COVID-19 National Restrictions Questions and Answers

As of midnight Thursday 05 November 2020, all of England moved to a single set of restrictions. The intention is to reduce the transmission of the Covid 19 virus in order to protect NHS capability to respond to Covid and non-Covid urgent treatment and save lives.

The following questions and answers give a flavour of how Coronavirus is affecting people in Redbridge, what we can do to protect ourselves and what the new restrictions mean for us.

 

What are the current rates of Covid-19 in Redbridge?

The 7-day rolling case rate for Redbridge is now more than 200 per 100,000, which is very high and continues to rise.

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of Coronavirus are recent onset of a new continuous cough, a high temperature (feeling hot to the touch) and loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell. 

 

How do I get a test for Coronavirus?

If you think you have symptoms of Coronavirus, however mild, get a test.

You can go online to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or phone the NHS on 119 to book a test at your local testing centre, or get a home test kit. Redbridge has 3 permanent testing centres - at Mildmay Car Park, Ilford, IG1 1DT, Gants Hill Library Car Park, Cranbrook Road, Ilford, IG2 6XS, and Charteris Car Park, Charteris Road, Woodford IG8 0AL. These sites are open every day 8am-8pm.

You can walk in to these sites, but the process is much quicker if you book online first – this will limit the amount of time you spend at the centre. If it turns out your test is negative you will then have reduced your risk of picking up the virus from someone who is positive.

 

 

Can anyone of any age get Coronavirus?

People of any age can get Coronavirus. Children seem to get Coronavirus less often than adults but they can still carry it and pass it on.  Older adults tend to experience worse symptoms if they get the virus.

How easy is it to pass Coronavirus on to others?

If people with symptoms isolate immediately in their homes, then that should break the cycle of passing Coronavirus on to others. Unfortunately, there can be a delay between exposure to Coronavirus and noticing symptoms (ranging from 1-14 days), as well as some people not displaying symptoms at all. This means the virus can be passed to others unknowingly.

The virus is mainly transferred person to person through respiratory droplets from the nose or mouth, generated by coughing and sneezing. That is why it is recommended to keep your distance from people and wear a face covering even when you don’t think you or people around you are ill.

People can also catch Coronavirus through contact with surfaces touched by people with the virus.

We routinely touch surfaces around us then touch our eyes, mouth or nose. This process can transfer droplets of the virus into our own body. 

What kind of complications are there with Coronavirus?

Coronavirus was initially described as a virus that affects the lungs and therefore people’s breathing. However, we now know that it affects many organs, including the brain, heart, liver and kidneys. Some people may develop severe illness from it such as pneumonia requiring hospital admission, and even become critically ill if their other organs become involved. Long term symptoms after initial recovery are currently being researched but some patients report remaining breathless, very weak, fatigued and anxious, for some time after their illness.  If other organs become damaged this can also lead to long-term consequences.

What can I take to treat Coronavirus?

There is currently no specific treatment for Coronavirus that you can take at home, but the NHS gives several tips to ease more mild symptoms. For example, if you have a high temperature, get lots of rest and drink plenty of water. If you have a cough, it's best to lie on your side or sit upright instead of lying on your back. If you're feeling breathless, it can help to keep your room cool, but do not use a fan as it may spread the virus. You can take Paracetamol or Ibuprofen to make yourself feel better. It is advisable to try Paracetamol first as people experience less side effects. You may have read in the news that Ibuprofen is not recommended to treat Coronavirus as it may make it worse. However, there has been no evidence to support this.

If at any point your symptoms worsen the NHS guidance is to get medical advice from the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service immediately.

What can I do to prevent catching Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is mainly thought to spread from person to person. Therefore, one of the most effective prevention measures is to limit how many people you meet with and how close you get to them.

  • You are no longer able to meet people who do not live in the same house/flat as you.
  • If you have to be near people keep 2 metres distance, avoid times when the area (indoor or outdoor) is likely to be busy and crowded.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to limit the transfer of Coronavirus from surfaces into your body, and frequently wash your hands properly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

There is some evidence that the virus can stay on surfaces and fabrics for a few days. Therefore, change and wash your clothes and clean your hands thoroughly when you get home.

Do I have to isolate if I have symptoms?

 Isolate yourself in your house/flat if:

  • you have any symptoms of Coronavirus(a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) for 14 days;
  • you've tested positive for Coronavirus for 10 days following the positive test;
  • you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive for 14 days;
  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms or has tested positive for 14 days; or
  • you're told by NHS Test and Trace that you've been in contact with a person with Coronavirus for 14 days.

