Coronavirus (COVID-19) information
As the pandemic continues, the Council is working closely with Hertfordshire County Council, Public Health England and partners to respond to the situation.
From Monday 17 May, England entered step three of the national roadmap.
This means that it is now possible to meet up to six people or two households indoors. Limits on meeting people outdoors have been lifted, although gatherings of over 30 people remain illegal except for weddings, receptions and commemorative events.
Businesses in all but the highest risk sectors can reopen to the public.
Indoor hospitality can reopen, for groups of up to six people or two households.
Other indoor locations to open up in Step 3 include indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas and the rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs.
Leisure centres were allowed to open for individuals to exercise as part of step two. Step three allows indoor group exercise and sports sessions to resume.
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.
Full guidance on the government's roadmap is available on the Gov.uk website.
Step four of the national roadmap has been delayed for four weeks, until 19 July.
Travel red list
If you have been in or through any of the countries listed on the travel 'red list' in the previous 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK.
If you are a UK national or resident you will not be refused entry, but you will have to quarantine for 10 days in a government approved hotel.
Full information on the travel red list and the requirement to quarantine can be found on the Gov.uk website.
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
- 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)
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.
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: 16 June 2021