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Covid-19 resources: Public Health England updates

Click here for the Covid-19 resource index page.

Page last updated 22 July 2021.

  • Press release – JCVI issues advice on COVID-19 vaccination of children and young people

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is today advising that children at increased risk of serious coronavirus (COVID-19) disease are offered a vaccine.

  • Press release – Fully vaccinated critical workers to be able to leave self-isolation in exceptional circumstances

Fully vaccinated critical workers to be able to leave self-isolation in exceptional circumstances under new plans to prevent serious disruption to vital public services.

  • Speech – Update to the house on Step 4 and NHS Covid pass

Speech from Minister Zahawi updating on a range of issues including vaccine effectiveness to the NHS Covid pass.

New analysis by PHE shows for the first time that 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.

Previous posts:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance: healthcare professionals (updated 18 May 2020)

A number of targeted guidance documents can be accessed from this link, these relate to primary care, ambulance and community services, infection control and also address what to do when providers have a diagnosed case within their facility. Guidance for the management of staff and patients exposed to the virus was updated on 18 May 2020. The guidance covers staff exposures, staff return to work criteria and patient exposures.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): residential care, supported living and home care guidance

The guidance sets out how to maintain delivery of care in the event of an outbreak or widespread transmission of COVID-19 and what to do if care workers or individuals being cared for have symptoms of COVID-19. Read our briefing for a summary of the guidance for care homes.

  • COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable (updated 18 May 2020)

Public Health England is strongly advising people with serious underlying health conditions (designated extremely vulnerable), to follow shielding measures rigorously in order to keep themselves safe and avoid the very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. The guidance is equally relevant for providers and for friends and family caring for people with the conditions listed. Read our briefing which summarises the guidance.

  • Considerations for acute personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages (17 April 2020 – now updated)

This guidance aims to highlight the sessional use and reuse of PPE when there are severe shortages of supply. The considerations are to ensure that health and care workers are appropriately protected from COVID-19, where items of PPE are unavailable, and should be considered as temporary measures until the global supply chain is adequate to meet the UK’s needs.

  • Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)

Updated guidance was issued on 27 April on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health and social care workers, in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. It supersedes previous PPE guidance. This guidance relates solely to considerations of PPE, represents one section of infection prevention and control guidance for COVID-19 and should be used in conjunction with local policies.

The main changes are:

  • enhanced PPE recommendations for a wide range of health and social care contexts
  • inclusion of individual and organisational risk assessment at local level to inform PPE use
  • recommendation of single sessional (extended) use of some PPE items
  • re-usable PPE can be used. Advice on suitable decontamination arrangements should be obtained from the manufacturer, supplier or local infection control
  • guidance for when case status is unknown and SARS-CoV-2 is circulating at high levels
  • recommendation on patient use of facemasks
  • recommendation on the use of disposable fluid repellent coveralls as an alternative to long sleeved fluid repellent gowns for aerosol generating procedures or when working in higher risk acute areas. Staff need to be trained in the safe removal of coveralls [10 April 2020]
  • COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes (updated 27 April 2020)

This resource provides guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for care workers working in care homes during sustained COVID-19 transmission in the UK. It explains how PPE guidance applies to the care home setting and is drawn from full infection prevention and control (IPC) and PPE guidance.

  • COVID-19: infection prevention and control guidance

The guidance is issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health Wales (PHW), Public Health Agency (PHA) Northern Ireland, Health Protection Scotland (HPS), Public Health Scotland, Public Health England and NHS England as official guidance.

Updated 27 April 2020 to include the PHE statement regarding NERVTAG review and consensus on cardiopulmonary resuscitation as an aerosol generating procedure.

  • Guidance for care of the deceased with suspected or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) (updated 15 May)

This guidance is to assist people who are required to manage the bodies of deceased persons during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • descriptive review of data on disparities in the risk and outcomes from COVID-19. (Published June 2020)

Among people already diagnosed with COVID-19, people who were 80 or older were seventy times more likely to die than those under 40. Risk of dying among those diagnosed with COVID-19 was also higher in males than females; higher in those living in the more deprived areas than those living in the least deprived; and higher in those in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups than in White ethnic groups.

Easing coronavirus health measures at the UK border; exempting passengers from self-isolation requirements in certain circumstances on arrival in the UK. (Published 29 June).

Insights from new evidence on the relationship between excess weight and coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • News story – Public Health England to be replaced

Public Health England is to be replaced by a new agency that will specifically deal with protecting the country from pandemics, according to a report. Further details to be released in August.

  • Press release – 10,000 people now signed up to Covid-19 immunity study

A nationwide effort led by PHE to find out whether people who had COVID-19 can get infected again has now recruited 10,000 health workers from across the NHS.

  • Guidance – Covid-19 potentially infectious people
  • Guidance – COVID-19: long-term health effects

Information and guidance on persistent health problems reported following acute COVID-19 disease.

  • News story – Public Health England launches new Every Mind Matters campaign

Mental health campaign supports the well-being of children, young people and their parents.

  • Press release – Record numbers offered flu vaccine as those with flu and COVID-19 more likely to die

New Public Health England research suggests that people infected with both viruses between January and April were more at risk of severe illness and death.

  • News story – PHE statement on delayed reporting of COVID-19 cases

A technical issue, now resolved, resulted in cases between 25 September and 2 October not being included in the reported daily COVID-19 figures.

  • Guidance – UK SMI V 58: SARS-CoV-2 serology

UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations V 58: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) serology

  • News story – Weekly national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports published

National influenza and COVID-19 report, monitoring coronavirus (COVID-19) activity, seasonal flu and other seasonal respiratory illnesses.

  • Guidance – COVID-19 and influenza point of care testing results: how to report

Notifications of COVID-19 and influenza point of care testing (POCT) results: legal duties for providers of POCT.

England death rate up to 6 times higher from coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic than the general population, Public Health England study finds.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: letters to clinically extremely vulnerable people

Reference-only versions of letters from the government to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, including accessible formats.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: mitigation of risks in occupational settings with a focus on ethnic minority groups

Consensus statement from Public Health England, the Health and Safety Executive and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine.

Provisional guidance subject to Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approval of vaccine supply.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: vaccination programme guidance for healthcare practitioners

Guidance for healthcare practitioners about the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination training to support healthcare workers involved in delivering the programme.

  • Guidance – Vitamin D supplementation during winter: PHE and NICE statement

Statement from Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on vitamin D supplementation during winter.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: vaccination programme guidance for healthcare practitioners

Guidance for healthcare practitioners about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme.

  • Guidance – COVID-19 vaccination: why you are being asked to wait

Information about COVID-19 eligibility and vaccine supplies.

  • Guidance – COVID-19 vaccination: what to expect after vaccination

Information for people who have had their first COVID-19 vaccination.

Information for frontline social care workers on COVID-19 vaccination.

Information for frontline healthcare workers on COVID-19 vaccination.

Information for eligible adults on COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Guidance – COVID-19 vaccination: women of childbearing age, currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding

Information for all women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding on coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination.

A new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has been identified across the South East of England.

  • News story – COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2): information about the new virus variant

The new variant transmits more easily than the previous one but there is no evidence that it is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality.

  • Press release – Rapid evaluation confirms lateral flow devices effective in detecting new COVID-19 variant

Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that lateral flow devices (LFDs) used in mass testing can detect the new COVID-19 variant.

  • Guidance – SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow antigen tests: evaluation of VUI-202012/01

PHE Porton Down has carried out a rapid assessment on whether 5 lateral flow devices can detect the new COVID-19 variant.

  • News story- Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variant from South Africa identified in UK

Two cases of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant, which originated in South Africa, have been identified in the UK.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued its advice on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Guidance – National protocol for COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1-S [recombinant])

This protocol is for the administration of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1-S [recombinant]) to individuals in accordance with the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.

  • Press release – Past COVID-19 infection provides some immunity but people may still carry and transmit virus

Study finds past coronavirus (COVID-19) infection provides some immunity for at least 5 months, but people may still carry and transmit the virus.

  • News story – Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants identified in UK

Latest updates on SARS-CoV-2 variants detected in UK.

  • Guidance – NHS entitlements: migrant health guide

Advice and guidance for healthcare practitioners on the health needs of migrant patients.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: rapid point of care (near-person) testing for service providers

Guidance for service providers on the use and management of COVID-19 rapid point of care (near-person) tests and actions to take.

  • Guidance – Investigation of novel SARS-CoV-2 variant: Variant of Concern 202012/01

Technical briefing document on novel SARS-CoV-2 variant.

  • News story – PHE statement on Variant of Concern and new Variant Under Investigation

NERVTAG has named one additional SARS-CoV-2 Variant Under Investigation and one additional Variant of Concern.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing

Advice and information on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

  • News story – First real-world UK data shows Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides high levels of protection from the first dose

PHE has today published the first independent analysis in the UK showing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is effective against COVID-19 from the first dose.

