COVID-19: Official health information and guidance
The Government has confirmed that as part of the roadmap out of the pandemic, the planned easing of current restrictions will go ahead on 17 May 2021.
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The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
- New continuous cough
- High temperature
- Loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness, but however mild your symptoms, you should stay at home.
Visit the NHS coronavirus webpage for the latest advice and guidance.
Testing is available in Richmond upon Thames for those people displaying symptoms and those who are asymptomatic.
The Government regularly updates national guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, residents are reminded:
- Hands: Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.
- Face: Wear a mask on public transport and if you are going into a shop. Failure to do so could result in a £200 fine. Apply for one of our exempt badges if you do not have to wear a mask
- Space: Keep your distance if you go out (1 metre apart if 2 metres is not possible).
You must remember:
- Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms. See guide for how to isolate at home safely (pdf, 566 KB).
- A new Test and Trace Support payment is available for people on a low income who must self-isolate for 10 days and cannot work from home during this period.
- Apply for a test if you have symptoms or have specifically been told to by a healthcare professional
- If you test positive for coronavirus – provide details of contacts via NHS Test and Trace.
Download the NHS COVID-19 App
From Monday 17 May, the majority of the indoor and remaining outdoor businesses can reopen, and gathering limits will increase indoors and outdoors. The Stay in the UK restriction will be lifted and people will be able to travel to green list countries, if they permit inbound travel.
However, until then:
The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors. Outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either six people (the Rule of six) or two households is allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside. From 17 May, up to six people or two households will be able to meet indoors and up to 30 people outdoors.
Business and activities
All non-essential retail, personal care, libraries and community centres, most outdoor attractions, indoor leisure including gyms and outdoor hospitality have already reopened. However, from 17 May indoor hospitality can reopen and indoor entertainment can resume, including cinemas, museums, and children's play areas. All remaining outdoor entertainment can reopen, such as outdoor cinemas and performances. Some larger events will be able to take place, including conferences, theatre and concert performances, and sports events. Restrictions on the number of attendees will remain in place.
Currently, travel abroad is prohibited other than for a small number of permitted reasons. However, international travel can begin to safely reopen from 17 May, allowing people to go on foreign holidays to 'green' list countries. Strict border control measures will remain in place, including pre-departure tests and a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back in the UK. Find out more about international travel.
The roadmap outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of previous steps.
This assessment will be based on four tests:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern
There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the data to reflect changes in restrictions; followed by seven days' notice of the restrictions to be eased.
See summary of the indicative roadmap (pdf, 5.6 MB)
You can find the latest information on the situation in the UK on the GOV.UK website.
For information on symptoms, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you think you might have coronavirus, visit the NHS coronavirus webpage.
Up to: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Updated: 11 May 2021