Frequently asked questions
This page will be updated with further information as it is released by the Government.
COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe.
Please continue to act carefully and remain cautious to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Most legal COVID-19 restrictions have now been eased. This means:
- You do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There are also be no limits on the number of people you can meet.
- However, in order to minimise risk at a time of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
- Meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
- The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
- The requirement to wear face coverings in law will be lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
- There are no longer limited on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There are no requirements for table service at life events, or restrictions on singing or dancing. You should follow guidance for weddings and funerals to reduce risk and protect yourself and others.
- There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship.
DO I NEED TO WEAR A FACE COVERING?
The legal obligation to wear a face covering in indoor venues has now been lifted, however, people are strongly advised to make informed decisions about when they wear a face covering. With cases of COVID-19 rising in Rotherham, wearing a face covering can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
The Council recommends that you wear a face covering when using public transport, visiting a GP or Hospital appointment, or in indoor venues such as shops.
WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO GET MY COVID-19 VACCINE?
All people aged over the age of 16 are now able to book their first COVID-19 vaccination dose.
If you are aged 16 or over and have not yet had your COVID-19 vaccine, you can book an appointment by calling the Rotherham booking line on 0300 3035258. The booking line is available:
Monday to Friday – 9am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm
For Swallownest, Thurcroft, Dinnington and Kiveton Park please send your full name, date of birth, GP practice, contact number and postcode to the secure email address [email protected]. Someone will contact you to arrange an appointment.
Alternatively, you can attend a Grab a Jab walk-in session. Go to the Rotherham CCG Facebook page to keep up to date when and where these sessions are taking place.
All first dose appointments in Rotherham over the coming weeks will the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
My child is aged over 12 years old. Can they get their vaccination?
Every young person aged 12-15 years is now being offered the COVID-19 vaccination through a school based COVID-19 vaccination programme. The vaccines will be administered by a school age immunisation service provider which will be working closely with the school.
If your child does not receive their vaccine on the booked vaccine day at their school, there will be catch-up arrangements in place that the school age immunisation service provider will be able to share with the school. This will include any young person who turns 12 years of age after the day the school age immunisation service provider visits the school.
Parents of children aged between 12 – 15 years old can now book their children in for their COVID-19 vaccination through the National Booking system. Further information is available on the NHS website.
Your child should not attend a vaccine appointment if they are self-isolating due to waiting for a COVID-19 test result, or within 4 weeks of having a positive COVID-19 test.
When can I get my COVID-19 booster vaccine?
The COVID-19 Booster (third dose) vaccine is currently being rolled out to priority groups, including those over the age of 50; and those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions, which puts them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, and adult carers.
You will be contacted by your local vaccination centre when it is time for your booster vaccine so please do not call your local GP practice to ask when this will be. The booster vaccine will be offered no earlier than six months after completion of the first course (first and second dose) of vaccination.
Can I get my flu jab if I’ve had the COVID-19 vaccination?
If you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccination, the booster vaccination for COVID-19, or if you’ve had COVID-19, it is safe to have the flu vaccination. Getting the flu vaccination when it is offered to you will help protect you from becoming seriously ill with the flu.
Flu vaccination is important because:
- more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
- if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
- getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
If you start to experience coronavirus symptoms, it is important that you get a tested and self-isolate at home right away. Visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 to book a test.
WHAT DOES SELF-ISOLATE MEAN?
If you are self-isolating, that means you must not visit family or friends, leave the house (unless going for a test), or go to work. If your child has symptoms, they must not go to school.
If you have tested positive for the virus, you must self-isolate for 10 days and anyone you live with must self-isolate for 10 days and get a test if they develop symptoms.
You also need to self-isolate if you have any symptoms of the virus. You must self-isolate and book a test as soon as you can. You can get a test by going online to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
If you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or have tested positive, you may be eligible for the Government's Test and Trace Payment. Rotherham Council also provides a local support payment scheme.
WHEN DO I NEED TO SELF-ISOLATE?
If you test positive you will still need to self-isolate, whatever your age and even if you have had both vaccinations. You must stay at home at all times and not have contact with other people. There are only very limited circumstances when you do not have to do this, such as seeking medical assistance.
This applies to a positive Lateral Flow Test or a PCR (lab) test.
WHAT IF I'M A CLOSE CONTACT OF SOMEONE WHO HAS TESTED POSITIVE?
The following groups will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case:
- Those aged under 18 years and 6 months
- Adults what are a) double vaccinated and b) who had their second COVID-19 vaccine dose at least 2 weeks prior to coming into close contact with a positive COVID-19 case.
- Those taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- Those not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive and do not fall into any of the above groups, you must self-isolate.
MY CHILD HAS BEEN A CONTACT OF A POSITIVE CASE. DO THEY NEED TO SELF-ISOLATE?
If you are under 18 and a contact of a positive case you will not need to self-isolate.
If you have turned 18 years old in the last six months from being a contact of someone with COVID-19, you will be treated in the same way as under 18-year-olds. This will allow you the opportunity to get fully vaccinated.
As with adults, you will be advised whether a PCR test needs to be taken.
CAN I GET TESTED IF I DON'T HAVE SYMPTOMS?
You can get tested even if you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 through the rapid lateral flow testing offer. You can collect lateral flow tests from a range of Community Collection points or by ordering them online through the GOV.UK website.