How many people can I meet up with now?

In any indoor setting, you can only meet up with someone who lives in the same house as you, or is already part of a support bubble with you.

In any public outdoor space (which does not include a private garden) then you may meet one person from another household but keep the 2 metre distance.

Essential retail spaces for food and supplies will remain open but you must keep a 2 metre distance between you and other people not from your household.

Non-essential retail spaces and spaces of socialisation (pubs, bars, clubs, cinemas, places of public worship) will be closed and therefore indoor meeting will not occur.

Outdoor spaces will remain open for recreational exercising but you must not meet up with people from other households. If you are in these open spaces you must maintain a 2 metre distance from other people.

Do my children have to go to school?

Schools will remain open and it is expected that all well children will go to school. Schools have arrangements to keep them safe using class bubbles, changed timetables, and more frequent cleaning. Schools are also prepared to deal with children who become unwell or have positive tests or are in contact with children who have positive tests.

Keep a 2 metre distance and wear a face covering if you are taking your child to school gates.

Colleges are also open with arrangements to reduce students contact with each other.

University students away from home must not return home in term time but are expecting to be able to return home at Christmas.

My son lives in the next street from mine – can I still go around to his house?

You can only visit someone who doesn’t live in the same house as you if you have already formed a support bubble with that person or group of people. You and they cannot be part of more than one social bubble.

Can I change my support bubble?

No. Once you make a support bubble, you should not change who is in your bubble. This limits the number of people you have close contact with, which can help reduce your exposure to the virus.

Can I meet up with a friend and her 3year old in the park with my newborn baby?

Yes because it is a public outdoor space. Your friend counts as one person form another household but her preschool children are not counted and may be with their mother when she meets you but keep the 2 meter distance.

My friend and I drive to work together in the same car? Is this still allowed?

No, sharing a car with someone not living in your house/flat is not allowed.

The Government recommends limiting the number of journeys you must make where possible. Where you can work from home, with your employer’s permission, it is advised to try to do this as much as possible. If you do need to travel to work avoid public transport and consider walking or cycling.

My elderly aunt is in a residential care home – can I go and visit her?

Yes, BUT the care home MUST make arrangements to limit the contact.

We want to limit the exposure of elderly and vulnerable people to the risk of Covid-19 so it is necessary to limit visitors to care homes. Some care homes are converting a room to a visiting room with Perspex screen and intercom systems to separate visitors and residents. Others are enabling garden visits with 2 metres and masks or window visits.

Can I still go to exercise at my local gym or play football with my local team?

No, all indoor and outdoor sports facilities will close.

It is always good to exercise as it helps mental wellbeing as well as your physical health. Why not consider outdoor exercise too?

I still need to go to work – will my childminder and my son’s grandparents still be able to look after my child in her home?

Yes – The following people can provide childcare support in private homes and gardens:

  • registered childcare providers, including nannies
  • people in your support bubble
  • people in your childcare bubble

What is a childcare bubble? Is this different to a support bubble?

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household provides informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. For any given childcare bubble, this must always be between the same 2 households.

Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare. Childcare bubbles are to be used to provide childcare only, and not for the purposes of different households mixing where they are otherwise not allowed to do so.

Can I still go out to dinner with my friends?

No – you must not socialise with anybody outside of the people who live in the same house as you or support bubble in any setting, whether at home or in a public place.

Do I still have to wear a face covering?

Yes – it is the law to wear a face covering on buses and all forms of public transport, in shops and supermarkets.

Can I still go to my place of worship?

Not for acts of public worship but places of worship will remain open for private prayer. There will be restrictions on numbers praying at any one time depending upon the size of the place of worship. There must be 2 meter distance between people of different houses/flats and no singing/chanting/communal response.

How many people are allowed to attend a wedding or a civil partnership?

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies will not take place at this time.

How many people am I allowed at a funeral or wake?

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people but it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. These numbers do not include staff of Funeral Directors or crematoria. Numbers will be limited by the ability of the venue to enable 2 metres distancing between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

I’d like to get some fresh air at the coast for a day – can I visit Southend, for example?

Not from Redbridge. Overnight stays and holidays away from your usual home will not be allowed unless this is part of your social bubble.

Redbridge Council Public Health

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