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.

Coronavirus restrictions remain in place

The Covid-19 case rate in Lambeth is continuing to decrease and there are fewer people in hospital and very low numbers of reported deaths from Covid-19 in the last few weeks. This is good news but we still need to continue to stick to rules to help drive rates down further and avoid the spread of the virus.
Testing remains important and will continue to be available locally
Those without Covid-19 symptoms are able to get regular rapid Covid-19 tests. Routine rapid testing is available to everyone through:

  • home testing
  • workplace testing
  • community testing
  • collection from test sites during specific time windows
  • collection from participating pharmacies

Details on where to get a rapid test can be found at
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

The success of the vaccination programme continues to grow. As well as offering the Covid-19 vaccine to clinically extremely vulnerable residents, it is now available for those aged 40 and upwards. Residents are being asked to get vaccinated when it’s their turn, to give them the best protection against Covid-19.
It is currently being given to:

  • people aged 40 and over 
  • people at high risk from Covid-19 (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 Covid-19

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.

Public health advice remains the same. Remembering the four basics below will help protect against all Covid-19 infection.

  • Hands – wash hands regularly
  • Face – wear a face covering
  • Space – keeping 2 metres apart
  • Fresh air – ventilation in the spaces we spend time in and when we meet others outside

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.

Summary of changes to restrictions

As of Monday 12 April, step 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown began, meaning the following apply:

  • Social contact: the evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors. From 29 March, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the rule of 6) or 2 households started to be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.
  • Business and activities: outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts and open-air swimming pools have reopened, and people can take part in formally organised outdoor sports.

    Non-essential retail has reopened; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres. Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms have also reopened (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups); as have most outdoor attractions and settings including outdoor hospitality venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas. Self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, have also reopened.

    Hospitality venues are allowed to serve people outdoors at step 2 and there is no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’). Wider social contact rules apply in all these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households.
  • Travel: the ‘stay at home’ rule ended on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme. The Government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel.
  • Events: while funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners, the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15.

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 returned from another country. People arriving from countries on the travel ban red list will self-isolate in Government‑approved 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.

Stop the spread: wash your hands, wear a mask and keep a 2-metre distance from people not in your household #KeepLambethSafe