Coronavirus (Covid-19) public health advice and current restrictions

Information about what you can do to limit the spread of the virus, and the current rules and advice that the government has asked us all to follow.

Lambeth like the rest of England is in step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown, meaning most of the legal restrictions have been lifted. 

There has been a reduction in the number of cases in Lambeth compared to last week, but Covid-19 has not gone away. Hospital admissions for Covid-19 have increased, although not as high as early in the new year, numbers are likely to go up as serious illness from Covid-19 can take 2 to 3 weeks to develop following infection. Even those with mild or no symptoms can still go on to develop Long Covid.
We are urging everyone to continue to act cautiously to help protect themselves and others. There are things you can keep on doing:

  • wash your hands regularly. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze and dispose of tissues safely.
  • wear face coverings on public transport and in indoor spaces. Face coverings remain one of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing the spread of Covid-19
  • be considerate of others and maintain a social distance from those outside your household, make this outdoors if possible. If you are meeting inside, be sure to let plenty of fresh air into indoor spaces.
  • testing regularly if you do not have symptoms, and getting a PCR test if you have Covid-19 symptoms. You must self-isolate if you test positive. For information on Covid-19 support, testing and public health advice visit
  • if you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or pinged by the NHS Covid-19 app you must self-isolate

Getting vaccinated is a really important thing you can do to keep yourself and others closest to you safe. If you haven’t taken up either your first or second jab yet, then please do so, as you need both doses for maximum protection. Find out how and where to get your Covid-19 vaccine locally at the South East London CCG NHS website.

Step 4 summary – from 19 July 

While cases are high everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. The Government has therefore kept in place key protections at step 4 since 19 July: 

  • testing when you have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high-risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk
  • isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace
  • border quarantine: for all arriving from red list countries and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries
  • cautious guidance for individuals, businesses and the vulnerable while rates are high including:
    • while the Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, it expects and recommends a gradual return to workplaces over the summer
    • Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport
    • being outside or letting fresh air in
    • minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts
    • encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS Covid Pass in high risk settings. The Government will work with organisations where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of this. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating certification in certain venues at a later date

For further information see the updated guidance on what you can and cannot do on the GOV.UK website

Testing remains important and will continue to be available locally

Those without Covid-19 symptoms are able to get free regular rapid Covid-19 tests. Routine rapid testing is available to everyone through:

  • home tests ordered online
  • home test collection from participating pharmacies
  • home test collection from test sites 
  • workplace testing
  • in person at test sites

Find out where to get a rapid test on our web page Get a rapid Covid-19 test if you have no symptoms

Those with Covid-19 symptoms should immediately self-isolate, together with their household, and book a test online at GOV.UK or call 119. Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate for 10 days and work with NHS Test and Trace to identify any close contacts who would also need to self-isolate.

Stay home safely support service

Lambeth’s Stay home safely support service can help with needs such as grocery delivery, dog walking or emotional support, and accommodation advice – for any Lambeth residents who have to self-isolate. Call free on 0800 054 1215, 7 days a week.

The Lambeth Stay Home Support Payment of up to £738 is available for residents who may lose earnings or potential work from self-isolating or caring for someone who needs to stay at home due to Covid-19. Find out more at

Vaccination against Covid-19 – who can get it

Anyone aged over 18 can have a vaccination. You do not have to be registered with a GP to be vaccinated. Choose from one of dozens of walk-in clinics now available across south London. For answers to frequently asked questions about the vaccine, visit

Ruth Hutt, Lambeth’s Director of Public Health said:

”Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones and to help us all get back to normal. Two doses provide the best protection including against new variants of the virus. Please take the opportunity to protect yourself, family and friends.”

Find out more about who can get a Covid-19 vaccine, and see the full list of priority groups and the high or moderate risk categories.

Preventing widespread transmission of Covid-19 is vital to maintain the progress made in the vaccination programme to date and to continue the Government’s roadmap of easing coronavirus restrictions. 

Mental wellbeing during Covid-19

We know that this is a challenging time and it is important that we continue to look after our mental health and wellbeing. For tips go to Good Thinking and GOV.UK’s guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus.

Coronavirus symptoms

The main symptoms of coronavirus are: 

  • 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 – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal 

If you experience any of these, you must self-isolate and book a free test online or call 119 immediately.

When do you need to self-isolate?  

If any of the following applies. You:  

  • have symptoms of Covid-19 and are waiting for a test  
  • have tested positive for Covid-19  
  • are part of the household of a suspected or confirmed Covid-19 case 
  • have been told or alerted by the council’s contact tracing service, NHS Test and Trace  service or app that you are a close contact of a Covid-19 case 
  • have been told to self-isolate because you’re in close contact with a Covid-19 case  
  • have entered England from an amber list country. People arriving from countries on the red list will quarantine in managed hotels

For more information on how to self-isolate if you live alone, with others or with vulnerable people and what support you can access, see our self-isolation guidance.