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Covid-19 resources: Department for Health and Social Care updates

Click here for Covid-19 resource index page.

Page updated 22 July 2021

Free seasonal flu vaccine to be made available for over 35 million people this year

15 new studies across the UK will expand research into long COVID to support thousands of vulnerable people, backed by nearly £20 million through the NIHR.

The number of people using the NHS App has now reached 10.4 million, as a new NHS COVID Pass verification app launches.

Frontline NHS and social care staff can attend work rather than self-isolate with testing mitigations in exceptional circumstances under updated guidance

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid accepts advice from Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to offer vaccines to vulnerable young people.

Oral statement to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on step 4 of the roadmap and the vaccine roll-out.

Oral statement to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on self-isolation rules for those who have had both COVID-19 vaccine doses

  • Press release – Self-isolation to be eased for fully vaccinated adults in step 4

From 16 August, double jabbed individuals and under 18s will no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19

  • Press release – Asymptomatic testing backed by new research studies

Research published today demonstrates how effective widespread testing has been against emerging variants of concern.

  • Press release – Latest REACT-1 study findings show COVID-19 infection rates 3 times lower for double vaccinated people

Interim findings from one of the country’s largest studies into COVID-19 infections in England have been published

  • News story – Quarantine-free travel to resume on 19 July for fully vaccinated passengers returning from amber list countries

The guidance on travel to and from amber list countries to England will change 19 July 2021.

  • News story – DHSC recognises the importance of transparent face masks to make communication easier

Since September 2020, DHSC has been working on a coordinated range of initiatives to enable the creation and availability of safe and effective transparent face masks to health and social care.

The Health and Care Secretary has confirmed the move to the next stage of the roadmap on the 19 July

  • Press release – New megalab opens to bolster fight against COVID-19

UK’s first megalab opens in Royal Leamington Spa – one of the centrepieces of UK’s future test and trace infrastructure.

  • Guidance – Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status

How to get the NHS COVID Pass and demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) status when travelling abroad and at Event Research Programme trial events in England.

  • Press release – Leading dating apps partner with government to boost vaccine uptake

Apps to provide bonuses, stickers and profile badges for vaccinated users as poll shows most dating adults support vaccination.

  • Press release – Care home residents can stay overnight as visiting restrictions ease

Care home residents will be able to spend more time with family and friends.

  • Press release – Sir Richard Sykes appointed chair of Vaccine Taskforce

The UK government has appointed Sir Richard Sykes as the new chair of the Vaccine Taskforce.

Speech by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in House of Commons on the easing of coronavirus restrictions

  • Press release – Everyone working in care homes to be fully vaccinated under new law to protect residents

People working in CQC-registered care homes will need to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated with both doses.

  • Press release – New data strategy launched to improve patient care and save lives

NHS to build on power of data used to save lives during the pandemic.

  • Speech – Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 23 June 2021

Speech by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment) at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

  • Press release – New research shows 2 million people may have had long COVID

Findings from the REACT-2 studies show over a third of people who had coronavirus (COVID-19) reported symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks.

  • Press release – Adult social care given over £250 million extra to continue coronavirus (COVID-19) protections

People in care homes or those being cared for at home will benefit from an extra £250 million to continue to protect them from COVID-19 transmission.

Speech by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in the House of Commons on the vaccination programme and the move to step 4 of the roadmap.

  • Press release – Most vulnerable could be offered booster COVID-19 vaccines from September

Boosters aim to ensure protection from COVID-19 is maintained ahead of winter and against new variants.

The Health and Social Care Secretary writes in the Mail on Sunday on the current state of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Guidance – Adult social care extension to Infection Control and Testing Fund 2021

Sets out the measures that the extension to the Infection Control and Testing Fund supports, including distribution of funds, conditions and reporting requirements. We’ve extended the fund until 30 September 2021.

Previous posts

  • Responding to COVID-19: the ethical framework for adult social care

The framework intends to provide support to ongoing response planning and decision-making to ensure that ample consideration is given to a series of ethical values and principles when organising and delivering social care for adults in the context of increasing pressures. Click here for our briefing on the framework.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): hospital discharge service requirements

This document sets out how health and care systems and providers should change their discharging arrangements and the provision of community support during the coronavirus situation.

  • Care Act easements: guidance for local authorities

This guidance sets out how Local Authorities can use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to ensure the best possible care for people in our society during this exceptional period.

  • The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

This guidance is for hospitals, care homes and supervisory bodies and is only valid during the COVID-19 pandemic and applies to those caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment. The principles of the MCA and the safeguards provided by DoLS still apply. A flow chart is provided to assist decision makers and a shortened Urgent Authorisation form is annexed.

  • Detailed Guidance and a Policy Paper – 15 April 2020

Click here for guidance on coronavirus testing for critical workers who are self-isolating.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult social care action plan provides details of how the government will support the adult social care sector in England throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

The policy paper sets out the government’s plan for:

  1. controlling the spread of infection in care settings
  2. supporting the workforce
  3. supporting independence, supporting people at the end of their lives, and responding to individual needs
  4. supporting local authorities and the providers of care

The plan applies to all settings and contexts in which people receive adult social care. This includes people’s own homes, residential care homes and nursing homes, and other community settings. It applies to people with direct payments and personal budgets, and those who fund their own care.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested (updated 19 May 2020)

Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): health and well-being of the adult social care workforce (updated 11 May 2020)

This guidance gives advice for those working in adult social care on managing personal mental health and also provides adult social care employers with guidance, tools and advice on how to take care of the well-being of staff at work.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): informing DHSC of the death of a worker in social care (20 May 2020)

This guidance explains how local authorities and social care providers can tell DHSC about the death of an employee or volunteer in social care.

  • Simplifying the recruitment process for care providers during Covid-19

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, an online platform has been built for care providers to help to simplify their recruitment process. Free training and DBS checks are available. Click here for more information.

  • NHS test and trace: how it works

An overview of the NHS test and trace service, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive. (published 27 May 2020)

  • NHS test and trace: workplace guidance

Guidance on the NHS test and trace service for employers, businesses and workers. (published 27 May 2020). See also our briefing on sick pay entitlement.

