Emily Jewett

Public Health Guidance Overview – 21st June 2021

Guidance From Monday 21st June

Monday 21st June did not see us moving to step 4 in the roadmap out of lockdown, so the below guidelines remain largely unchanged.

However, the numbers of attendees at weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes is now unlimited, as long as social distancing rules can be followed at the venue.

Social Contact

Larger social gatherings will be allowed, with recommendations to make personal judgements on risks:

  • Outdoor gatherings: Up to 30 people allowed (including in private gardens).
  • Indoor gatherings: Allowed, with up to 6 people (the “Rule of 6”), or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
  • New guidance when meeting friends and family: The new guidance emphasises personal responsibility rather than government rules – Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you will be encouraged to exercise caution and consider the risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Remember that the risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others, and in some settings and circumstances there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family. The updated guidance on meeting with people safely can be seen here.
  • “Hands > Face > Space> & Fresh Air”: We’ll be allowed to be closer to, or even hug our friends and family, using our own judgement, but we’re still encouraged to maintain physical distancing when possible in social settings, to wear face coverings where required, and wash our hands or sanitise frequently. The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors. If you are indoors in any setting with anyone who is NOT in your own household or support bubble remember to “let fresh air in”.

Businesses and Activities

Most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and businesses may not cater for groups bigger than the legal limits:

  • All retail: Allowed to open (since 12th April).
  • Personal care premises, including hairdressers, beauty and nail salons: Allowed to open (since 12th April).
  • Public buildings, including libraries and community centres: Allowed to open (since 12th April).
  • Outdoor attractions, including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas: Allowed to open (since 12th April).
  • Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and spas: Allowed to open (since 12th April). From 17th May, steam rooms & saunas will be allowed to reopen.
  • Organised sports, including gym classes: Allowed to reopen indoors and outdoors, when organised by a business, charity or public body which must take reasonable measures to prevent transmission.
  • Entertainment premises, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bowling alleys, casinos, amusement arcades, museums and children’s indoor play areas: Permitted to open with Covid-secure measures in place.
  • Events, including live performances, sporting and business events: Allowed to attend indoor and outdoor events, with attendance capped by venue. Attendees must follow Covid-secure measures.
  • Hospitality, including restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes: Allowed to reopen, indoors and outdoors.
  • Holiday accommodation, including hotels, B&Bs and campsites: Allowed to reopen for use by groups up to 6 people, or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).

Travel

  • Work: People should continue to work from home where they can.
  • UK travel: When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance.
  • Overnight stays in UK: Allowed – see guidance for holiday accommodation above, and please check any local rules in Scotland.
  • International travel: All international travel allowed, subject to a “traffic light” system which determines the rules you must follow when returning to the UK. Please also remember to check the rules and restrictions for any country you intend to visit.

Education

  • Higher Education: In-person teaching resumes.
  • Face coverings: No longer required for secondary school pupils.

Care Homes

  • Visitors: Each resident will be allowed 5 designated visitors. Two visitors will now be allowed to visit at once. The 5 designated visitors must remain the same, will need to book with the care home, and will require negative lateral flow tests.
  • Going out: Care home residents are allowed to go on trips and visits outside the care home, without having to self-isolate on return. The resident must be accompanied by a responsible designated visitor and adhere to Covid-secure measures.

Support Groups, and Parent & Child Groups

  • Children’s indoor activities: All indoor children’s activities allowed, including sports. (Since 12th April.)
  • Parent and child groups: Allowed with up to 30 people indoors. (Children under the age of 5 will not count towards the total number of the group.)
  • Support groups (any age): Allowed with up to 30 people indoors. (Children under the age of 5 will not count towards the total number of the group.)

Life Events

  • Funerals: Attendance no longer limited to 30 people, but attendance levels will be capped according to venue type.
  • Weddings, wakes & commemorative events: Attendance no longer limited to 30 people, but attendance levels will be capped according to venue type.

Testing

Alongside the rollout of the vaccine, regular testing is an essential part of the easing of restrictions and now testing is being made even more convenient and easy to obtain. Getting tested is a great way to reduce your risk of spreading the virus to friends, loved ones, and the wider community, and helps track the progress of national and local virus-control measures.

