Free, rapid COVID-19 tests if you can’t work from home

Dear resident

We are now offering free, rapid COVID-19 tests to people aged 16 and over who don’t have Covid symptoms. Results are usually available within an hour.

Who can get tested

We are encouraging key workers and those who can’t work from home to get a free test (called a lateral flow test). This includes school staff, supermarket staff, refuse collectors, childminders, transport workers, security guards, cleaners, construction workers and many other key worker roles.

Where is the testing site?

The testing centre is at the Damilola Taylor Centre, 1e Surrey Grove, Peckham SE15 6DR and is open from 18 January. More sites will open soon.

 >> Book a test now if you don’t have symptoms

When to not book a test 

  • do not book a rapid, lateral flow test if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Instead, self-isolate and book a free NHS test on the government website
  • do not book a rapid, lateral flow test if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Instead, stay at home and self-isolate

COVID-19 message from the London Ambulance Service.


COVID-19: How you can help us


On Friday, the Mayor of London declared a major incident for London as the capital battles the spread of COVID-19. Like NHS organisations across the capital, demand for our services has risen sharply over the past weeks and we are now taking around 8,000 999 calls a day compared to 5,500 on a typical ‘busy’ day.

Our staff and volunteers across the Trust are facing extreme pressure as they work incredibly hard to go above and beyond to care for Londoners in need.

How you can help

As a leader of your community, we would greatly appreciate your help in reinforcing both NHS public health messaging about Coronavirus and the importance of calling 999 only in a life-threatening emergency. By helping direct the public to first for urgent medical advice, you can help us get ambulances to those requiring emergency assistance.

We would be grateful if you could share our suggested key messages with your followers, encouraging them to play their part in protecting themselves and others, whilst also slowing down the spread of the virus and to help us reach those who need us most at this time.

Message #1

#Covid19 cases are increasing in London and the NHS is under enormous pressure.

Please help the NHS by only calling 999 for life-threatening emergencies.

For urgent medical help when it’s not an emergency, please go to 111 online or call 111 if you cannot get online.


Message #2

The coronavirus is spreading quickly in the capital. We must all play our part in helping to reduce the spread, by following the rules.

Stay at home.
Protect the NHS.
Save lives.


Message #3

Around 1 in 3 people with #Covid19 have no symptoms.

The best thing you can do is #StayatHome to protect the NHS and save lives.

If you need to leave home, for the permitted reasons, please follow these simple steps:

▶Wash your hands
▶Cover your face
▶Make space


If you would like to find out how you can support us further during this time, please do get in touch with us via email on

Very many thanks for your support.

London Ambulance Service

Contact Information

Stakeholder Communications Team
About London Ambulance ServiceLondon Ambulance Service answers more 999 and 111 calls than any other ambulance service in the UK. Our crews go to more than 3000 emergencies a day and handle over two million 999 calls a year.

Our 24-hour 111 integrated urgent care services in north east and south east London answer more than 1.2million calls a year.

We are the only NHS provider trust to serve the whole of London and the nine million people who live in, work in or visit the city. We cover an area of 620sq miles and our average response time to the most serious emergencies is less than seven minutes.

We have 8000 people who work or volunteer for us and together we are striving to ensure patients receive the right response, in the right place, at the right time.

We work closely with our NHS partners including NHS England, our commissioners, hospitals, specialist trusts and the five sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICS). We play a leading role in integrating access to emergency and urgent care in the capital.

Our collaboration with the Metropolitan Police Service, London Fire Brigade, London’s Air Ambulance and London’s Resilience Forums means we are ready and prepared to respond to major incidents; and ensure we keep Londoners safe.

By integrating our 999 and 111 services we are able to treat more patients over the phone; in their home; or refer them to appropriate care in their own community. This is key in achieving our strategic ambition of reducing the number of unnecessary trips to hospital; and should mean 122,000 fewer patients a year being taken to emergency departments.

Continue reading

National Lockdown – Stay at Home

Dear TRA committee member,

As you’ll be aware, we are under a new national lockdown to curb the spread of the new coronavirus variant and relieve the immense pressure that the NHS is experiencing in many parts of the country. For Southwark this means the rules are similar to the Tier 4 restrictions that were already in place across London, with a key message to STAY AT HOME. There are, however, some additional restrictions.

Key messages under the National Restrictions:

  •  Everyone should stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.
  •  Work from home unless you are unable to do so.
  •  All schools will be open only for vulnerable children and the children of key workers, offering remote learning to other pupils until at least the end of the February half-term.
  •  Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs must close; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  •  You can only meet up outdoors with one other person from outside your household if it is to exercise. However, support bubbles can continue as before.
  •  Previously you could leave the house for unlimited exercise – now it should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  •  Outdoor team sports will no longer be permitted – outdoor sports venues including gyms, tennis courts and golf clubs must close. However, playgrounds can remain open.
  •  The government is advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to begin shielding again, and letters will be sent to those affected.

Please refer to the government guidance for full details. These restrictions will continue until at least the end of the February half-term, in the week of February 22.