  • Letter from the Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately MP to Council Leaders emphasising the need for data to coordinate national and local response.

The letter highlights that completion of the Capacity Tracker by care homes is a condition of access to the Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care. Highlights that completion of the Capacity Tracker by care homes is a condition of access to the Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care – see this link.

  • Whole Home testing extended and setting up of COVID-19 Support Taskforce

Every care home in England will now be offered a coronavirus test for all residents and staff, even if they have no symptoms. (Press release 8 June 2020)

  • Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund

Guidance setting out the infection control measures that the infection control fund will support, including information on the distribution of funds and reporting requirements. (9 June 2020)

  • Guidance for commissioners, people receiving direct payments and care providers

Guidance updated on 10 June 2020.

  • World first coronavirus treatment approved for NHS use by government

The government has immediately authorised the NHS to use the world’s first coronavirus treatment proven to reduce the risk of death. Click here for the press release (published 16 June)

  • Steps to take following the death of an adult social care worker

Guidance published on 19 June, see also our briefing.

  • Press release – Plans to ease guidance for over 2 million shielding from 6 July 2020

  • New saliva test for coronavirus piloted in Southampton

GP staff, other essential key workers, university employees and members of their households will be among the first groups to participate in the pilot, with test kits delivered either to their home or place of work for them to complete every week.

  • Thousands to be offered repeat testing in care homes10,000 residents and staff across over 100 care homes will be given coronavirus tests as part of a new surveillance study (published 25 June)
  • Press release – Health Secretary calls on country to get tested as access is expanded even further

Six new ‘walk through’ local testing sites are now offering appointments to people in England, with the capacity to test hundreds of people each day (26 June 2020).

  • The Health Service and Social Care Workers (Scrutiny of Coronavirus-related Deaths) Directions 2020 – Statutory guidance

Directions to NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts in England to ensure the scrutiny of deaths of health service and adult social care staff from coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Types and uses of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests – Guidance

Guidance on the different types of coronavirus test available.

  • Government launches Health and Care Visa to ensure UK health and care services have access to the best global talent

The new Health and Care Visa will make it cheaper, quicker and easier for healthcare professionals from around the world to come to the UK.

  • New powers and framework to help contain coronavirus (COVID-19) locally

A new framework setting out how to manage COVID-19 outbreaks through the use of national and local expertise has been published by the government.

  • In-person coronavirus testing continues to deliver results the next day – press release

Sixth week of NHS Test and Trace figures shows anyone getting a test at a regional test site or mobile testing unit can expect their result by the next day.

  • Press release – Millions could be vaccinated against COVID-19 as UK secures strong portfolio of promising vaccines

The UK has secured early access to 90 million doses of promising coronavirus vaccine candidates.

  • Oral statement to Parliament – Next stages in the NHS Test and Trace plan

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock spoke about measures to increase testing and support the NHS this winter, and the latest vaccine developments.

  • Guidance on visiting care homes during COVID-19

This is the delayed guidance from the Government. See also our briefing.

  • Press release – Most comprehensive flu programme in UK history will be rolled out this winter

Providers will work to vaccinate more than 30 million people during this flu season – millions more than received it last year.

  • Press release – Face coverings mandatory in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and enclosed transport hubs from Friday 24 July

Face coverings must be worn in additional enclosed public spaces from 24 July in England, as the government takes further steps to help curb the spread of the virus.

  • Press release – Health and care workers to self-isolate on return to UK from high-risk countries

Registered health and care professionals travelling to the UK from high-risk countries will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, the government has confirmed.

  • Press release – NHS Test and Trace launches campaign to encourage everyone with symptoms to get a free test

NHS Test and Trace will launch the new campaign alongside a new business plan to expand testing capacity and prepare the nation for winter.

  • News story – Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on extension of self-isolation period: 30 July 2020

The self-isolation period has been extended to 10 days for those in the community who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or a positive test result.

  • Press release – Roll-out of 2 new rapid coronavirus tests ahead of winter

Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will be rolled out across NHS hospitals, care homes and labs from next week.

  • Press release – Updates to the shielding programme on national and regional levels

Shielding guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable to be paused from 1 August across England.

  • Press release – NHS Test and Trace service to strengthen regional contact tracing

NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England will extend its partnership with local authorities to reach more people testing positive and their contacts.

  • Press release – Research study into long-term health impacts of COVID-19 launched in the UK

One of the world’s largest comprehensive research studies into the long-term health impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on hospitalised patients has been launched, the Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock has announced.

  • Press release – Largest testing programme for coronavirus shows virus continued to decline in June

One of the world’s largest comprehensive research studies into the long-term health impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on hospitalised patients has been launched, the Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock has announced.

New NHS Test and Trace app begins trial phase, as latest statistics show the service is consistently reaching the majority of people testing positive and their contacts.

Findings published by Imperial College London today suggest that 6% of the population in England, around 3.4 million people, have been infected with COVID-19.

  • Press release – £5 million for social prescribing to tackle the impact of COVID-19

The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) has been awarded £5 million in funding to support people to stay connected and maintain their health and wellbeing following the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Correspondence – Secretary of State message to the NHS on the coronavirus response

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock thanks the NHS workforce for the dedication they have shown in the national effort against coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Press release – Government creates new National Institute for Health Protection

A brand new organisation whose primary focus is public health protection and infectious disease capability is being established by the government.

  • Speech – The future of public health

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock spoke at Policy Exchange about the future of public health.

  • Press release – Expansion of national testing study will offer new COVID-19 insights

Infection survey to expand from testing 28,000 people per fortnight to 150,000 by October.

  • Statutory Guidance – The Exercise of Commissioning Functions by the NHS Commissioning Board (Coronavirus) (No 2) Directions 2020
  • Press release – More than half a billion pounds to help people return from hospital

People needing additional follow-on care after being discharged from hospital will be supported by a £588 million fund to cover adult social care or the immediate costs of care in their own home.

  • Press release – NHS Test and Trace successfully reaches over 80% of close contacts since launch

More than 272,000 people have now been reached by NHS Test and Trace.

  • Guidance – Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirus (Covid-19)

Information for adult social care providers on COVID-19 guidance and support.

