions are more at risk - help keep them safe.