WHY DO I NEED TO VERIFY MY IDENTITY WHEN ORDERING A HOME TEST KIT?
Before ordering your home test kit, you need to confirm your identity. The Government website uses a system called TransUnion to verify the details you have already given to help stop the fraudulent use of the test service. The system will check things like the electoral role and any existing credit rating to confirm you are who you say you are.
This search is not a credit check and will not affect your credit score.
CAN I GO TO WORK?
The Government is recommending that people should return to their work place gradually over the summer.
Employers will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify. Working Safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider including:
- cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly;
- identifying poorly-ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve air flow;
- ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue;
- communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place.
You should not go to work if you have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms, or are a close contact of a positive case and you have not recieved both doses of your vaccine.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES TO CARE HOME VISITS?
Residents are able to nominate five named visitors each, with two visitors being able to visit each day; subject to the visiting arrangements specific to each care home or any local guidance issued by Directors of Public Health.
For visits into care homes, all care home residents will be able to nominate an essential care giver. These essential care givers will be able to visit the care home resident, even if the resident is isolating.
Visitors are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before a visit can take place, and visitors should follow local care home guidance on infection and prevention control measures when visiting a care home.
Visits out of care homes
In most cases, residents who go on a visit out of a care home will no longer need to isolate for 14 days when they return. Residents returning from high risk visits out of the care home, such as an overnight stay in hospital, will still be required to isolate. Decisions on risk will be made following a risk assessment by the care home for each visit out.
There is additional guidance on care home visiting.
HOW DO I REPORT COVID FRAUD?
If you have received any emails or letters that you think may be a COVID support scam, you can report it using the Government’s COVID Fraud Hotline.
Call: 0800 587 5030
WHERE CAN I MEET WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS?
If you are meeting with friends or family members who you do not live with, it is important that you do safely to stop the spread of the virus. COVID-19 spreads mainly through people who are in close contact, so the further away you can keep from others and the less time you spread in close contact with them, the less likely you are at spreading the virus.
Here are some things you can do to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and keep your friends and family safe:
- Meet outside where you can – meeting in an open space has a much lower risk of spreading COVID-19 than meeting indoors.
- If you do meet inside, make sure the space is well ventilated. Open windows and doors to make sure there is a steady flow of fresh air.
- Get the vaccine when it is offered to you but be mindful that others may not have had the vaccine yet.
- Take extra care around more vulnerable friends and relatives. Some people are more vulnerable than others from COVID-19 so minimise close contact with them.
- Minimise how many people you’re in close contact with, and for how long.
- Get tested twice a week, even if you don’t have symptoms. Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not show symptoms, so can spread the virus to others without knowing. Testing regularly will help to reduce risk, particularly before meeting people from outside your household. You can order free home tests for you and your loved ones that give results in 30 minutes.
- Wash your hands and clean surfaces regularly, especially after you’ve had guests or if you’ve gone out.
Be considerate and make space for people to keep their distance if they want to.
WHAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE FOR MENTAL HEALTH?
There are many services which can support you with your mental health and offer advice if you are concerned about friends or family.
The Every Mind Matters website for advice and practical steps that you can take to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health during this pandemic.
Mind also offer a range of support and guidance for those struggling with their mental health including everyday tips, information for young people, and helping someone else.
If you or someone you care for are experiencing a mental health crisis, the NHS has a range of services which can help you.
I AM A CLINICALLY EXTREMELY VULNERABLE PERSON. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
From Monday 19 July, England will move to Step 4 of its roadmap, easing restrictions to manage the risk of COVID-19.
Whilst the Government is moving away from legal restrictions, the guidance makes clear to people on how they can reduce the risk of catching Covid-19 by providing advice on areas such as wearing face coverings indoors and in crowded places, getting vaccinated and testing and isolating. The guidance suggests that CEV individuals take extra precaution measures as detailed within the document but there is no intention to re-introduce Shielding at this stage.
We know that many CEV individuals are anxious about this next step, so it is worth highlighting two key studies that have taken place which are positive around immunosuppressed and immunocompromised groups. The first is from Public Health England which looked at more than one million people in at-risk groups, and found that people who are immunosuppressed are significantly better protected from symptomatic infection following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
CAN I GO ABROAD FOR A HOLIDAY?
There is currently a traffic light system in place for international travel.
From 4am Monday 19 July you will not need to quarantine on arrival in England from an amber list country or take a day 8 COVID-19 test, as long as you:
- have been fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme
- have not been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England
Fully vaccinated means that you have had your final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before the date you arrive in England.
You will still need to book a day 2 test to take when you arrive in England.
WHAT SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND CHILDCARE ARE THERE?
Schools and colleges are currently open. Contact your school or college for further information or if you have any questions.
Parents can also access registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care).
Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. Some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble.
CAN I VISIT MY CHURCH OR OTHER PLACES OF WORSHIP?
Yes, you can visit a place of worship to attend a service or for private prayer, however you should follow any COVID safe measures that are in place.
CAN I ATTEND AN EXERCISE CLASS OR TAKE PART IN TEAM SPORTS?
You can attend sports and exercise classes, both indoors and outdoors. You should follow any COVID safe measures that are in place at the venue are visiting.
The organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.