  • Guidance – Hospital discharge service: policy and operating model

Sets out how health and care systems should support the safe and timely discharge of people who no longer need to stay in hospital.

  • Press release – £500m funding for quick result Covid-19 test trials

A new £500 million funding package will be invested in next generation testing technology and increased testing capacity.

  • Guidance – Supporting people outside of their home

For people who need support when outside their home and people who provide this support during coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity.

Guidance for health and social care staff who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity. Updated: ‘The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’. Sections ‘Summary of key points’ and ‘Supervisory bodies’ include updated information about professional visits to care homes and hospitals. Updated attachment: ‘The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance’. Section ‘Best interest decisions’ includes updated information about decisions related to elective surgery and other procedures. Sections ‘Depriving a person of their liberty’ and ‘Supervisory bodies’ include updated information about professional visits to care homes and hospitals.

  • Press release – Government delivers 250,000 clear face masks to support people with hearing loss

250,000 clear face masks are to be delivered to front-line NHS and social care workers to support better care for people who use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate.

  • Press release – £500 million funding for quick result COVID-19 test trials

A new £500 million funding package will be invested in next generation testing technology and increased testing capacity.

  • Press release – New campaign to prevent spread of coronavirus indoors this winter

The ‘Hands. Face. Space’ public information campaign urges the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates and avoid a second peak.

  • Guidance – Making a support bubble with another household

How you can safely expand the group of people you have close contact with during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19): testing guidance for employers

Guidance for employers and third-party healthcare providers on the regulations and legal obligations of running testing programmes.

  • Press release – Largest testing programme for coronavirus reinforces need for vigilance

The third report from the country’s largest study on coronavirus rates of infection has been published today showing that cases are increasing steadily across the country.

  • Guidance – Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information for adult social care providers on COVID-19 guidance and support.

  • Correspondence – COVID-19 infection rises: letter to care providers from Director of Adult Social Care Delivery

Stuart Miller has written to care providers to highlight rising infection rates and request action on testing and PPE in all care settings.

  • Press release – New measures to improve patient care ahead of winter

A&Es in 25 hospitals will receive a share of £150 million in funding to upgrade, reduce overcrowding and improve infection control ahead of winter.

  • Press release – More than £500 million for social care to reduce coronavirus transmission over winter

Care providers will be given an extra £546 million to bolster infection control and help protect residents and staff throughout winter.

Oral statement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on coronavirus and the government’s plans to put us in the strongest possible position for this winter.

  • Press release – New Lighthouse Labs to boost NHS Test and Trace capacity

Two new Lighthouse Labs in Newcastle and Bracknell will join the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history to help scale up testing capacity ahead of winter.

  • Press release – New plan to help protect care homes from coronavirus over winter

A new adult social care winter plan will aim to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in care settings throughout the winter months.

  • Guidance – Privacy notice for maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

This privacy notice describes how the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will process personal data from venues and establishments to support contact tracing.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus antibody home test kit: taking a blood sample

Guidance and video to help you do your antibody test correctly, post your sample and get your results.

  • Guidance – Hospital discharge service: policy and operating model

Sets out how health and care systems should support the safe and timely discharge of people who no longer need to stay in hospital.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock spoke about the government response to the recent acceleration of coronavirus, including an isolation support payment and testing allocation.

  • Press release – NHS COVID-19 app launches across England and Wales

NHS COVID-19 app launches to help control coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

  • Press release – More than 1 in 10 people in England have now been tested for coronavirus

NHS Test and Trace has now reached almost half a million people, including those testing positive and their contacts, to slow the transmission of coronavirus in England.

How the Coronavirus Act has helped the government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Press release – New recruitment drive to help 10,000 people with serious mental illness

£27 million has been announced for mental health charity Think Ahead to expand their mental health social work graduate programme.

From 28 September, people in England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

Robust and resilient PPE supply chains will provide continuous flow to frontline.

  • Press release – Interim results from largest COVID-19 study published.

Over 80,000 volunteers tested in England between 18 and 26 September as part of the country’s largest study into COVID-19.

  • Press release – Government invests in UK-developed antibody tests from UK Rapid Test Consortium

The government has signed a deal with the UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) for 1 million antibody tests, Health Minister Lord Bethell has announced today.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock updated Parliament on the government’s response to coronavirus.

  • Press release – 1 in 8 people in England have now been tested for coronavirus

1 in 8 people have now received a coronavirus test at least once since the launch of NHS Test and Trace on 28 May

  • Guidance – Comparing methods used in the COVID-19 Infection Survey and NHS Test and Trace, England

The methods used in the coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey and NHS Test and Trace in England and why the data cannot be directly compared.

  • Speech – Speech to NHS Providers

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care thanked the NHS for its hard work and set out the government’s commitment to supporting the NHS for the future.

  • Press release – 500 test sites now open as new lab partnerships boost capacity

Partnership with alliance of London university labs will add capacity for tens of thousands more coronavirus tests over the coming months.

  • Guidance – Test and Trace Support Payment scheme: claiming financial support

Who can claim the support and how to apply.

  • Press release – Clinically extremely vulnerable receive updated advice tailored to local COVID alert levels

Clinically extremely vulnerable people in England will receive new guidance to help them reduce their risk from coronavirus, tailored to where they live.

An overview of national surveillance programmes to understand how COVID-19 is present and affecting the wider population.

  • Guidance – Local COVID alert level: very high

Find out what restrictions are in place if you live in an area where the local COVID alert level is very high.

  • Guidance – Local COVID alert level: high

Find out what restrictions are in place if you live in an area where the local COVID alert level is high.

  • Guidance – Local COVID alert level: medium

Find out what restrictions are in place if you live in an area where the local COVID alert level is medium.

  • Guidance – Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know

Information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean, why they are being introduced and what the different levels are.

  • Statutory guidance – Local authority powers to impose restrictions under coronavirus regulations

Supports the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020 that come into force on 18 July 2020.

  • Guidance – Full list of local COVID alert levels by area

The areas in England listed as local COVID alert level high and local COVID alert level very high.

