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National Information and Guidance

What is Covid-19 Coronavirus? - Symptoms, high risk groups, protecting yourself, self-isolation and seeking medical help

Please note this page contains the current information and guidance from the National Health Service and and the SEND Local Offer will be updated as required. You can also find the latest information on the NHS website.

What is Covid 19?

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a type of virus called coronavirus.


Do not leave your home if you have either:

  • a high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.

Who's at high risk from coronavirus?

Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill, but there are some people who are at a higher risk.

For example, you may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
  • are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

Important Note:

If you're at high risk, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this.

How to protect yourself if you're at high risk

Updated guidance from the Government 13th October 2020:

The Government guidance has been updated to support the clinically extremely vulnerable in protecting themselves from exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19). It replaces previous guidance on shielding. The guidance is set out in 2 parts:

  1. Updated advice on protecting the clinically extremely vulnerable, based on the local COVID alert level in your area. This advice is less restrictive than previous shielding advice.
  2. Updated shielding advice that is more targeted and will only apply in some of the worst affected areas and only for a limited period of time. You are only advised to follow shielding advice if you receive a new written shielding notification.

In the future, the government will only reintroduce formal shielding advice in the very worst affected local areas and for a limited period of time. This will only apply to some, but not all, very high alert level areas and will be based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer. The government will write to you separately to inform you if you are advised to shield. You are not advised to follow formal shielding advice again unless you receive a new shielding notification advising you to do so. From now, refer to the new local COVID alert levels for your area. Find out more on the Government website.

Local Support:

If you need support e.g getting help with food or medicines you can request support through the Nottinghamshire County Council Coronavirus Community Support Hub. To find out more go to the Nottinghamshire County Council website. Alternatively, you can call our Customer Service Centre on 0300 500 8080 between 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.


Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does.

This is called self-isolation.

If you are self-isolating, you must:

  • not leave your home for any reason, other than to exercise once a day – but stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people
  • not go out to buy food or collect medicine – order them by phone or online, or ask someone else to drop them off at your home
  • not have visitors, such as friends and family, in your home

You can use your garden, if you have one.

If you have symptoms

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll need to self-isolate for 7 days.

After 7 days:

  • if you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to self-isolate
  • if you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal

You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

What to do if you need medical help

If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service.

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

  • for health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
  • for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
  • for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

  • for health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
  • for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
  • for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have provided a 'traffic light' system for parents and carers on symptoms and what you need to do. Just click on the icon below to open up the document:

Advice for parentscarers if your child is unwell








Protecting yourself from Coronavirus - Do's and Don'ts


Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • wash your hands as soon as you get back home

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Watch the Government and NHS video on how you should wash your hands to protect yourself from Coronavirus:


Government Measures and Guidance

This page contains the latest guidance from the Cabinet Office but please be aware this information could change and the SEND Local Offer will be updated as quickly as possible to reflect any such changes. You can also find the latest information on the Government website.

British Sign Language Videos

You can access daily translated updates on coronavirus, from Government briefings, in British Sign Language, from the deaf health charity Sign Health.

Coronavirus Update Announcement October 31st - New National Lockdown


Coronavirus Update Announcement October 12th - New Covid Alert Levels

Current Government Measures and Guidance

Updated Information 31st October 2020 - NATIONAL LOCKDOWN ANNOUNCED:

Due to rapidly rising Covid 19 case numbers across the whole of the UK, the Government has announced a new national lockdown. From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Closing certain businesses and venues.

These new measures have been carefully judged to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, whilst ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.

Until Thursday 5 November, the relevant Local Covid Alert Level measures will continue to apply in the area where you live (In Nottinghamshire this is Tier 3 VERY HIGH). From Thursday the national restrictions replace the local restrictions in your area.

The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, the Government will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

You can find out more on the Government Website.

Updated Information 12th October 2020 - NEW COVID ALERT LEVELS:

The Government has introduced local COVID alert levels, which are medium, high and very high. Local COVID alert levels are sometimes called ‘tiers’ or known as a ‘local lockdown’.

The level in an area will be dependent on the level of Coronavirus infection. Nottinghamshire has currently been placed in to the VERY HIGH (tier 3) alert level.

Local COVID alert levels set out information for local authorities, residents and workers about what to do and how to manage the outbreak in their area.

The ‘Very High’ alert measures comes into force in Nottinghamshire at one minute past midnight on Friday 30 October 2020.

The tier 3 alert restrictions mean:

  • People must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of their household or support bubble. This includes private homes and indoors in hospitality venues, such as pubs.
  • People must not meet with people outside of their household or support bubble in a private garden or in most outdoor public venues.
  • People can continue to see friends and family in groups of six or less that they don’t live with (or have formed a support bubble with) in certain outdoor public spaces, such as a park or public garden.
  • All pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals, such as a main lunchtime or evening meal. They can only serve alcohol as part of a meal. Pubs, bars and restaurants must still close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Wedding receptions will not be permitted, but people can get married with a maximum of 15 people at the ceremony (check with the venue for additional restrictions).
  • Avoid travelling outside the Very High alert area or entering a Very High alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities, or to travel through as part of a longer journey.
  • Avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK.

