Residents in Kent and Medway face an unprecedented challenge from Covid-19 (coronavirus) and the impact it is having on our lives, work and families.
The Kent Resilience Forum recognises that these are extremely difficult times for everyone and is committed to ensuring that people in Kent are kept informed and as safe as possible from the effects of Coronavirus.
Partners have tried and tested plans in place to respond collectively to health pandemics and all agencies are working closely with Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS to support the measures introduced to manage this evolving situation.
All the efforts of our partners are focussed on supporting our communities through the challenges that they now face and our priority is to ensure vulnerable people and those most affected by Covid-19 get the support they need.
We urge residents to keep up with updated Covid-19 guidance and advice from government to keep ourselves safe and protect our health and livelihoods.
Latest government advice
The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS.
Reducing transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) – what you can do to help
We all have a role to play in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). The latest government guidance provides information that will reduce your chance of catching COVID-19 or passing it on to others. You should think about each point carefully and plan how you will follow this guidance in your daily life.
A simple visual guide for working and living safely during the COVID-19 pandemic is also available.
Keep up to date with the latest government advice online by vising the official website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Stay alert and safe
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert and safe. This means you must:
stay at home as much as possible
work from home if you can
limit contact with other people
keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
wash your hands regularly
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
If you have a new continuous cough or a high temperature you should stay at home for ten days (increased from seven days as from 30 July 2020) . If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person had symptoms.
All residents are encouraged to follow national government advice which includes taking basic hygiene precautions, such as washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, to reduce the chances of spreading any virus.
Meeting people and support bubbles
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published guidance setting out how the public can see people that they do not live with while protecting themselves and others from coronavirus.
The guidance explains how you can protect yourself and others from coronavirus when meeting people that you do not live with. At all times, it’s important to maintain social distancing from people you do not live with to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. You should only have close contact with people outside of your household if you are in a support bubble with them.
You should only meet people you do not live with in 3 types of groups:
you can continue to meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households
single adult households – in other words adults who live alone or with dependent children only – can continue to form an exclusive ‘support bubble’ with one other household
you can also meet in a group of 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household), in any location - public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be the same household each time.
Face coverings: when to wear one
Information relating to the use of face coverings in public spaces where social distancing is not always possible.
In England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:
indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
indoor shopping centres
banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)
You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.
Look after your health and wellbeing
To help yourself stay well while you're at home:
stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
do light exercise at home, or outside once a day
Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:
a new continuous cough
a high temperature
a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above you should self-isolate at home.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do if:
you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
your condition gets worse
your symptoms do not get better after seven days
Only call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online.
Ask for a test to check if you have coronavirus
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can ask for a test to check if you have the virus by visiting the gov.uk website.
NHS test and trace - how it works
Visit the government website for more information about testing for coronavirus and what to do if you're contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.
Protecting Kent and Medway
Kent County Council (KCC) and Medway Council, alongside Public Health England (PHE), have developed a new specific COVID-19 plan which builds on existing outbreak management plans and aligns with the new NHS Test and Trace system.
The Kent and Medway Outbreak Management Plan has been published at www.kent.gov.uk/protectkent and is also available at https://www.medway.gov.uk/downloads/file/5021/local_outbreak_covid-19_control_plan.
Read more about it on our news page here: https://www.kentprepared.org.uk/post/campaign-launched-to-protect-kent-and-medway
Covid-19 PPE requests
Kent Resilience Forum is coordinating the supply of PPE (personal protective equipment) to:
Kent and Medway based doctor's surgeries and care providers only.
These organisations can request supplies by calling:
(between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday only)
Covid-19 coronavirus information
For the latest health advice visit the:
For the latest Public Health England updates and government guidance about coronavirus go to:
UK Government free WhatsApp information service
Receive the latest official advice and information via WhatsApp.
These links take you to support and advice on looking after your health and wellbeing while staying at home:
Financial support and advice
The coronavirus outbreak has affected different people in different ways. If you have seen a reduction in your household income and are experiencing financial difficulties there is support available for you:
the Kent Support and Assistance Service may be able to help with food or utility vouchers
you can get advice about how to manage your money and what support is available from your account providers on the Money Advice Service website
Kent County Council's wellbeing advice page has advice about how to feel more prepared and feel less concerned about what is happening
many of Kent’s Citizen’s Advice branches are now offering advice on employment or financial matters over the phone and online. Find your local branch on the Citizen’s Advice website.
Updates on local services
Visit your local authority website for guidance and updates about changes to local services:
Getting help and volunteering
Support for voluntary groups and individuals is being offered by district and borough councils across Kent communities by visiting our community support page
Information about Coronavirus related scams
Information and guidance about coronavirus related scams can be found on Kent County Council's Public protection dedicated web page, This is updated regularly as new scams emerge.
Keep up to date with the latest advice by following their social media channels:
Public Protection Information for residents:
Public Protection Business advice and guidance:
Updates on public transport
Face coverings on public transport
New rules requiring passengers across England to wear a face covering on public transport came into force on 15 June 2020.
Stay up to date with any changes to public transport services
Trains: visit the Southeastern website, check on Facebook @southeasternofficial or Twitter @SE_railway.