First published 15 December 2021
- Wear a face covering in shops, on public transport, and in some other public indoor settings, including in cinemas and theatres, unless you are exempt.
- Work from home if you can. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work, and consider regular testing.
- Show a COVID-19 vaccine certificate or proof of a negative test in some places.
- The rules for self-isolation and international travel have changed
- Daily contact testing for close contacts of COVID-19 (see below)
- Take regular lateral flow tests, particularly before entering a crowded indoor place involving people you wouldn’t normally come into contact with, or when visiting a vulnerable person.
- Lateral flow tests remain free from local pharmacies.
Even if you have mild COVID-19 symptoms:
- Take a PCR test
- Book a test online at https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 between 7am and 11pm as soon as possible
- Self-isolate until you get your results
- People who are double-vaccinated and have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 (all variants) should take daily lateral flow tests for seven days, rather than immediately self-isolating.
- Anyone who tests positive needs to self-isolate for 10 days from the day they took the positive test or developed symptoms.
- Anyone who is unvaccinated still needs to isolate if they are a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, unless they are under 18.
- Remember: You must self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19.
- You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are legally required to stay at home and self-isolate or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.
Read the full guidance: Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread
Vaccinations and testing
Getting your vaccine
- All people aged 18+ can now get their booster vaccine
- People should book via the NHS site if they can rather than use a drop-in service (though these are still available)
- All vaccines are available now – it’s not too late for someone who hasn’t had any vaccine to book their first or second dose
Getting a vaccine without an NHS number
Public Health England has shared an NHSEI guidance letter to help those without an NHS number to get a COVID-19 vaccine and register with a GP. It is available in over 20 languages.
As winter approaches, we must all be extra careful to follow safer behaviours advice to tackle COVID-19, such as keeping inside areas ventilated. We must all prepare for the flu season as well. So getting a flu vaccine is very important this winter especially as having COVID-19 and flu at the same time doubles the risk of death. Those eligible for the free flu vaccine should book their appointments as soon as possible.
Order lateral flow tests
You can find a rapid lateral flow test site using the government postcode search
You can order free lateral flow tests online using the government website. Alternatively call 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm and calls are free. Lateral flow tests are also available to collect at pharmacies. You must not use lateral flow tests if you have symptoms of coronavirus.
If you have Coronavirus symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
Keep up to date with all the Vaccine and Testing information for North Tyneside on the Tynehealth website.
Access to GP Services During COVID-19
If you need to contact a GP, we ask you to do one of the following first:
- Visit the GP surgery website
- Use an online service such as the NHS App to contact your GP
- Phone your GP surgery
Your GP surgery will then give you advice about what to do.
A phone or video call with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional may be booked for you. You’ll be asked to visit the surgery for a face to face appointment and assessment if that is needed.