Coronavirus: current advice

What are the symptoms of Covid-19

The three main symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, a persistent cough or a loss of smell or taste. If you experience any of these symptoms you should self-isolate and get tested.

But if you are feeling generally unwell, with a combination of new symptoms you should also get tested. This is because there are other symptoms which people have also been testing positive with, they include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New persistent fatigue
  • A persistent headache
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

If you have a combination of any of these wider symptoms, you should get a test at one of Halton’s symptoms-only testing sites. If your result is positive then please self-isolate.

If you HAVE symptoms; 

You need to get tested as soon as possible.

You can book online here or by calling NHS 119. You will then be invited to a test site – or you can order a home test kit if you can’t get to a test site.

How do I book a test if I have symptoms?

If you HAVE symptoms; 

You need to get tested as soon as possible.

You can book online here or by calling NHS 119. You will then be invited to a test site – or you can order a home test kit if you can’t get to a test site.

How do I get a test if I DO NOT have symptoms?

Please go to www.halton.gov.uk/covidtesting for a full list of local ‘no symptoms’ testing venues and frequently asked questions.

I have symptoms, does the rest of my household need to book a test?

If someone in your household starts to have symptoms, then that person must get tested.

It is very important that people with symptoms self-isolate before the test and until they receive their results. It is an offence to fail to self-isolate.

All close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, are advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to confirm their condition.

From Monday 16 August, if you are double jabbed* or aged under 18, you will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, you are advised to take a PCR test (at an NHS test centre) as soon as possible to check if you have the virus and for variants of concern – you are not required to self-isolate while you wait for the results of the PCR test.

You may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support payment of £500. If you have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for Coronavirus Covid-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period:​ ​apply online or see support for individuals section.

*Double vaccinated adults who are close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate from 16 August, as long as they received their final dose of an MHRA-approved vaccine in the UK vaccination programme at least 14 days prior to contact with a positive case.

Do I need to self-isolate even though my test result was negative?

A negative result means the test did not find coronavirus.

You do not need to self-isolate if your test is negative, as long as:

Everyone you live with who has symptoms tests negative

You were not told to self-isolate for 10 days by NHS Test and Trace

If you feel unwell, stay at home until you’re feeling better.

Full guidance on self-isolating can be found on the Government’s website

Where do I find information on infection rates?

You can see the latest data for Halton in the COVID-19 data section here.

Or you can find information (including data for your post code area) on the Government’s website here

I have had both vaccinations, do I still need to isolate if I am a close contact of a positive case?

From 16 August, anyone in England who has had both their Covid vaccinations will no longer have to self-isolate if a close contact tests positive for Covid. If you are a close contact, you will be advised to take a PCR test (see www.halton.gov.uk/smart for a list of local test venues) to make sure you haven’t been infected. As long as this PCR test is negative, you will not be required to self-isolate.

Please note that anyone who tests positive or develops symptoms will still need to self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status.

People who have a second vaccine dose close to 16 August will have to wait two weeks after the vaccination before following the new rules. This is to allow the vaccination to take full effect.

How are the rules changing for children in England?

From 16 August children will also no longer have to self-isolate if a close contact tests positive. Instead they will be advised whether they need to be tested. However, any child who tests positive or develops symptoms will still have to self-isolate.

Vaccine FAQs

Am I eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination?

People aged 18 and over

You can get a 1st and 2nd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine if you’re aged 18 or over.

You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.

Young people and children

Young people aged 16 and 17

You can get a 1st dose of a COVID-19 vaccine if you’re aged 16 and 17.

You can book your appointment at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.

Children aged 12 to 15

All children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a 1st dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (including children who turn 12 on the date of vaccination).

Most children can:

Not all walk-in vaccination sites can vaccinate children aged 12 to 15. More sites will become available over time.

Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15

Young people and children at high risk from COVID-19

Some young people and children aged 12 to 17 are being offered 2 doses of the vaccine if either:

  • they live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • they have a condition that means they’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19

Conditions that mean they may be at high risk and eligible for 2 doses are:

  • a severe problem with the brain or nerves, such as cerebral palsy
  • Down’s syndrome
  • severe or multiple learning disabilities (or they’re on the learning disability register)
  • a condition that means they’re more likely to get infections (such as some genetic conditions or types of cancer)

Those who are eligible for 2 doses of the vaccine will be contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgery to arrange their appointments.

Other ways to get 2 doses if you are aged 16 or 17

More information

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination for children and young people on GOV.UK

People with a weakened immune system

A 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to people aged 12 and over who had a weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses.

This includes people who had or have:

  • a blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • a weakened immune system due to a treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections
  • a condition or treatment your specialist advises makes you eligible for a 3rd dose

If you’re eligible for a 3rd dose, the NHS will let you know when and where to have the vaccine.

Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine 3rd dose

Information:

The 3rd vaccine dose for people with a weakened immune system is not a booster dose.

Book your COVID-19 vaccination appointments

How do I book my Covid-19 vaccination?

For details on how to book your vaccination visit this page

Across Cheshire and Merseyside, there are drop-in vaccination clinics operating – you do not need to book in advance to attend.

To find out where your nearest drop-in clinic is click here.

Why should I get the Covid-19 vaccination?

Vaccinated people are far less likely to get Covid-19 with symptoms. Vaccinated people are even more unlikely to get serious Covid-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it, and there is growing evidence that vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus to others.

The first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccine offer good levels of protection, but to get maximum protection, everyone needs to get a second dose.

Recent analysis by Public Health England (PHE) shows that COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.61.2) variant.

The analysis suggests the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after both doses.

More information about Covid-19 vaccinations can be found at www.nhs.uk or by visiting https://www.haltonwarringtonccg.nhs.uk/latest-news/campaigns/coronavirus-information/coronavirus-vaccines-frequently-asked-questions.

 

Support for businesses

The Liverpool City Region “Trading On Scheme”  grant EXTENDED

Reopening High Streets Safely

Together we can ensure everybody can return to #HaltonHighStreets safely.

Click to download the Business Toolkit and Communication Resources.

Self employed support scheme 

If you are self employed, the Government has released the link for applications for grants.  For those who are eligible the scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

You will need your UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number and National Insurance number to begin the application process.

PRIVACY NOTICE: Halton Borough Council is the Data Controller for the personal information you provide. You can view the full privacy notice.

Other Business Support

The main source of information for all business support during the coronavirus crisis remains the UK Government web site at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support or alternatively Liverpool City Region Growth Platform site at https://growthplatform.org/business-covid-19-advice/.

Please refer to the above websites in the first instance for up to date information.
If, however, you’d rather speak to someone locally please email Halton Borough Council’s Business Development Team on business@halton.gov.uk

We appreciate that this is a very difficult time but we are assured by government that they are exploring every possible avenue to provide support to businesses and to that end the Council and other public sector organisations are working hard to put in place the systems necessary to make that happen.

Support for individuals

Council Tax Support & Welfare Advice & Self Isolation Support Payments

​From 28th September 2020, you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support payment of £500. If you have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for Coronavirus Covid-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period:​ ​apply online

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on our economy and services and we would like to reassure residents who are struggling to pay their Council Tax bill at this difficult time.

Your Council Tax bill pays for essential services that are delivered to all Halton residents. If your circumstances have not changed, you should continue to pay in accordance with the details shown on your bill so we can continue to provide essential services.

If your income has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak you should submit a claim for Universal Credit with the DWP on their website here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

You should also claim Council Tax Reduction direct from the Council on our website here: or https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/CouncilandBenefits/Housing-Benefits.aspx

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax please contact us by email at council.tax@halton.gov.uk

Essential bills advice

The Government updated the advice for those in difficulty with utility bills, or repayment commitments on credit cards, loans and mortgages, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mortgages and Coronavirus

If you’re struggling to keep up with mortgage repayments due to coronavirus, or you’re coming to the end of a payment holiday and wondering what happens next, find out what your next steps may be.