If you or a member of your household has a possible or confirmed case of Covid infection, see these guidelines.

There are different ways to arrange the test depending on whether or not you have symptoms:

If you do NOT have Covid symptoms – All of us should now be testing twice a week. Taking a rapid lateral flow test is a great way to reduce your risk of spreading the virus to friends, loved ones, and colleagues if working from home is not possible. If you are asymptomatic and don’t have access to the free lateral flow tests through work or school, you can order free at-home tests here, and testing kits are also available at our local network of community pharmacies.  More information on at-home testing can be seen here.

If you DO have Covid symptoms – If you have symptoms, especially a high temperature, new continuous cough, or change to your sense of smell or taste, you should call 119, or go to the NHS website where you can book a test at one of the 12 local symptomatic testing sites across the city, or arrange a test to be delivered to your home.

Vaccines

People over 18 are eligible for vaccination. Those who are eligible will be contacted by the NHS to book their vaccination. If eligible, you can book a vaccination or manage an existing appointment here, or by calling 119.

Information on the rollout of vaccines across Birmingham can be seen in our article here, including information on avoiding vaccine scams.

Videos answering questions about the vaccines in multiple languages can be viewed here, and information and resources put together primarily by and for BAME communities can be seen here, including a section addressing concerns about the vaccines. Under 40s will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

After being vaccinated, we must continue to follow the social distancing guidelines, especially as the lockdown measures ease further.

Wellbeing

It’s important we also look after our wellbeing. When we’re allowed to travel further, we encourage everyone to make the most of Moseley, including enjoying some of Birmingham’s wonderful parks, and by shopping locally, maintaining social contacts and hobbies safely.

Detailed Guidance

The government guidance can be seen here, with the full details here.

Local Public Health Guidance Overview 2021-02-09

We remain in National Lockdown

Stay Home > Protect the NHS > Save Lives”

We must not leave, or be outside of our homes except where necessary in a limited set of circumstances.

Permitted reasons to be outside our homes:
  • To shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.
  • Attending work, or providing voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.
  • Exercising, either alone, with your household (or support bubble) or with one other person. Exercise should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • Meeting your support, or childcare, bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one.
  • Seeking medical assistance or to avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse).
  • Attending education or childcare – for those eligible to do so.

Local and national leaders and experts remain consistent in urging each of us to take extra care in this lockdown: we are asked to view the rules as the upper limits, and to reduce the activities outside of our homes to the absolute minimum that is safely possible.

“Hands > Face > Space”

If we do go out under the permitted circumstances, we must still remember “Hands > Face > Space”; it’s vital we still practice physical distancing, wear face coverings, and wash our hands or sanitise frequently.

When indoors with anyone outside our household or support bubble, it’s important to ventilate spaces as much as is comfortable, for instance by opening windows.

Spread often happens in the household but it isn’t inevitable, and www.germdefence.org can help.

Detailed Guidance

The government guidance can be seen here, with the full guidance here.  See also the National Lockdown poster here summarising the rules for each sector

Testing

Our Council encourages all residents to get tested for Covid – regularly, and even without symptoms.

Anyone who is unable to work from home, or is in a care or support bubble, should be tested every 3-4 days with lateral flow tests that help identify people who are infectious but don’t have symptoms.

Getting tested is a great way to reduce your risk of spreading the virus to friends, loved ones, and the wider community, and helps track the progress of national and local virus-control measures.

There are different ways to arrange the test depending on whether or not you have symptoms: see our article here for information on how to arrange tests. 

Vaccines

Information on the rollout of vaccines across Birmingham can be seen in our article here, including information on avoiding vaccine scams.

Videos answering questions about the vaccines in multiple languages can be viewed here, and information and resources put together primarily by and for BAME communities can be seen here, including a section addressing concerns about the vaccines.

Wellbeing

It’s important we also look after our wellbeing, and so we encourage everyone to maintain social contacts safely, including by phone or online wherever possible.

Birmingham City Council reminds us we can still access our amazing green spaces to help with our well-being.

Current News Items

Here’s our “always up-to-date” list of current news items!

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General Information – current items:
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Other Businesses – current items: