General advice from the UK Government, NHS, and Others

Page last reviewed / updated 27th May 2021

The key reference points for information and advice for everyone are the NHS website and the Government information hub​, which includes links to additional information for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland​. These are regularly updated. 

Shielding and Protecting Vulnerable People

The latest Government guidance for people defined as clinically extremely vulnerable can be found here

SMA-focused advice is on these pages.

Government guidance for anyone who provides unpaid care for a friend or family member is here. Further information in the Personal Assistants, Carers and Home Care section of our website may also be helpful.

Staying Safe - Local and national restrictions, Bubbles and Social Distancing 

Government information about national restrictions is being updated regularly, along with guidance about reducing the spread of coronavirus and accessing green spaces safely.

Support bubbles enable certain households to safely expand the group of people they have close contact with. 

Childcare bubbles enable informal childcare for children under 14 from friends and family you do not live with.

Guidance about face coverings includes why they are worn, when to wear one, how to make your own and how they should be safely used and stored.

Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

Documents relating to the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme are published here including details of which groups will have priority, a guide for adults and information about what to expect after your Covid-19 vaccination

You can find further information in the SMA-focused section.

The government want as many people as possible take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccination when it is their turn. The NHS website includes information here on how you will be invited and what happens next. 

FAQs answered by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer are here.

Other UK-Wide Measures

NHS information includes advice on how to reduce the spread of coronavirus and on how to wash your hands properly. Guidance for ventilating indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus is here.

To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), most hospitals stopped or significantly limited visits and appointments. There is advice on using the NHS and other health services and on visiting someone in hospital.

Government guidance for consumers on coronavirus and food, is here.

Testing for Coronavirus

The government have guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested. There's additional information about surge testing (increased testing including door-to-door testing) and enhanced contact tracing in specific locations in England where new COVID-19 variants have been identified. The NHS website also has information about testing and tracing. The NHS COVID-19 app,  available to download for free in England and Wales, tracks your movements and alerts you if you're at risk from coronavirus.

Self Isolation: staying at home for households with possible coronavirus infection

If you live in the same household as a person who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or who has received a positive test result, follow the Stay at Home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19. The guidance is published in several languages – scroll down to see. If you or someone you live with has symptoms, the NHS advice may also be helpful. 

If you have been in close contact with, but do not live with, a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, guidance is here. This may include contact with people in your support bubble.

If you’re asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and you’re on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

Long Covid: Most people’s symptoms of COVID-19 resolve within 12 weeks. However, for some people symptoms can persist beyond this period or new ones can develop and may be diagnosed as 'Long Covid'. Health Improvement Scotland have published information, including: SIGN 161: Managing the long term effects of COVID-19  and Long COVID: A booklet for people who have symptoms that continue or develop after acute COVID-19.

Work and Financial Support: 

The Government has published a range of documents providing guidance about getting financial support, working safely (at home or elsewhere) childcare and caring responsibilities, annual leave and sick leave. There is also information in this section of our website.

Education: The Government has published a range of documents providing guidance and advice about coronavirus in educational settings for staff, parents and carers, pupils and students. There is also information in this section of our website.

Mental Health

The Government has published advice on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of the public and of children and young people.

Other tips and advice for adults and children in managing the mental health side of dealing with the coronavirus can be found here.