Coronavirus - Official information and advice

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Latest update in Surrey

Living with COVID-19

As part of the Government's next steps in the Living with COVID-19 Plan, from 1 April free testing for the general public will end.

Free COVID-19 tests will continue to be available to help protect specific groups including patients in hospital, people eligible for COVID-19 treatments (you will be contacted directly), along with NHS and adult social care staff and those in other high-risk settings.

Access to testing from 1 April

To support the change to testing, the Government have provided a list of COVID-19 testing for the general public which you can find on the GOV.UK List of general population COVID-19 testing providers webpage which also provides advice on private COVID-19 test providers if you are travelling abroad.

Please continue to test as and where you can to help protect yourself and others against COVID-19, and please keep following the public health advice, including the key safety behaviours. More information on the GOV.UK Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread webpage.

Health advice

Anyone with a respiratory infection, anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or those who have a high temperature or feel unwell including children and young people, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature. If you do test positive for COVID-19 it's advised you try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, when you are most infectious.

More official health advice and information can be found in the Official health information section further below, and on the GOV.UK Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread webpage.

Other guidance and information

For the latest published guidance, visit the GOV.UK Latest updates and guidance webpage.

You can read the full details on the Governments COVID-19 Response: Living With COVID-19 on the GOV.UK COVID-19 Response: Living with COVID-19 webpage.

Vaccinations and boosters

Vaccines continue to remain the best line of defence against COVID-19. Getting vaccinated and going for your COVID-19 booster jab when you are invited, is one of the single most effective things we can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

For any updates on the eligibility around vaccines or for more information on COVID-19 Vaccination Centres in Surrey, visit the Surrey Heartlands COVID-19 Booster Vaccinations webpage. To book or manage your COVID-19 vaccination or booster, visit the NHS Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination webpage.

Spring COVID-19 boosters

You will be contacted by the NHS when you are due for a spring booster, and you will usually be offered an appointment around 6 months after your last dose of COVID-19 vaccine. If you are eligible for a spring booster, but have not had a first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yet, you should have them as soon as possible.

If you have a severely weakened immune system you need to get a 3rd dose before you get a booster.

Spring COVID-19 boosters are currently being offered to those who are:

  • aged 75 and over
  • live in a care home for older people
  • are aged 12 and over and have a weakened immune system

COVID-19 may affect you more seriously if you are in one of these groups, therefore the spring booster is being offered to help reduce your risk of getting seriously ill from the virus. More information about the spring boosters including how to get your spring booster can be found on the NHS How to get a booster dose of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine webpage.

5 to 11 year old vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine is one more vaccine that children aged 5 to 11 are now able to have to protect them from the virus. COVID-19 is still active and causing some children to miss out on their education and things they enjoy. The JCVI recommends that 5 to 11 year olds be offered the vaccine, which has been approved by the UK's medicines regulator, to boost immunity and increase their protection against any future waves of COVID-19. The NHS wants to support families to make an informed choice, and to make things convenient and child-friendly for those who do decide to get it.

Where can my child get vaccinated?

You can get your child vaccinated at vaccination centres, pharmacies and GPs offering jabs for this age group. You can view these sites and make an appointment through the NHS Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination webpage or by calling 119.

How many doses will my child receive?

Children aged 5 to 11 with no other underlying health conditions will be offered two paediatric (child) doses of the vaccine, with at least 12 weeks between doses. Those 5 to 11 year olds who are more at risk from the virus can already get two paediatric (child) doses, eight weeks apart, and their GP or hospital specialist should be in touch to arrange this.

More information on the GOV.UK COVID-19 vaccination: resources for children aged 5 to 11 years webpage. You can also find information on the Surrey Heartlands Vaccinations for 5 to 11 year olds webpage.

Omicron variant

The Omicron variant contains a large number of spike protein mutations and has double the number of mutations of the delta variant. Urgent work is ongoing internationally to fully understand how these mutations may change the behaviour of the virus with regards to vaccines and transmissibility.

To see the full list of confirmed COVID-19 variant cases, visit the GOV.UK COVID-19 variants identified in the UK webpage.

Latest Surrey response to coronavirus

Surrey News is the news hub for Surrey County Council it has all the latest news on Surrey's response to Coronavirus including information on the data dashboard.

You can see all Surrey's COVID-19 intelligence summaries which include the figures and statistics for Surrey's districts and boroughs on our Coronavirus figures and statistics webpage.

Official health information

It's important to continue practising the Public Health guidance which includes the following COVID-19 key safety behaviours:

  • Get vaccinated and get boosted
  • Let the fresh air in - opening your windows for just 10 minutes can make a difference to the concentration of Covid particles in a room
  • Wear a face covering - in crowded and enclosed spaces, and when rates of transmission are high in your area
  • Wash your hands - use soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
  • Cover your mouth and nose - when you cough and sneeze, remember "Catch it, Bin it, Kill it"
  • Stay at home if you are unwell - to reduce the risk of passing on other illnesses onto friends, family, colleagues, and others in your community
  • Consider individual risks - when deciding who you have close contact with, consider the persons clinical vulnerabilities and vaccination status

There is lots of misinformation being shared about coronavirus, the following organisations are providing regular official information and updates both on their websites and via social media.

Don't be scammed

Please be aware that not everyone out there is trustworthy and some people will take advantage of this unusual situation our society is facing. Trading Standards have highlighted below the latest scams and tricks so you can be aware and not be taken advantage of. Please note fraudsters come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online.

To stay updated on the latest tricks and scams follow Trading Standards on social media on Facebook BucksSurreyTS or on Twitter @Bucks_Surreyts and you can read the latest TS Alerts newsletter.

Latest Test and Trace scams

There have recently been some Test and Trace scams operating within the county which we wanted to make you aware of. More information here:

Coronavirus scams advice

This is what Trading Standards are currently aware of. This list isn't exhaustive, but please be aware:

  • People offering miracle cures for coronavirus – there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Bogus healthcare workers claiming to be offering 'home-testing' for coronavirus – this is a scam these kits are not currently available to buy.
  • The council do not need to enter your house to do a deep clean.
  • Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes or business rates should be treated with extreme caution. Often the sender just wants your personal details.
  • There are new mobile phone apps that claim to give you updates on the virus, instead they lock your phone and demand a ransom.
  • Your bank or the police will never ask for your bank details over the phone.
  • People offering to do your shopping and ask for money upfront and then disappear.

Tips to avoid getting tricked out of your money

  • Do not place items on your doorstep to say you need help as this is an invitation to scammers that you may be in a vulnerable situation.
  • Be sceptical, don't be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.
  • Take your time, don't be rushed.
  • If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as GOV.uk or NHS.uk details as provided on our Official Coronavirus Information and Advice web page.
  • Know who you're dealing with, if you need help talk to someone you know or get in touch with your local district or borough council.
  • Protect your financial information, especially from people you don't know. Do not give your bank card or PIN number to a stranger.

Report a scam

If you think you have been scammed then call the police on 101 (999 only in an emergency)

To report a complaint relating to a coronavirus scam you can contact Trading Standards by email trading.standards@surreycc.gov.uk or call us or 01296 388788.

Other official guidance

Travel guidance

Find out more about coronavirus testing for people travelling to England.

Visas

Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.