As well as the main Tier 3 restrictions, Council Leaders have agreed the following additional local restrictions in Nottinghamshire:

  • All hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs) can only remain open to offer substantial meals, or must move to operate a delivery and takeaway service only. Alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal.
  • The use of shared smoking equipment (such as but not limited to shisha) in hospitality venues will be prohibited.
  • Betting shops, car boot sales and auction houses (with the exception of Livestock and agricultural equipment sales) must close.
  • Alcohol sales must be prohibited after 9pm where alcohol is purchased to consume off premises, for example shops. Alcohol can continue to be purchased in hospitality venues where accompanying a substantial meal, up until 10pm.
  • Indoor entertainment and tourism venues must close, except for ice-skating rinks, cinemas, concert halls, and theatres. Hotels and other accommodation can stay open.
  • Outdoor entertainment and tourism venues can remain open, with the exception of their indoor attractions (such as animal attractions or landmarks).
  • Saunas and steam rooms must close.
  • Leisure and sporting facilities (such as leisure centres, gyms, fitness and dance studios, swimming pools and sports courts) can remain open. It is strongly advised that indoor group exercise classes (including dance and fitness classes) should not take place.
  • Personal care settings such as tattoo parlours, tanning and nail salons, and piercing services must close. Hairdressers and barber salons can remain open but cannot perform services that are otherwise closed. It is advised that personal care services do not take place in private homes.
  • Public buildings such as town and parish halls, community centres and libraries can remain open to run activities such as childcare and support groups. Public buildings should not host events for private hire, such as birthday parties or other social activities.

Government and local partners will closely monitor the impact of these new restrictions, which will be in place for 28 days from Friday 30th October and will be kept under review.

You can find out more on the Government website.

Government Guidance - What Parents and Carers need to know about Early Years Providers, Schools and Colleges in the Autumn Term (Updated October 16th):

On 12 October the Department of Health and Social Care published information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean, why they are being introduced and what the different levels are.

At all local alert levels, the expectation is that education and childcare provision should continue as normal.

The government has been very clear that limiting attendance at schools and other education settings should only be done as a last resort, even in areas where a local alert level is ‘high’ or ‘very high’. Decisions on any restrictions necessary in education or childcare settings are taken separately on a case-by-case basis in the light of local circumstances, including information about the incidence and transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Find out more on the Government website.

Face Coverings

Updated Information 14th July 2020:

The Government announced that from July 24th in England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:

  • public transport
  • indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • indoor shopping centres
  • banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)

You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.

Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this, this includes exemption cards. No person needs to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about their reason for not wearing a face covering.

Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering.This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.

This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.

Access exemption card templates

Government Plan

Updated Information 03rd July 2020:

The Government has set out its plan to return to as near to normal life as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, in a way that continues to protect communities and the NHS. The most important thing we can continue to do is to stay alert, control the virus and in doing so, save lives.


Government Guidance Relating to Children and Young people with SEND and their Families

Ministerial letter to the SEND sector:

You can read the letter here or by clicking on the icon below:

Minister Ford open letter to SEND 9th Nov 2020










Ministerial letter, to all children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their parents/carers and families, and others who support them regarding the return to school:

You can read the letter here or by clicking on the icon below:








Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings

This guidance advises all special schools and other specialist settings will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak from the start of the autumn term to support the return of children and young people with special education needs and disability (SEND). You can read the guidance on the Government website.

Guidance for parents/carers on supporting children's mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic

This advice is to help adults with caring responsibilities look after the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, including those with additional needs and disabilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic. To read the full advice go to the Government website.

Useful SEND Contacts for information, advice and resources about the Coronavirus

Here are useful contacts specifically for families with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. These organisations have lots of information, advice and resources regarding the coronavirus.

Just click on the links below, which will take you to their websites or use the contact details to get in touch:

Council for Disabled Children

The best way to contact is to email  Alternatively, you can leave a voice message on 020 7843 6000.

The new 'CDC questions' inbox provides the opportunity to ask questions about how coronavirus will impact on children and and young people with SEND as well as other questions relating to the impact on families. They will collate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and share them with the Department for Education (DfE) and Ministers as appropriate in order to publish an FAQs newflash each Friday.

If you are a parent carer with a question about your individual circumstances you may be able to find an answer here:

Contact (for Families with Disabled Children)

Call their free helpline 0808 808 3555 or email:

Disability Rights UK

Office Number: 0330 995 0400 (please note this line is not an advice line) or email:





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