  • Guidance – Test and Trace Support Payment scheme: claiming financial support

Who can claim the support and how to apply.

  • Press release – New measures to support roll-out of vaccines in the UK

New laws will allow more healthcare workers to administer flu and potential COVID-19 vaccines safely to the public.

Statement to Parliament about the government’s local action strategy and areas in England that will move into local COVID alert level high from Saturday 17 October.

  • Press release – Local COVID-19 alert level update: 15 October 2020

The following areas will move from local COVID alert level: medium to local COVID alert level: high from Saturday.

  • Guidance – Full list of local COVID alert levels by area

The areas in England listed as local COVID alert level high and local COVID alert level very high.

  • Correspondence – Designated premises scheme: letter to directors of adult social services

The letter sets out arrangements for the Care Quality Commission designated premises scheme for people discharged to a care home with a positive COVID-19 test.

  • Press release – Millions of extra flu jabs available to support largest UK vaccination programme

Over 30 million people to be vaccinated this year to protect them from flu and support the NHS.

  • Press release – Health Secretary warns of long-term effects of Covid-19 as new film released

New data suggests long Covid affects around 10% of 18 to 49 year olds who become unwell with Covid-19.

  • Correspondence – designated premises scheme: letter to directors of adult social services

The letter sets out arrangements for the Care Quality Commission designated premises scheme for people discharged to a care home with a positive COVID-19 test.

  • Press release – millions of extra flu jabs available to support largest UK vaccination programme

Over 30 million people to be vaccinated this year to protect them from flu and support the NHS.

  • Speech – Coronavirus debate: opening speech

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to open a debate in House of Commons on the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Press release – Largest COVID-19 antibody testing programme publishes findings on antibody response over time

Findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show the number of people with antibodies fell by 26.5% over 3 months.

  • Press release – Latest interim findings from COVID-19 study published

Findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show the number of infections continues to rise across all regions.

  • Press release – NHS Covid-19 app updates across England and Wales

Updates to the app will make it more accurate and user-friendly.

  • Press release – NHS Test and Trace managing record number of cases

Figures released today show that NHS Test and Trace is providing more tests, processing more tests, and successfully reaching more people than ever before.

  • Decision – Temporary approval to suspend the need for signatures on prescriptions, dental and ophthalmic forms

Temporary approval to suspend the need for patients to sign prescription, dental and ophthalmic forms for a period of 5 months to 31 March 2021.

  • Press release – 500,000 daily testing capacity reached in ongoing drive to boost test and trace

The UK’s daily coronavirus testing capacity passed the 500,000 mark on Saturday 31 October.

  • Press release – Liverpool to be regularly tested for coronavirus in first whole city testing pilot

Everyone living or working in Liverpool will be offered COVID-19 testing, whether they have symptoms or not.

  • Press release – Clinically extremely vulnerable receive updated guidance in line with new national restrictions

Further precautions advised on top of the tougher national measures being introduced, as cases continue to rise.

Care homes will be encouraged and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities as new national restrictions come into effect.

Information for general practices on providing coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

Sets out the infection control measures that the new infection control fund will support, including information on the distribution of funds and reporting requirements.

  • Guidance – Making a childcare bubble with another household

How you can get informal childcare for children aged 13 or under from friends and family you do not live with.

  • Guidance – Visiting care homes during coronavirus

Sets out how care homes can allow families and visitors to visit residents while national restrictions are in place.

  • Correspondence – Thanking general practice and community pharmacy staff for their work during the pandemic

Letters of thanks from Jo Churchill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care.

  • Press release – Pilot for family members to get regular testing for safer care home visits

Named family and friends may soon be able to regularly visit loved ones in care homes as a new testing pilot is launched.

  • Press release – Two new megalabs to open in 2021 to transform the UK’s diagnostic facilities

The labs in Leamington Spa and Scotland will add 600,000 to the UK’s daily testing capacity when operating at full capacity, meaning faster turnaround times for test results.

  • Press release – £12.2 million boost for genomic surveillance to help stop transmission of COVID-19

The COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium will use the funding to expand whole genome sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

  • Press release – Royal Mail to collect COVID-19 test kits 7 days a week

Royal Mail is introducing a weekend extension for some priority postboxes from 21 November.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 16 November 2020

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference.

  • Press release – New film shows importance of ventilation to reduce spread of COVID-19

New short film released by the government shows how coronavirus lingers in enclosed spaces, and how to keep your home ventilated.

  • Guidance – Roll out of lateral flow tests to local authorities

A list of local authorities across England issued with rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) tests by the Department of Health and Social Care.

  • Guidance – Cohort pool testing for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information on pooled testing for universities taking part in the pooled testing pilot.

UK’s independent regulator to evaluate latest data from Pfizer and BioNTech to ensure the quality, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine meets the standards required.

Sets out the local restriction tier system that will be in place from Wednesday 2 December, including what you can and cannot do in each tier.

All local authorities in England to be placed in one of 3 tiers based on the latest available data.

A written statement from the Health and Social Care Secretary to the House of Commons on returning to local COVID restriction tiers in England.

  • Speech – Renewing regional coronavirus restrictions in England.

The Health and Social Care Secretary spoke to the House of Commons about the coronavirus situation and returning to strengthened local COVID restriction tiers.

  • Press release – Government asks regulator to approve supply of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The government has formally asked the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to evaluate whether supply of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine can be authorised.

  • Press release – UK government secures additional 2 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The UK now has access to a total of 357 million doses of vaccines from 7 different developers.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 30 November 2020.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference.

New guidance will safely allow indoor visits to care homes across England as the country moves back into tiered restrictions.

Government authorises first COVID-19 vaccine on independent advice of medicines regulator.

  • Speech – An update on the coronavirus vaccine, 2 December 2020. Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Matt Hancock gave a statement to the House of Commons about the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

The vaccine will be made available across the UK to priority groups from next week.

The government is taking this precautionary step in advance of a rollout of an authorised COVID-19 vaccine and in line with other immunisation programmes.

Guidance for at-risk groups offered free vitamin D supplements by the government this winter.

Sets out how care homes can support families and visitors to visit residents from 2 December.

Sets out how care homes can support residents of working age on visits outside of the care home.

  • Guidance – Local restriction tiers: what you need to know – alternative formats

Alternative format versions of the guidance on the local restriction tier system, including what you can and cannot do in each tier.

  • Press release – Over half a million people taking part in pioneering COVID-19 research

637,379 participants from across the UK have now taken part in public health research into the effects of, and treatment for, COVID-19 in just over 8 months.

  • Press release – Commercial providers of COVID-19 testing urged to sign up to new DHSC webinars

New proposals will see commercial testing accredited solely through UKAS, making the accreditation of private COVID-19 tests faster and more efficient.

  • Press release – New NHS Test and Trace plan to support return to more normal way of life

The NHS Test and Trace business plan sets out a strategy to increase the speed and reach of testing and tracing, working with local partnerships.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 10 December 2020

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing service for extra care and supported living settings

Guidance on regular retesting for extra care and supported living settings that meet the eligibility criteria.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19) lateral flow testing of visitors in care homes

Sets out how care homes and visitors can prepare for visitor testing with lateral flow devices (LFDs).

Information and promotional resources to support the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme.

  • Guidance – Additional COVID-19 local authority enforcement powers

Additional powers for local authorities to enforce COVID-secure regulations.

The NHS Test and Trace service will be open every day over Christmas and the New Year, providing and processing tests for those who need them and tracing contacts of positive cases.

  • Press release – UK Chief Medical Officers’ statement on the self-isolation period: 11 December 2020

A change to the self-isolation period from 14 to 10 days has been announced.

The Health and Social Care Secretary spoke to the House of Commons about the coronavirus situation, vaccinations and new areas to be put into Tier 3.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 14 December 2020

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock gave a statement at the coronavirus press conference.

  • Press release – More than 137,000 people in UK receive first dose of COVID vaccine in one week

The majority of the vaccines have been administered to the over-80s, care home workers and NHS staff through more than 70 sites across the UK.

Oral statement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the outcome of the government’s first formal review of tiering in England, which took place on 16 December 2020.

  • Press release – Government publishes list of approved COVID-19 test providers

The list of private providers of COVID-19 testing will help employers and individuals set up their own COVID-19 testing programmes.

Information about approved suppliers of private testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Sets out the process for reimbursing non-hospital care providers for personal protective equipment (PPE) bought as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Press release – Statement from Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, about new strain of COVID-19

New strain of COVID-19 reported to World Health Organization.

This group is advised to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments, and not to attend work, even if they are unable to work from home.

  • Press release – Targeted community testing extended to 10 more areas

More local authorities to be offered rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests to detect asymptomatic cases and help slow the spread of coronavirus.

  • Coronavirus Bill: Summary of Impacts

This summary of impacts relates to clauses within the Coronavirus Bill. It is noted that the policies in the Bill are designed for use temporarily in an emergency. They are noted to be strong in nature, and risks have been considered and discussed throughout this assessment, but it is recognised that in a pandemic situation, with potentially very high counterfactual costs, firm actions may be the most desirable to protect individuals.

  • The Coronavirus Act 2020

The Coronavirus Act 2020 is now in force, although some provisions only come into effect by way of regulations.

For a summary of the changes to mental health legislation, read this briefing produced by Tom Ringland and Alexandra Johnstone.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Commencement No. 2) Regulations 2020 – Section 15 (local authority care and support) of, and Part 1 of Schedule 12 (powers and duties of local authorities in England) to the Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force on 31 March 2020.

  • The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020

Schedule 21 para 24(1) Coronavirus Act 2020 revokes The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/129).

  • Press release – Interim results from largest COVID-19 study published

Over 80,000 volunteers tested in England between 18 and 26 September as part of the country’s largest study into COVID-19.

  • Press release – Largest COVID-19 antibody testing programme publishes findings on antibody response over time

Findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show the number of people with antibodies fell by 26.5% over 3 months.

  • Press release – More rapid COVID-19 tests to be rolled out across England

600,000 lateral flow tests to be sent out this week to kick-start the significant expansion of testing, followed by weekly local allocations.

  • Speech – Baroness Dido Harding’s speech to the CBI Annual Conference

Baroness Dido Harding talks about the achievements of NHS Test and Trace, and the focus to improve the service so that we’re better able to live with COVID through the winter and beyond.

  • Press release – Oxford University and PHE confirm high-sensitivity of lateral flow tests

Extensive clinical evaluation shows lateral flow tests are accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community, including for asymptomatic people.

  • Press release – Latest findings from COVID-19 study published

Findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show infections continue to rapidly increase with over 1 in 80 people infected.

  • Press release – More than 2 million people reached by NHS Test and Trace

NHS Test and Trace has completed a record number of cases during this reporting week, with 85% of people who have tested positive successfully contacted.

  • Guidance – visiting care homes during Covid-19

Updated 19 December 2020

  • Guidance – The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance

“Offering a vaccine to someone who lacks the relevant mental capacity”

Care homes across the country will benefit from additional rapid testing to test staff twice a week to help protect residents and workers from the virus.

Exponential rises in cases in the South East and East of England necessitate decisive action ahead of the formal review on 30 December.

  • Press release – Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine authorised by UK medicines regulator

Government update on the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Press release – Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on the prioritisation of first doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Joint clinical advice from the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers on the prioritisation of first doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines.

Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine meets regulator’s strict standards of safety, efficacy and quality.

More areas move to Tier 4 to limit the spread of the virus as case rates rise across the country.

  • Correspondence- Letter to the profession from the UK Chief Medical Officers on the UK COVID-19 vaccination programmes

Letter to the profession from the UK Chief Medical Officers regarding the UK COVID-19 vaccination programmes

  • News story – COVID-19 alert level: update from the UK Chief Medical Officers

A joint statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommending that the UK COVID-19 alert level move from level 4 to level 5.

  • Speech – Oral statement on new COVID-19 regulations

Oral statement to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the new COVID-19 regulations following the move to a national lockdown.

  • Press release- NHS patients to receive life-saving COVID-19 treatments that could cut hospital time by 10 days

Clinical trial results show the drugs reduce risk of death by 24% for critically ill patients and time spent in intensive care by up to 10 days.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised the Moderna vaccine after an extensive analysis of the vaccine’s safety, quality and effectiveness.

  • Press release – Statement from Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi on vaccine deployment

Minister Nadhim Zahawi shares his thoughts on the three Covid-19 vaccines and full vaccine deployment plan

  • Press release- Statement from Chief Medical Adviser for NHS Test and Trace, Susan Hopkins on community testing

Chief Medical Adviser for NHS Test and Trace, Susan Hopkins, on the importance of testing those without symptoms.

  • Press release – Statement from Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty on national alert levels

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty writes about the UK’s battle with Covid-19.

  • Press release – Government to deploy first British-manufactured rapid lateral flow antigen tests for COVID-19

The government has ordered 2 million of the first British-manufactured tests for use in asymptomatic testing.

  • Press release – Asymptomatic testing to be rolled out across the country starting this week

Community testing offer to be expanded across all local authorities in England to test people without symptoms.

  • Press release – Government publishes plan for the largest vaccination programme in British history

Government sets out UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan for vaccinating tens of millions of people by spring.

Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi spoke to the House of Commons about the UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan.

  • Press release – AI at the forefront of efforts to treat coronavirus patients

Patients with COVID-19 are set to benefit from faster treatment, improved outcomes and shorter hospital stays thanks to the use of the latest artificial intelligence.

  • Press release – COVID-19 vaccines rolled out to people aged 70 years and over

People aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable to begin receiving invitations for vaccinations.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 18 January 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

  • Press release – Social care sector to receive £269 million to boost staffing levels and testing

The funding is to protect and support staff and residents in care homes and those receiving help in their own homes.

  • Press release – Supply chain workers crucial to vaccination programme to receive jabs

Up to 2,000 highly trained workers identified by the government will be offered COVID-19 vaccines in the coming days.

  • Correspondence – COVID-19 vaccinations and community-based social care workers

A letter from the Minister for Social Care to local authority chief executives and directors of adult social services care providers.

  • Press release – Asymptomatic testing to be rolled out across the country starting this week

Community testing offer to be expanded across all local authorities in England to test people without symptoms.

  • Guidance – Adult Social Care Rapid Testing Fund

Sets out the measures that the Rapid Testing Fund will support, including information on the distribution of funds and reporting requirements.

  • Press release – More employers sign up to rapid testing to protect workforce

Dozens of public and private sector employers are now offering rapid testing to those without symptoms.

  • Press release – Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam opinion piece in The Sunday Telegraph

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam highlights the importance of continuing to follow the guidance, even after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Press release – Community Champions to give COVID-19 vaccine advice and boost take up

Over £23 million funding allocated to 60 councils and voluntary groups across England to expand work to support those most at risk from COVID-19 and boost vaccine take up.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 25 January 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

  • News story – Tougher border controls to protect public health

Further action to minimise travel across international borders.

  • Press release – Clinical evaluation confirms high accuracy of highly mobile LamPORE test

Findings from large-scale technical and clinical evaluation of LamPORE COVID-19 test confirm high sensitivity and specificity.

  • Press release – UK to support rest of the world to find COVID-19 virus variants

The UK will offer its world-leading genomics expertise to identify new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 to countries who do not have the resources to do so.

How to contact us if your eligible care home in England has not yet been visited for the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Press release – Surge testing to be deployed to monitor and suppress spread of COVID-19 variant

Additional testing is being made available in locations where the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa has been found.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 1 February 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

  • Guidance – Workforce Capacity Fund for adult social care

Information for local authorities and adult social care providers on the £120 million Workforce Capacity Fund during coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Guidance – Understanding lateral flow antigen testing for people without symptoms

An explanation of the technology behind asymptomatic testing and the role these tests play in the national COVID-19 testing programme.

  • Press release – Surge testing to be deployed to monitor and suppress spread of COVID-19 variant

Additional testing is being made available in locations where the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa has been found.

Oral statement to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on vaccine roll-out and supply, and efforts to contain the South African variant.

The study will examine whether different vaccines can safely be used for 2-dose regimes in the future.

  • Press release – Government confirms mandatory hotel quarantine to be introduced from 15 February

From 15 February anyone travelling to the UK from a country on the UK’s travel ban list will be required to quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days.

UK Government and CureVac enter new partnership to tackle new future variants of Covid-19

  • Press release – Surge testing to be deployed in further areas in connection to new variants

More areas will have additional testing made available to control and suppress the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) variants.

New government drive to increase workplace testing in sectors open during lockdown, to detect coronavirus (COVID-19) in people who are not showing symptoms.

The public are being called upon to apply for short-term and long-term opportunities in the adult social care sector.

Unpaid carers across the country who do not live with the people they care for can now benefit from free PPE through a new national scheme, the government has confirmed.

  • Press release – 9 in 10 local authorities in England now enrolled into community testing

Rapid, regular testing for people without symptoms is now being offered by more than 70% of local authorities in England, through targeted community programmes.

Thousands more NHS patients who are hospitalised due to COVID-19 will be able to receive the life-saving treatment tocilizumab, the government has announced.

  • Press release – Government to introduce tougher measures and enforcement rules for quarantined passengers

Tough new enforcement measures – from fixed penalty notices to imprisonment – will come into force on Monday 15 February.

From vaccination buses to WhatsApp groups and charity engagement, the new COVID-19 vaccine uptake plan aims to boost vaccine uptake in vulnerable and under-served groups.

  • Press release – Ground-breaking COVID-19 treatments to be fast-tracked through clinical trials

The world’s most innovative treatments for COVID-19 will soon be fast-tracked through the UK’s clinical trial system, as the government announces funding for the most promising treatments.

Anyone who has visited a country on the UK’s travel ban list in the last 10 days will have to quarantine in hotels from today.

How to register your interest in taking up short-term paid work in adult social care.

  • Guidance – Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel when you arrive in England

How to book a place in a quarantine hotel and arrange coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you’re travelling to England from a country on the banned travel list.

New technology has been introduced in England to help clinicians identify, for the first time, a new group of people who may be at high risk from COVID-19.

People experiencing the longer-term effects of long COVID to benefit from research projects to help better understand the causes, symptoms and treatment.

