Next week we will take Step 2 on the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, with further restrictions lifted. From Monday 12 April:
- non-essential shops, hairdressers and nail salons will be able to reopen
- libraries will be able to reopen – find out about Croydon’s reopening here
- pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen outdoors, with table service only
- indoor leisure and sports facilities will be able to reopen for individual exercise, or with your household or bubble. Visit Better’s webpage for information on Croydon’s leisure centres
- weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 people.
- self-contained accommodation will be able to open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
- care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)
You can find the list in full on the government webpage. This step forward is really good news – for our shops, pubs and restaurants who can welcome customers back outdoors; for those who will be able to visit loved ones in care homes; and for everyone who is looking forward to a return to something they love, whether that’s a long-awaited haircut or a trip to the gym. However, it is absolutely vital that we do all these things with caution. If we want to stay out of lockdown and keep doing the things that we love, we must all play our part to keep infection rates low in Croydon.
On Friday (9 April), the government launched its new Covid-19 universal testing offer. This means that everyone in Croydon will be able to access free rapid lateral flow tests and are encouraged to them take them twice weekly, if they do not have symptoms. As people leave their homes more often, this can be a vital tool in helping to keep our communities safe. With 1 in 3 people showing no Covid-19 symptoms and potentially passing it to others, rapid lateral flow tests enable us to find these cases and prevent the spread of infection. The tests are easy to use, with results in 30 minutes, so those who test positive can self-isolate immediately to avoid spreading it to others.
If you live or work in Croydon you can access rapid lateral flow tests in the following ways:
- Workplace testing – if your employer is offering tests, either supervised at a test site, or testing kits you can collect to do at home.
- Community testing sites – if you live or work in Croydon you can book a test at one of our four community testing sites located around the borough. Book on our webpage.
- NHS Test and Trace sites – local testing centres in car parks at Croydon Arena, SE25, and Central Parade, New Addington now operate as testing sites in the morning only. From next week, in the afternoon you will be able to pick up rapid lateral flow test kits for use at home. Visit www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests to order.
- Pharmacy collect – some pharmacies have signed up to offer pharmacy collect – find out which pharmacies are offering this near you on the NHS webpage.
- Home delivery –you can now order a box of seven tests to be delivered to your home. Visit www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or call 119.
- Secondary and college students are already being given test kits to use at home twice a week, during the holidays and term time.
Remember, a positive test result is a red light, but a negative test result is not a green light. No test result is 100% accurate and even if you get a negative result, you should continue to follow hands, face, space to further reduce the risk of onwards transmission.
Please note, rapid lateral flow testing is only for people without symptoms. Anyone who has symptoms must self-isolate immediately and book a free PCR test in the usual way at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
This is one part of our defence against the virus, and we must all continue to do all the things that are helping to keep our infection rate low in Croydon. This means:
- self-isolating and getting a free PCR test if you have any Covid-19 symptoms
- taking up your Covid-19 vaccine when offered – if you are over 50, or a carer, book your appointment now online or by calling 119
- always following social distancing guidance, even if you have been vaccinated against Covid-19:
- hands – wash your hands frequently
- face – wear a face covering in enclosed areas
- space – always stay 2m apart from anyone who is not in your household or support bubble
- fresh air – meet others outdoors in line with the guidance.
Thank you for all your support in helping to keep our borough safe,
Croydon’s Director of Public Health