Mental Health & Well Being

Useful sources of information, advice and guidance

Halton Local Offer COVID-19 page

Support for clinically and extremely vulnerable

As restrictions have been eased following the move to Step 4 of the roadmap, the Government is advising clinically extremely vulnerable people, as a minimum, to follow the same guidance as everyone else. It is important that everyone adheres to this guidance.

However, as someone who is at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if you were to catch COVID-19, you may wish to think particularly carefully about additional precautions you might wish to continue to take. Individuals may choose to limit the close contact they have with those they do not usually meet with in order to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, particularly if they are clinically extremely vulnerable and if COVID-19 disease levels in the general community are high. It is important to respect and be considerate of those who may wish to take a more cautious approach as restrictions are lifted.

Although the vast majority of the population, including the clinically extremely vulnerable, will be well protected by the vaccine, no vaccine is 100% effective and there is emerging evidence that suggests that some immunocompromised and immunosuppressed individuals may not respond as well to COVID-19 vaccines as others. However, all COVID-19 vaccines should offer some degree of protection. Therefore, it is really important that you have both your first and second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

A recent study from Public Health England (PHE), which looked at more than 1 million people in at-risk groups, found that people who are immunosuppressed are significantly better protected from symptomatic infection following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Various studies are underway to better understand who is less well protected by the COVID-19 vaccines.

If you have any questions or concerns about what it means to be clinically extremely vulnerable and how COVID-19 may impact your health condition, have a look at the NHS website.

If you are concerned about your general physical and mental wellbeing or if you are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed and have any concerns about what this means for you, then please contact your GP practice or specialist who can provide you with support and guidance on any further measures you can take to further reduce your risk of infection.

To read the Government’s full advice click here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19 

 

 

Become a volunteer

 If you want to help the most vulnerable across Widnes and Runcorn there are a variety of opportunities you can register to help for with Halton and St Helens Voluntary and Community Action.

You may be able to deliver much needed supplies to the vulnerable and self-isolating; provide telephone support; share information and updates, and many other tasks .

You can register online or call them on 01744 457100, visit their website

Covid Data
  • There have been 475 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Halton residents in the last 7 days (to 29th November).  i
  • The 7 day rate is 366 per 100,000 population, or one in every 273 people in Halton have Covid-19 (to 29th November).
  • Our weekly rate of positive cases has decreased during the past week.
  • In total there have been 24,630 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Halton residents (as of 2nd December).
  • The percentage of people testing positive has decreased slightly during the past week, and was 9.7% on 26th November.
  • Sadly there were a further 3 deaths for Halton residents, which mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, for week 46 (ending 19th November). ii

 

[i] Data for the last 4 days may not be complete. Source: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

[ii] Source: Office for National Statistics

 

 

Vaccination data:

The weekly number of COVID-19 vaccinations provided by the NHS in England is available at a regional level here.

The data is now being presented at a number of levels, below is the Local Authority data – more data, including constituency and MSOA level can be found here.

Doses given in Halton as at 2 December 2021

 

12-15

16-17

18-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65-69

70-74

75-79

80+

2,521

1,715

6,888

5,770

6,675

 7,255

6,989

         7,477

8,590

           8,754

7,953

          7,037

6,977

           4,311

        5,125

 

2nd dose

Under 18

18-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65-69

70-74

75-79

80+

525

5,950

5,086

6,061

6,735

         6,576

7,164

8,379

        8,583

         7,848

6,974

         6,933

         4,289

5,095

 

Booster or 3rd dose

Under 50

50-54

55-59

60-64

65-69

70-74

75-79

80+

4,517

2,416

          2,871

           3,863

        5,187

         5,821

           3,762

         4,414

 

Cumulative total doses to date11,12

 
 

213,175

 

 

 

Dates and locations of all the drop-in vaccination clinics happening in Cheshire & Merseyside can be found here. Please share.