  • News story – JCVI advises inviting people on Learning Disability Register for vaccine

JCVI has advised the government to invite all people on the GP Learning Disability Register for COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Press release – PHE launches new Psychological First Aid training

The online training, developed by PHE, is now available for those supporting children and young people affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • News story – JCVI issues interim advice on Phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccination programme rollout

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has considered the evidence for Phase 2 of the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

  • News story – Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants identified in UK

Latest updates on SARS-CoV-2 variants detected in UK.

  • News story – New data show vaccines reduce severe COVID-19 in older adults

New data show both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines significantly reduce severe COVID-19 in older adults.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: letter to people identified as high risk – aged 70 and over

Reference-only version of letter to people identified as high risk by COVID-19 population risk assessment model, aged 70 and over.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: letter to people identified as high risk – aged 19 to 69

Reference-only version of letter to people identified as high risk by COVID-19 population risk assessment model, aged 19 to 69.

Information for frontline healthcare workers on COVID-19 vaccination.

Information for frontline social care workers on COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Guidance – NHS entitlements: migrant health guide

Advice and guidance for healthcare practitioners on the health needs of migrant patients.

Information about COVID-19 eligibility and vaccine supplies.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus

Guidance on the ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

New findings from Public Health England have shown that an estimated 75.8% of 70 to 84 year old blood donors had antibodies against COVID-19 by early March.

  • Press release – COVID-19 vaccines have prevented thousands of deaths in older adults, new data shows

Analysis carried out by Public Health England suggests that the COVID-19 vaccination programme prevented 6,100 deaths in England up to the end of February 2021.

  • Guidance – PHE monitoring of the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination

Data on the real-world efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus

Guidance on the ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Press release – COVID-19 vaccines have prevented thousands of deaths in older adults, new data shows

Analysis carried out by Public Health England suggests that the COVID-19 vaccination programme prevented 6,100 deaths in England up to the end of February 2021.

  • Press release – New vaccine advice for adults living with adults who are immunosuppressed

JCVI recommends that adults living with adults who are immunosuppressed should be prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccine

  • Press release – New JCVI advice on use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The JCVI has issued new advice regarding the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after reports of extremely rare blood clots.

  • Press release – COVID-19 vaccines have prevented 10,400 deaths in older adults

PHE analysis suggests the UK COVID-19 vaccination programme has so far prevented thousands of deaths in those aged 60 and above.

  • News story – Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants identified in UK

Latest updates on SARS-CoV-2 variants detected in UK.

  • Guidance – COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting

Information on the benefits and risks of the COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Guidance – COVID-19 vaccination: blood clotting information for healthcare professionals

Information for healthcare professionals on blood clotting following COVID-19 vaccination

  • Press release – JCVI issues new advice on COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women

The JCVI has advised that pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.

  • Press release – One dose of COVID-19 vaccine can cut household transmission by up to half

A new study by Public Health England (PHE) has shown that one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine reduces household transmission by up to half.

  • News story – Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants identified in UK

Latest updates on SARS-CoV-2 variants detected in UK.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: long-term health effects

Information and guidance on persistent health problems reported following acute COVID-19 disease.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus

Guidance on the ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Guidance – COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes

Guidance for those working in care homes providing information on how to work safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19.

  • Press release – JCVI advises on COVID-19 vaccine for people aged under 40

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued advice to the UK government on the use of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged under 40.

  • News story – Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants identified in UK

Latest updates on SARS-CoV-2 variants detected in UK.

  • Guidance – COVID-19 vaccination: blood clotting information for healthcare professionals

Information for healthcare professionals on blood clotting following COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Guidance – COVID-19 vaccination: information for healthcare practitioners

Guidance for healthcare practitioners about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme.

  • Guidance – High consequence infectious diseases (HCID)

Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England.

  • Guidance – PHE monitoring of the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination

Data on the real-world efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued advice to the government on the use of COVID-19 vaccines to mitigate the impact of the B1.617.2 variant of concern.

New study by PHE shows for the first time that 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against the B.1.617.2 variant first identified in India.

Guidance for those working in care homes providing information on how to work safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19.

  • Guidance – COVID-19: guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing

Advice and information on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Information on the benefits and risks of the COVID-19 vaccination.