  • Press release – New campaign to support vaccine roll-out backed by social media companies and British institutions

Social media platforms and celebrities team up with government and NHS to launch new graphics to show support for vaccine roll-out.

  • Press release – Care home residents to be allowed one visitor as part of cautious easing of lockdown

Every resident will be allowed one regular indoor visitor from 8 March.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19) lateral flow testing of visitors in care homes

Sets out how care homes and visitors can prepare for visitor testing with lateral flow devices (LFDs).

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for adult day care centre workers

Sets out how open day care centres providing essential care in England can order weekly PCR testing for their staff.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for personal assistants

How personal assistants working in adult social care in England can access weekly COVID-19 testing.

  • Correspondence – Letter from the Health and Social Care Secretary on COVID-19 vaccination in people with learning disabilities

Matt Hancock wrote to the Join Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) in response to their advice.

  • News story – COVID-19 alert level: update from the UK Chief Medical Officers (25 February 2021)

A joint statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommending that the UK COVID-19 alert level move from level 5 to level 4.

  • Press release – Advice on phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme: DHSC statement

Response from the Department of Health and Social Care to the interim statement from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 26 February 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 1 March 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

Oral statement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the impact of the vaccine roll-out, and efforts to contain the new variant of concern first identified in Manaus in Brazil.

  • Guidance – Restricting workforce movement between care homes and other care settings

Guidance for care home providers on limiting staff movement between settings in all but exceptional circumstances to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

  • Press release – £79 million to boost mental health support for children and young people

Millions more children and young people will have access to significantly expanded mental health services, backed by £79 million.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 5 March 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

  • Press release – Free rapid tests for all businesses for regular workplace testing

All businesses in England are now able to sign up to the government’s free COVID-19 workplace testing programme.

  • Speech – COVID-19 vaccine supply and manufacturing in the UK

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock speaks at the Global COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Chain and Manufacturing Summit at Chatham House.

  • Press release – New analysis of lateral flow tests shows specificity of at least 99.9%

New analysis reinforces that lateral flow tests are accurate and reliable and have extremely low false positive rates.

Sets out how care homes can support residents of working age on visits outside of the care home.

Sets out how care homes can support families and visitors to visit residents from 8 March

  • Correspondence – Letter from the Health and Social Care Secretary on COVID-19 vaccination phase 1 advice

Matt Hancock wrote to the JCVI in response to their further advice on vaccination of homeless people and rough sleepers, prisoners and prison officers, and the extended dosing strategy.

Letter from the JCVI to the Health and Social Care secretary

  • Press release – UK government announces partnership with British rapid test manufacturers

Two major contracts secured with British manufacturers to ensure the supply of COVID-19 lateral flow tests.

  • Press release – Shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable to stop from April

More than 3.79 million clinically extremely vulnerable people in England will be informed they are no longer advised to shield from Thursday 1 April 2021.

Statement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care about the support we’re giving to the NHS and social care to help recover from the pandemic

  • Press release – Trials to find preventative COVID-19 treatments for most vulnerable to launch in UK

Two new clinical trials to develop treatments to prevent people catching (coronavirus) COVID-19 are to launch in the UK.

  • Press release – Extra £47.6 million for Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre

The Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) has been granted an additional £47.6 million to support the expansion and acceleration of the programme.

  • Press release – Ground-breaking new technology to detect known variants of concern

New technology to rapidly detect new COVID mutations indicating whether positive test samples contain known variants is being trialled by the government in NHS Test and Trace laboratories.

  • Press release – Legal footing for national unlocking set out ahead of vote

The government has set out regulations that will pave the way to the easing of all restrictions from 21 June.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for adult social care settings

Outlines the COVID-19 testing available for testing staff, residents and visitors for all adult social care settings.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in adult care homes

How to access test kits and step-by-step guides on how to use PCR and rapid lateral flow test kits for regular and outbreak testing of residents and staff.

  • Press release – Government increases support for those self-isolating

Government bolsters its package of localised support with new cash injection of £12.9 million per month for local authorities to support those self-isolating.

  • Press release – New study finds strong immune response following COVID-19 vaccination

Study led by Sheffield and Oxford Universities finds that 99% of people have robust immune response against COVID-19 after one dose of Pfizer vaccine.

  • Press release – Workplace testing programme expands to offer free rapid home testing

In the next major push for the Government’s workplace testing programme, all employers will now be able to offer their employees free, rapid and regular testing that can be taken at home

  • Press release – New Office for Health Promotion to drive improvement of nation’s health

The new Office for Health Promotion will lead national efforts to improve and level up the health of the nation by tackling obesity, improving mental health and promoting physical activity.

  • Press release – Public reminded they must stay outside when meeting others to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

The public are being reminded they must stay outside when meeting others as part of the next step of easing Covid restrictions in a new film released today narrated by GP Dr Hilary Jones MBE.

  • Correspondence – Letter from the Health and Social Care Secretary on COVID-19 vaccination to protect severely immunosuppressed adults

Matt Hancock wrote to the JCVI in response to their further advice on vaccination of adult household contacts of severely immunosuppressed adults.

  • Press release – Sir Lenny Henry urges Black Britons to take COVID-19 vaccine

Sir Lenny Henry has written an open letter to encourage Black Britons to take the COVID-19 vaccine, signed by some of the most high-profile names in the UK.

  • Press release – Disability charities benefit from £2.4 million fund

The money will fund services to provide practical support for disabled children, set up and expand helplines, and provide mental health and wellbeing support.

  • Press release – Bespoke testing regime unveiled for exempt international arrivals

The UK government has today (Sunday 28 March) set out new details of a bespoke testing regime for international arrivals who will be exempt from quarantine for work purposes, including for hauliers arriving from outside the Common Travel Area into England.

  • Press release – Twice weekly rapid testing to be available to everyone in England

Everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing from 9 April, the government has announced.

  • News story – Statement on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine following MHRA update

The government’s statement following updated advice from the UK’s medicines regulator.

  • Press release – Findings from the latest COVID-19 REACT-1 study published

Findings from the 10th report of REACT-1, one of the country’s largest studies into COVID-19 infections in England, have been published by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI.

