Covid-19: Updates and advice

Tier 2 from 2 December 2020

20201202Tier 2 restrictions

New National Restrictions from 5 November 2020

Information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available are available on the Government’s Covid-19 page.

Update on Coronavirus mobile testing sites for Buckinghamshire

Mobile coronavirus testing sites will be setting up at a range of locations across Buckinghamshire over the coming week.

The mobile testing sites will be at:

  • Princes Risborough, on Saturday, 21 November
  • Buckingham, on Monday, 23 November
  • Gerrards Cross, on Tuesday, 24 November
  • Marlow, on Wednesday, 25 November and Saturday, 28 November

Walk-through testing sites are also open seven days a week at the Gateway Centre car park in Aylesbury and the Buckinghamshire New University campus in High Wycombe, and these will be in place for the foreseeable future.

These sites are open for use by anyone with coronavirus symptoms, and all tests must be booked first – they are not available on a ‘drop-in’ basis.

Anyone with even mild symptoms is being encouraged to arrange a test to help stop the spread of the virus. Symptoms include a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to sense of smell or taste. Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. It is also possible to order a home testing kit via the website.

If the mobile testing sites are fully booked, you will be offered testing at the next-closest location.

A testing centre operating in Slough is also currently open to Buckinghamshire residents, for booked-in visits only.

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Engagement at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “If you have coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, please book a test as soon as you can and isolate unless you get a ‘negative’ result. Please also isolate if anyone in your household develops symptoms.  It’s really important that everyone in Buckinghamshire remains vigilant and follows the latest guidance. With stricter lockdown measures now in effect, the mobile testing sites and the walk-through testing sites will be hugely important as we work together to stop the spread of the virus.”

Dr Raj Bajwa, GP and Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Testing is essential to help keep NHS services running smoothly and to help vulnerable people stay as safe as possible from coronavirus infection. These mobile sites offer a great boost to our testing capabilities in Buckinghamshire, so we hope they will be well-used by those that need them.”

For more information about walk-through testing sites, you can watch this video 

The latest guidance around coronavirus can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

From Buckinghamshire Unitary Council:
The new NHS COVID-19 app is now live and is available for people in England and Wales to download and use on their smartphones. This is the ‘official’ NHS app to support the Test and Trace system. The app doesn’t use personal data other than the first part of a user’s postcode – it works anonymously via Bluetooth. Users download it voluntarily and we want to encourage people to do so, as the more people who use the app, the more effective it will be  
How it works and what it does: The app will work on both Apple and Android devices. Some users may have to install the latest update.  All users will have to have Bluetooth enabled on their phones. It only needs to run in low energy mode.    If someone doesn’t have a smartphone then they cannot use the app. The app is available in the following languages and it’s hoped this list will be extended: English, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Bengali, Welsh.  Users can use the app to:
i) Report symptoms ii) order a coronavirus test iii) check into venues like pubs, cafe and restaurants, churches, leisure centres and hairdressers using a QR code
Users will not give their personal data; the app will store info on what time the user enters and leaves a venue and it will use Bluetooth to see which other users have been at the same place at the same time. If another user who’d been in close contact then reported symptoms or a confirmed case, the user would be automatically sent an alert with further advice if necessary, such as whether they should isolate. This alert would not identify the person who had tested positive – it uses unique anonymous IDs embedded in the phone itself. The postcode information supplied by users allows the NHS to see which areas the virus is spreading in. It’s just the first half of the postcode that users will put in eg HP19.      If the app advises someone to isolate, it also provides a countdown timer so they can easily keep track of how long to stay isolated. The app will also let users check symptoms; it will give a list of symptoms and they can select which ones apply to them – it will then tell the user if the symptoms suggest they have coronavirus   Venues: Certain venues are now required to display the posters with the ‘check in’ QR codes for app users to use. Most of these venues will need to display the QR codes by law – although this is not the case for all eg places of worship (unless they have a café or similar on site too). People who don’t have the app will have to sign in directly with the venue, who are obliged by law to keep contact information on all visitors/customers on a 21 day rolling basis. This list of venues includes all local authority venues. This means all Buckinghamshire Council buildings are now required to display the NHS App QR code posters. All venues from the following sectors will also be required  to display the NHS App QR code posters: hospitality, leisure and tourism, close contact services, libraries and places of worship   Why it’s so important: This technology will allow the NHS to find out much more quickly if the virus is spreading in a certain area. It will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to alert people if they’ve been in contact with a case.          The app helps trace other users who’ve spent time near each other, even if they don’t know each other personally. Users will be able to check the app each day to see if their postcode area has become higher risk – meaning people can more easily make personal choices about their movements. If enough people use it, it will significantly help the NHS trace the spread of the virus, ultimately helping both the user and the wider population.
Privacy: The app does not store personal data, other than the first part of a user’s postcode. If a user tests positive for coronavirus, they can choose whether to enter this information into the app – it isn’t compulsory. The positive user’s ID and privacy is protected at all times. The app cannot access any other data on the user’s phone such as contacts or photos. The app cannot be used: to identify you; to track you; to check if you are self-isolating; by law enforcement. The app tracks the virus, not the user   For detailed information about the new COVID-19 NHS App go to www.COVID-19.nhs.uk

Coronavirus advice and links to information:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/service-changes/

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/video-updates/

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/community-hub/

Community Impact Bucks – Advice for groups

https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-support-hub/local-support-businesses/

Food Bank Support poster
Griffin Trust Coronavirus Hardship Fund

Local lifelines support work for residents at highest risk

Anyone concerned about a vulnerable person who may need support can contact Buckinghamshire Council by emailing communities@buckinghamshire.gov.uk  or telephoning 01296 383204.