How to keep yourself safe during COVID-19

Kieron Williams Header

Dear resident

I’m sure you will have seen the news that COVID-19 infection rates across the country are rising again. I’m writing to ask for your help in keeping rates in Southwark low, so we can all keep each other safe.

From the vaccine, to face coverings, to tests, to keeping rooms well ventilated, there are lots of details on the things you can do to help below.

I want to thank everyone who’s worked so hard to do these things over recent months.

The council has been working hard with other organisations to help keep Southwark safe. Whether it’s been supporting vulnerable residents through our community hub, working with colleagues in the NHS to put on more local vaccine clinics, sending mobile testing vans into our communities or supporting the vaccine roll out for 12–15-year-olds in secondary schools, it’s been fantastic to see.

However, with the number of people catching COVID-19 across the country now high and rising there is a very strong chance rates will rise in Southwark too. We can all help keep them low.  That’s why I encourage you to:

  • wear a face mask on public transport and when in crowded enclosed spaces
  • get vaccinated if you’re eligible
  • get the booster vaccination if you’re eligible
  • get tested regularly even if you don’t have symptoms
  • self-isolate and book a PCR test if you have symptoms
  • keep rooms ventilated if you’re meeting with others inside

If you would like to do even more there are also lots of ways you can volunteer to help in your community.

Please see below for more information on how to keep yourself and others safe.

Thank you


Get the recommended number of COVID-19 vaccine doses to protect yourself

If you’re aged 16+, you can get your first or second COVID-19 vaccine dose in different ways:

Get your questions or concerns about the vaccine answered on this NHS website.

Booster vaccines for people most at risk from COVID-19

If you’ve had your second dose at least six months ago, you’ll be contacted about your booster jab if you are:

  • Living in a residential care home for older adults
  • Aged 50 or over
  • A frontline health and social care worker
  • Aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put you at higher risk of severe COVID-19
  • An adult household contact of an immunosuppressed person/people.

Vaccines for 12–15-year-olds

12–15-year-olds are being offered the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the school-based vaccination programme (parental consent will be sought). Vaccinations for 12–15-year-olds can also be booked online. There are now walk-ins vaccine clinics for 12–15-year-olds too. You are advised to book online to avoid disappointment.

Read more about the vaccine programme for 12–15-year-olds.

Find out about pregnancy, fertility and the COVID-19 vaccine

Watch a 30 minute Q&A about pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine. GP Registrar, Dr Juliet Grenham covers the importance of being vaccinated if you’re pregnant or thinking about starting a family.

Get tested for COVID-19 twice a week for free

You should get tested regularly, even if you’ve been vaccinated, and don’t have symptoms. 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms. You’re advised to do a rapid lateral flow test twice a week (every 3 or 4 days). If you don’t have symptoms, there are different ways to get COVID-19 tests in Southwark.

Get a collect code to pick up COVID-19 rapid lateral flow tests from a pharmacy

You now need to get a code to pick up tests from your pharmacy by creating an online account or calling 119. You will need a new code for each collection. You can pick up rapid tests for your or another household, but you must get a separate code for each.

Continue to wear a face covering to protect yourself

It’s not mandatory, but still advisable to wear a face covering (unless exempt) in crowded places. Face coverings must still be worn if you are traveling on the Transport for London network. Cloth face coverings and disposable face coverings work best if they are made with multiple layers (at least two) and form a good fit around the face.

Ventilate rooms for indoor visitors, or meet outside

Letting fresh air into indoor spaces can help remove air that contains virus particles and prevent the spread of COVID-19. To reduce the risk of catching COVID-19, or passing it on, minimise the amount of time you spend indoors with people you do not live with. Meet outside if possible.

Advice on potential COVID-19 related scams

Find out how to be aware of potential COVID-19 scams in person and online and how to protect yourself.

Volunteer to share key information about COVID-19 with your community

We’re working with Community Southwark to find volunteers to keep people up-to-date with COVID-19 advice, mental health or financial support, and food security. Ambassadors receive training, resources and networking opportunities. Find out about volunteering and how to sign up.

Financial support if your income has been affected by the pandemic

Get support if you’re under increased financial pressure due to COVID-19. Advice includes applying for Universal Credit, what to do if you can’t pay your rent, Council Tax, or homeowner annual and major works service charges, and COVID-19 self-isolation payments.

Help for vulnerable residents

Our community hub was set up to help residents during the COVID-19 crisis. It can help you if you need:

  • Food, medicine or other items delivered
  • Financial advice
  • Help for someone you know
  • Advice about where you can get support and information on childcare, education and your local mutual aid groups.

Contact the community hub for support.

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