  • Correspondence – Letter from the Health and Social Care Secretary on use of the Moderna vaccine

Matt Hancock wrote to the JCVI in response to their advice on use of Moderna in the COVID-19 vaccination programme and recommended dosing intervals.

  • Press release – New campaign urges public to get tested twice a week

From Friday 9 April, everyone in England will be eligible for free rapid COVID-19 tests, twice a week.

  • Press release – UK moves into next phase of vaccine roll-out as government target hit early

Everybody in cohorts 1 to 9 has been offered a vaccine, with people aged 45 to 49 now invited to book their appointments.

  • News story – UK health ministers’ statement on JCVI advice (13 April 2021)

A joint statement from the 4 UK health ministers on JCVI advice for phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

  • Press release – Consultation launched on staff COVID-19 vaccines in care homes with older adult residents

Staff in care homes with older adult residents in England may be required to have a COVID-19 vaccine to protect residents from the virus.

  • Guidance – Visiting arrangements in care homes

Sets out how care homes can support families and visitors to visit residents from 12 April.

  • Guidance – Workforce Capacity Fund for adult social care

Information for local authorities and adult social care providers on the £120 million Workforce Capacity Fund during coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Guidance – Designated settings for people discharged to a care home

Guidance on the designated settings scheme for people discharged from hospital to a care home with a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test.

  • Guidance – Overview of adult social care guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information for adult social care providers on COVID-19 guidance and support.

  • Press release – New cutting-edge testing centre to fast-track COVID-19 variant vaccines

New state-of-the-art labs will test the effectiveness of vaccines against new variants.

  • News story – Statement on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine following JCVI update

The government’s statement following updated advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

  • News story – COVID-19 alert level: update from the UK Chief Medical Officers (10 May 2021)

A joint statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommending that the UK COVID-19 alert level move from level 4 to level 3.

From Monday 17 May care home residents will be able to have more named visitors and more opportunities to make visits out with no need to self-isolate when they return.

  • Press release – New ‘We Offer Testing to our Staff’ scheme launched

A new sticker scheme will allow businesses to easily show they are testing their staff regularly.

  • Press release – Findings from latest COVID-19 REACT-1 study published

Over 127,000 volunteers tested in England between 15 April and 3 May 2021 as part of one of the most significant COVID-19 studies in the world.

  • Press release – New measures to boost response to the B1.617.2 variant

Action is being taken to control the variant first identified in India which is beginning to spread in certain areas across the

  • Press release – Employers unite to encourage over a million staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Leading employers across the UK including Asda, IKEA and Santander come together to encourage their staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine when eligible.

  • Guidance – Visiting arrangements in care homes

Sets out how care homes can support families and visitors to visit residents.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

Guidance for people who are providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults

Guidance for care staff who are supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care

Information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Guidance – Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad

How to demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status to show that you’ve had the full course of the COVID-19 vaccine and access this status when travelling abroad

  • Press release – Most vulnerable offered second dose of COVID-19 vaccine earlier to help protect against variants

Action is part of measures to tackle rising cases of the B1.617.2 variant of concern.

  • Press release – Summit to build global confidence in vaccines to be convened by the UK Government

The UK Government will convene the world’s first Global Vaccine Confidence Summit in an effort to drive vaccine uptake in the fight against the Covid

  • Press release – Public reminded to let in fresh air when meeting others indoors to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Government launches new campaign backed by medical experts, scientists and businesses urging the public to open windows when meeting friends and family indoors.

Response to a challenge from Good Law Project to the Department of Health and Social Care on whether the government acted lawfully in awarding specific personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts.

New government-funded clinical trial looking at different COVID-19 ‘booster’ vaccines launches in the UK

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 19 May 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

Oxford University – an international hub of clinical and medical expertise – will host G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting in early June.

  • Press release – Everyone in the United Kingdom with symptoms now eligible for coronavirus tests

Everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms can now get a test.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 1 March 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock updated Parliament on the government’s response to coronavirus

 

  • Press release – New award to recognise exceptional practice in adult social care workforce

The exceptional efforts of the social care workforce will be recognised through a new award launched by the Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care.

Health Secretary confirms details of further measures to tackle the B1.617.2 variant first identified in India.

  • Press release – Testing and sequencing of sewage ramped up to help tackle COVID-19 outbreaks

The innovative programme to test wastewater for traces of coronavirus (COVID-19) has ramped up sequencing capacity to support variant detection.

  • Press release – Government launches new pilots to further support people to self-isolate

Health Secretary unveils new self-isolation support pilots for 9 areas across England with higher coronavirus (COVID-19) rates.

  • Speech – Taking steps to bring about a healthier, safer and fairer world

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock to the 74th World Health Assembly.

  • Speech – Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 27 May 2021

Speech by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

Eddie will be responsible for leading the work of the Taskforce and achieving its objective of having antiviral treatments ready for deployment by autumn 2021.

  • Press release – Life-saving vaccination programme to hit more major milestones as new vaccine added to armoury

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock to acknowledge success of UK’s biggest vaccine drive in history at G7 meeting of Health Ministers this week.

  • Press release – New international approach to combat emerging health threats as crucial G7 health talks begin

G7 health ministers pledge to combat future health threats by working together to identify early warning signs from animals and the environment.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for homecare workers

Sets out how homecare (domiciliary care) workers in England can collect, complete and register test kits for coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Guidance – Visiting arrangements in care homes

Sets out how care homes can support families and visitors to visit residents.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19): health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce

Advice for those working in adult social care on managing your mental health and how employers can take care of the wellbeing of their staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Guidance – Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for adult social care settings

Outlines the COVID-19 testing available for testing staff, residents and visitors for all adult social care settings.

  • Guidance – Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad

How to demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status to show that you have had a full course (2 doses) of the COVID-19 vaccine and access this status when travelling abroad.

Sets out how care homes can support residents on visits outside of the care home.

  • Guidance – Independent health providers: accessing lateral flow tests

Independent health providers can access lateral flow testing kits directly from NHS Test and Trace replacing the ordering route provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement.