Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Essential information

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 focused 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

 

National lockdown: stay at home

From 5 January 2020

Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly across the country. New lockdown guidance must be followed immediately to reduce your chance of catching COVID-19 or passing it on to others .

  • You must stay at home. This is the single most important action we can all take to protect the NHS and save lives.

  • You must not leave your home unless necessary.

  • Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or bubble.

Read more about what you can and cannot do​.

Leaving home

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person

  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home

  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one

  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)

  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible

 

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.

 

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.

 

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

 

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work

 

Meeting others

You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).

 

You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

 

You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

 

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

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 and not leave our house unless necessary

  • 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:

  • 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.

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:

  • public transport

  • 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.

 

Full guidance can be found on www.gov.uk.

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.

 

See more guidance and stay-at-home advice here

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

To find out about the coronavirus cases in your area visit: kent.gov.uk/covidcases

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 coronavirus information

For the latest health advice visit the: 

 

NHS 111 online service

For the latest Public Health England updates and government guidance about  coronavirus go to:

 

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

UK Government free WhatsApp information service

Receive the latest official advice and information via WhatsApp.

 

Follow this link to find out how to get started

Wellbeing

advice

These links take you to support and advice on looking after your health and wellbeing while staying at home:

Kent County Council wellbeing and mental health hub

 

NHS Every Mind Matters

NHS Live Well strength and flex exercise plan

Goverenment advice on mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus

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:

Kent County Council website or Medway Council website

Find your local borough or district council website here.

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

Face coverings must be worn on public transport..

 

Full guidance on safer travel for passengers is available on the gov.uk website 

Stay up to date with any changes to public transport services

Trains: visit the Southeastern website, check on Facebook @southeasternofficial or Twitter @SE_railway.

 

Buses: for local bus services information visit the Arriva, Stagecoach South East or Nu-Venture websites

COVID-19 travel advice

Following identification of a new variant of the virus, international travel from your area may be increasingly restricted because of domestic regulations. For example, those in Tier 4 areas in England will not be permitted to travel abroad apart from limited exceptions, such as work purposes. Follow all the rules that apply to you.

Other countries have closed borders, and may restrict movement or bring in new quarantine rules with little warning. Check the government advice on things to consider, and be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.

Before travelling abroad via Eurotunnel or port of Dover please check the latest travel guidance to ensure you are following the latest rules, restrictions and travel requirements.

Freight (HGV) traffic

Non-freight traffic: 

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. Also check if you need to self isolate.

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Kent Resilience Forum

Kent Fire and Rescue Service HQ

The Godlands

Straw Mill Hill

Tovil, Maidstone ME15 6XB