From 4 January, people across the whole country must now stay at home apart from the following exceptions:
- for work if people cannot work from home
- to shop for necessities such as food or medicines
- to exercise once per day at a local location. This can be with your household or support bubble or with one person from outside your household/bubble.
- to provide care or help to vulnerable people
- to attend medical appointments, get medical care or a coronavirus test, or to flee the threat of harm or violence
- All schools and colleges will move to online learning
- Schools will remain closed for all pupils, apart from the children of key workers or those who are vulnerable, until the February half-term
- However, nurseries can remain open while childcare and support bubbles will stay in place
If you need help
The Government Guidance on the new National Lockdown restrictions can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home
If you are in an at-risk group and need help or support do get in touch with your nearest mutual aid group. They have been doing fantastic work throughout the pandemic and are deserving of our gratitude. You can find your nearest group at https://walthamforestmutualaid.org.uk
Waltham Forest Council can also help vulnerable residents to access priority delivery slots at Tesco and Iceland or to access a local food bank. You can access this help by calling the Council Resolution Centre on 020 8496 3000 from 7am to 7pm seven days a week.
If you need support to stop domestic abuse please call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247.
If you are worried about your own behaviour and think you might be at risk of hurting your partner or family you can also call the Respect help line. It is confidential and free to call: 0808 802 4040.
Going to donate blood is considered essential travel and not affected by the lockdown. Please consider donating to help vulnerable people at this time. https://www.blood.co.uk/news-and-campaigns/news-and-statements/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/
Unpaid carers – now added to priority 6 vaccination group
On 31 December, the government updated its priority vaccination list to include:
- adults who provide regular care for an elderly or disabled person
- younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential settings
They will be offered the vaccine at the same time as the adults under 65 years with long term conditions. You can see the updated guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-why-you-are-being-asked-to-wait/why-you-have-to-wait-for-your-covid-19-vaccine
This is something that the Liberal Democrats have been calling for, for a number of weeks and we are pleased that this omission has been rectified - it is now in line with standard priority vaccination guidance and will be a relief to a number of people.