COVID-19 advice England

Last updated on: 6 July 2021

Each of the devolved nations has its own approach to handling the COVID-19 crisis. Here you’ll find the specific details for people living in England. 

Easing out of lockdown

Find out more about what you can and cannot do.  

If you are meeting friends and family (as a group of 6 people or 2 households indoors, or as a group of up to 30 people outdoors), you can make a personal choice on whether to socially distance within your own group. However, social distancing requirements continue to apply in the workplace, care settings, and in businesses and public venues. 

6 July 

The Government has announced more details about step 4, the final stage of the roadmap, which is expected to start on 19 July. There are also 5 principles for managing COVID-19 as we learn to live with the virus. Find out what will change following a move to step 4.

COVID-19 vaccines

There’s a UK-wide plan to prioritise certain groups to be vaccinated first. Read more about priority groups.

The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn to have the vaccine and you should not call your GP. 

You do not need to wait to be contacted if you are in the following groups:

  • people aged 18 and over
  • people who will turn 18 before 1 July 2021
  • people at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • health and social care workers
  • people with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • people with a learning disability
  • people who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus

You can book your appointment online.

Read the latest guidance: COVID-19 vaccines - your questions answered.

Lateral flow tests

You can get free regular rapid tests if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Find out more about the rapid lateral flow tests on the NHS website.

Staying safe at work

Social distancing requirements continue to apply in the workplace, care settings, and in businesses and public venues.

There are specific requirements for employers and employees to keep safe in the workplace during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Check out our dedicated resources about COVID-19 - employment and work.

Guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable

If you are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group, you should take extra care and continue to be cautious when meeting others. 

You can take steps to make meeting family and friends safer, such as:

  • Meeting outside if possible, as the particles containing the virus that causes COVID-19 are quickly blown away which makes it less likely that they will be breathed in by another person.
  • Making sure the space is well ventilated if you meet inside. Open windows and doors or take other action to let in plenty of fresh air. P
  • Keeping the number of contacts low
  • Considering whether you and those you are meeting have been vaccinated - you might want to wait until 21 days after your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before being in close contact with others.
  • Washing your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

For more information read the guidance on shielding if you are clinically extremely vulnerable


You should self-isolate if you or somebody else in your household develops symptoms of coronavirus. This means not leaving your home for any reason and not having visitors, unless it’s for essential medical care. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to the testing website to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You’ll need to arrange for food and essential supplies to be delivered and these should be left at your door to minimise contact with the delivery person.

Read the Gov UK guidance on self-isolating.

We're here for you

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    • COVA, our COVID-19 virtual assistant also provides fast, easy access to our trusted information, 24/7. 
    • Connect with other people with arthritis to share experiences on our online community.

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