Coronavirus (COVID-19) - advice, information and help

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

As the number of cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK grows, the Council is working closely with Hertfordshire County Council, Public Health England and partners to respond to the situation. 

National lockdown measures

From Wednesday 6 January, Broxbourne, along with the rest of England was placed under national lockdown measures. 

You must stay at home, other than for legally permitted reasons such as:

  • travel to work where you cannot work from home
  • travel to education and for caring responsibilities
  • attend hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health

Non-essential retail and close contact services, such as hairdressers and beauty salons, must close.

 All hospitality venues, such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars must close but can continue to operate take-away or delivery services.  

The wearing of face coverings in many indoor settings is mandatory unless you are exempt. Information on where this is applicable can be found on the use of face coverings page. 

People should work from home if they can.

Leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools must close. Outdoor sports sessions cannot operate.

All schools and education settings are closed to pupils, other than those children of key workers or vulnerable children.

You can meet one person from another household or support bubble outdoors for exercise purposes only. You must not meet anyone indoors.

This overview of what national lockdown measures mean for residents and businesses is a useful, at a glance guide. Full details are available here.

New national NHS letters issued - inviting patients to book their own vaccination appointments

These are letters from the national NHS system and are being sent out to people aged 80 and over. If you’ve already had your first dose of the vaccine at either a local vaccination hub run by GPs or in a hospital, you can ignore this letter. The practice or hospital is responsible for arranging your appointment for your second jab.  

If you haven’t had your first vaccination yet (and you are aged 80 or over), you can choose to book an appointment for yourself using the web address or phone number in the letter you have received.  If you book in this way, your vaccination will take place at a venue called Robertson House, close to the centre of Stevenage.  Alternatively, you can choose to have your vaccination in your local area instead. Your GP practice will contact you as soon as possible to offer you an appointment – you do not need to contact them.

How the Council is responding to the situation

The Council is monitoring the situation and can reassure residents and businesses that contingency plans are in place that set out how services will operate in the event of disruption to normal business. The Council will seek to continue to deliver day-to-day services although as the virus spreads throughout the community, reduced staffing levels may mean it is not possible to do so. 

The Council has a responsibility to protect the community (especially those who are vulnerable), protect staff and to maintain priority services. The Council has prioritised the following services and will redeploy staff as necessary:

  • domestic refuse collection
  • housing benefits advice service
  • environmental health emergencies
  • temporary accommodation (housing)
  • housing benefits payments
  • burials/cemetery services

Council facilities that are closed

Following the government’s announcement and to protect the public and staff, the following Council facilities are closed to the public until further notice:

  • main Council offices at Bishops' College
  • the One Stop Shop service in Hoddesdon and Waltham Cross
  • the Spotlight Theatre
  • Wormley Community Centre
  • Lowewood Museum

The Council will keep this under review as the government's guidance changes.

Current guidance from Public Health England

Current advice is that those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) should take particular care to follow social distancing measures. This group of people includes those who, for example, are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds)
  • pregnant

This is not an exhaustive list.

Hands. Face. Space.

There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other.

  • Wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly
  • Cover face - wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
  • Make space - stay at least a metre apart

What to do if you have symptoms

Book a test if you have one of the following symptoms: 

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

To book a test, visit Gov.uk.

How long to stay at home

Guidance on how long you need to self-isolate for depending on different circumstances can be found on the NHS website.

Free parking for NHS staff and social care workers

If you work for the NHS or work in social care, the Council will provide you with free parking for the duration of the lockdown. You can register for your free pass by sending an email to parking control from your NHS email address. The email must contain your vehicle registration number. If you do not have an NHS email address, you can send us a letter from your employer as confirmation. 

Email parking control

The parking pass is valid in all Broxbourne Council car parks. 

Directory of car parks

Scams

Action Fraud has reported a 400% increase of coronavirus-related fraud. The majority of these reports are associated with online shopping scams, where people are ordering protective face masks, hand sanitizer and other products, which never have arrived. Fraudsters are sending coronavirus-themed ‘phishing’ emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial details. Do not click on links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

There have been reports from other parts of the country of people knocking door-to-door claiming to be from a health authority conducting coronavirus testing as well as other associated scams. Please also look-out for signs that your neighbours are being targeted. There are genuine groups of volunteers providing help during self-isolation, but there have been reports of criminals preying on vulnerable people. Ask for identification from anyone claiming to represent a charity. 

There has also been a recent scam where someone claiming to be a tenant’s Landlord has asked the tenant for early payment of rent as they are suffering financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus. You should be extra vigilant when making payments, especially if you are put under pressure to make the payment. Please double-check that the request is genuine. Please do be wary of attempted scams and keep yourself safe.

Last updated: 6 January 2021