Covid-19: You must stay at home

The government has announced that England is now in lockdown.

The new restrictions are tougher than the lockdown in November and make it clear that everyone must stay at home. This is the single most important action we can all take to protect the NHS and save lives.

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. These limited reasons include shopping for essentials, exercise once a day, seeking medical assistance, escaping domestic abuse, or to work if you cannot work from home.

Have a look at more details of the rules and guidance.

In Brighton & Hove

In the seven days up to the 31 December there were 1768 new cases in Brighton & Hove.

This is:

  • equivalent to a weekly rate of new cases of 608 per 100,000 residents  
  • an increase of 91% compared to the previous week (318 cases per 100,000)
  • higher than the rate for England (547 per 100,000) and slightly lower than the South East (651 per 100,000)

Like previous weeks, the numbers of confirmed cases of Covid-19 has risen in all age groups in the city. 

Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health for Brighton & Hove City Council, said:

“Covid-19 is spreading rapidly in Brighton & Hove. The weekly number of positive tests is now more than 10 times higher than at the end of November. Every age group and every part of our city is affected.

“The latest national ONS survey shows that roughly 1 in 45 people in the South East have got the virus.

“Sadly more people are becoming very ill, hospital admissions are increasing fast and more local people will die as a result of the virus.

“In order to save lives it is absolutely vital that we break the chain of transmission.

“Everyone must follow the rules of the lockdown and stay at home. If you are outside of your home you must adopt the measures necessary to prevent the spread of the virus: think hands – face – space.

“And while the roll out of the second Covid vaccine this week is good news, I ask you all to be patient. The NHS is working to a priority list of those most at risk first, and those who work closest with them.

“Please do not contact the NHS to get a vaccine. You will be contacted when it’s your turn.”

Help for residents if you need it

We know this is a worrying time and many residents will have concerns. You can find out more about the services and support available in Brighton & Hove on the council's Covid website.

If you need extra support you can contact our community hub for emergency help with food, energy bills and other essentials.

If you can't get online you can call 01273 293 117 and select option 2. Phone interpreters are available on this number.

Book a test at the first sign of any Covid symptoms

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following symptoms – even if very mild:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

You must immediately self-isolate with your household and book a test online or by calling 119.

What you can and cannot do during the national lockdown

Leaving home

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may only leave home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise outdoors once a day with your household or support bubble, or one other person (maintaining social distancing), and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible

If you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable) you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You will receive a letter with more details about what this means.

Children can move between homes if their parents are separated.

Workplaces will stay open if people cannot work from home - including construction and manufacturing.

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings can remain open but council-run nurseries will be closed to all but vulnerable children and children of critical workers from 7 January.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the part of the city where you live. You may only leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

Meeting people

Support bubbles for people who live alone and households made up of single parents and children can continue.

Childcare bubbles are allowed to enable parents to work (and not to enable social contact between adults).

You should only be spending time with those in your household or support bubble, but you can exercise outdoors once a day with someone from outside your household or support bubble, with social distancing.

You must stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

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