COVID-19: Current restrictions


From 19 July, restrictions have eased.

This includes no capacity limits indoors or outdoors and venues such as nightclubs reopening.

Covid-19 is still here and it's still important that you protect yourself and help us to stop the spread wherever possible.

The best way to protect yourself is by:

  • Testing regularly
  • Self-isolating when you're asked to
  • Getting your vaccine if you're able to
  • Wear your face covering on public transport and in crowded indoor spaces

Visit the government website for current advice.

A range of health professionals answer residents' questions on the latest easing of restrictions, testing and the vaccine:

The government has introduced the NHS test and trace service.  

This is now supported by the NHS COVID-19 smartphone app

Covid-19 - Translated and accessible information

It has a number of features: 

  • Trace: find out when you've been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus. 

  • Alert: lets you know the level of coronavirus risk in your postcode district. 

  • Check-in: get alerted if you've visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus, using a simple QR code scanner. No more form filling. 

  • Symptoms: check if you have coronavirus symptoms and see if you need to order a test. 

  • Test: helps you order a test if you need to. 

  • Isolate: keep track of your self-isolation countdown and access relevant advice.

I don’t feel well, I’m not sure if it’s COVID-19

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms, you should promptly get advice from the ​NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

Having checked my symptoms, I think I might have COVID-19, what do I do?

Immediately self-isolate and arrange to get yourself tested at or call 119 if you have no internet access.  

What do I do while I’m waiting for my test/results?

While you wait to be tested and to get your results you should remain isolated.

Anyone else in your household should also self-isolate for 10 days from when you started having symptoms. Studies have shown people can have the virus for up to two weeks without symptoms.

Also tell people you've been in close contact with in the past 48 hours that you might have coronavirus. 

If you test negative for COVID-19

If the test comes back negative, you and other members of your household no longer need to self-isolate. 

If you test positive for COVID-19

If you test positive for the virus you must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.

Members of your household must complete 10 days of self-isolation from when you first showed symptoms.

Find more information on how long you need to self-isolate through the NHS website.

What happens next?

Within 24 hours of testing positive for COVID-19 you should be contacted regarding the NHS Test and Trace programme. 

Information about the NHS Test and Trace programme is available on the NHS website. 

Tracing everyone who may have been in direct contact with someone with COVID-19 is an essential part of stopping the spread of the virus.

The text or email will contain instructions on how to share details of the people you have been in close, recent contact with.

This includes your family or other people you live with, as well as people you have been in direct contact with, or within 2 metres of, for more than 15 minutes.

You will also need to advise them of places you have recently visited.

The information you provide will be handed over via a secure website. If you don’t have internet access you will be called by one of the 25,000 contact tracers.

The service will be using a single phone number which is: 0300 013 5000

The contact tracing team will use the information you provide to alert those most at risk of having the virus that they need to self-isolate. No one contacted as a result of you testing positive for coronavirus will be told your identity. 
I feel fine, but NHS Test and Trace have told me I’ve been in contact with someone with COVID-19

Testing and tracing is key to combatting the spread of covid-19.

If you're told that you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus you will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the day you were last in contact with the person.  

Do not leave your home for any reason, if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home.

Do other people in my household also have to self-isolate?

People you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms.

However, if you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 10 days while you are self-isolating.

If that is not possible, you can find ​advice on how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with through the NHS website.

If you subsequently feel you may be developing symptoms, you should promptly get advice from the ​NHS 111 online coronavirus service.
I will not be able to work if I self-isolate, what help is available?

Find more information on how Waltham Forest can help through financial assistance for residents 

Information on the full range of financial support available to self-isolating individuals and businesses is available on the ​HM Treasury website

Will I only need to self-isolate once?  

Not necessarily.

Given the risks of exposure to different people with COVID-19, you could be asked to isolate on more than one occasion. 

Covid-19 symptoms? Click to get info

If you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms you must get tested immediately and self-isolate. Symptoms include:

  • New, continuous cough
  • High temperature
  • Loss or smell or taste

You don't need to book a test, you can just turn up at one of our mobile testing units. Please visit the testing page to find your nearest site.

Whether or not you have symptoms, you can get tested seven days a week in Waltham Forest and we encourage you to get tested as often as you can.

Visit out test unit webpage to find out more.

We are currently supporting our health partners with the rollout of the vaccination programme and are actively encouraging every resident to accept their Covid-19 vaccine.

Please visit our vaccine page for more information.

Local tracing service Click to get info

We have launched an enhanced local tracing service to help contact residents the national service has not been able to reach. If you receive a call from this team the number displaying on your phone will be 020 8496 3000. If you miss the call, the team can be called back on 020 8496 1400.

As part of the wider national Test and Trace programme, Local Authorities have been asked to develop Local Outbreak Control Plans.

The Waltham Forest Local Outbreak Control Plan sets out our approach to preventing, identifying and managing any local outbreaks.