Please help us to share the following messages with your networks:

  1.  We are under a new national lockdown to help tackle the rising number of COVID-19 cases. Please stay at home to protect the NHS and keep your friends, family, and everybody else safe:
  2.  During the new lockdown please let the council know if a vulnerable or elderly resident might need help. Visit, phone 0207 525 5000 and choose option 3 or email
  3.  If you have coronavirus symptoms, self-isolate and request a free test via the NHS website, to help keep your family and friends safe. You are allowed to leave home for a COVID test:

A poster explaining the latest restrictions is attached to this email, which you may also find useful to share.

As ever, a huge thanks for everything you do to support our residents and communities through this very challenging period.

Regards Resident Participation

COVID19 (Coronavirus)

For the latest NHS guidance, please visit

To read the latest advice and information for Southwark residents, please visit

If you have an enquiry about a vulnerable Southwark resident, please email or call 020 7525 5000

England Lockdown Poster

National lockdown: stay at home

Kieron Williams Header

Dear resident

England has moved into a new national lockdown. This is essential because the new variant of COVID-19 is spreading very quickly and our local hospitals are days away from being full.

Infections are rapidly increasing in all age groups and all parts of our borough and city, with over 2,000 cases in Southwark in the last week.

Now, more than ever, we all need to stay at home and follow the rules to protect the NHS and to save lives.

Stay at home rules

The new national lockdown means we are all legally required to stay at home, and to only go out for specific reasons, including:

  • to shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • to go to work if you cannot work from home
  • for exercise once a day in your local area (this can be with the people who live in your household or in your support bubble or with one other person)
  • to meet people in your support bubble or childcare bubble, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • to get medical help (including getting a COVID-19 test) or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • to attend education or childcare for those eligible

Read the full details of what you can and cannot do during the new lockdown.

I know this is another incredibly difficult time for many of you, especially those looking after children or with elderly relatives, those who are sick, or shielding, and many more in very difficult circumstances.

We will do all that we can to support you, providing help from the council for local people and businesses. My greatest hope is that if we all play our part now, and with the vaccine already being rolled out in Southwark, things will get easier soon.

Thank you and stay safe,


See in the New Year safely at home this year

NYE 2020  banner

Dear resident,

The number of people catching COVID-19 in Southwark is still very high and we expect numbers to continue to increase over the next few weeks. The pressure on NHS services is very worrying, and there are now almost as many people in London hospitals with COVID-19, as in the first wave in the spring, with numbers increasing every day.

The Government announced yesterday that London will remain in Tier 4 for at least the next few weeks, which means:

  • We should all stay at home
  • You cannot meet people socially indoors, unless you live with them, or they are part of your existing support bubble
  • Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household
  • Non-essential shops are closed
  • You should work from home if you can
  • You should not travel outside of London to visit family or friends

Read all the Tier 4 rules.

New Year’s Eve

We are asking all residents to please see in the New Year safely at home this year. It’s so important that we all stay at home, and only mix with the people we live with or who are in our support bubble.

One in three people with COVID-19 have no symptoms, so even if you feel ok, you can still pass it to other people who could become very ill. Please stay at home this New Year’s Eve and do not invite people over, to keep yourself and your friends and families safe.

Remember: Hands, Face, Space

As well as abiding by the Tier 4 rules, please continue to wash your hands, wear a face mask (unless exempt), and keep your distance when outside. 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it. Please remember Hands, Face, Space.

Self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms

If you have coronavirus symptoms you must self-isolate and get a free test. There are two testing sites locally in Southwark, with spare capacity, and it’s easy to book a free test. If you’ve been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be able to get some financial help while self-isolating.

Getting medical help

The NHS in London may be busy, but urgent care is available if you need it. You can contact your GP practice for urgent care, or 111 is available day and night. Please remember to only use 999 and A&E for emergencies. If it’s not an emergency, contact your GP or call 111 to get the help you need.

What to do if you, or someone you know, needs help

Please look out for elderly or vulnerable residents and let us know if they need help, especially during this cold spell. And if you need help, please do get in touch. Visit:, email or phone 0207 525 5000 and choose option 3.


Yesterday the government announced that the start of the new school term would be delayed for most children in Southwark along with many other London boroughs. Primary schools will now not reopen next week as planned for most children. Secondary schools and colleges will still have a staggered return but with one week’s delay, providing face-to-face education for exam year groups from 11 January and the planned return of all students on 18 January. Schools will be responding to the announcement, preparing to deliver remote learning as soon as they possibly can, whilst also ensuring they remain open for vulnerable children and for children of key workers. Please remember however, even if you are in one of these categories, you and your family must self-isolate and not attend school if any of you receive a positive test. Our schools have worked extremely hard throughout this pandemic to prioritise our children’s education, and the council will support them through this next phase. As ever the council and our schools are grateful for parents’ patience.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and we wish you all a healthy and happy new year.

Stay home, stay safe this New Year’s Eve


Tier 4 Update

Sent on behalf of the Community Support Alliance

Dear TRA,

I hope you are well.

As you are aware all of London, the South East and East England have now entered Tier 4 and shielding has been re-introduced for these areas, we have sent out advice letters to all on the Shielded Patient List via email or first class post. We are also making proactive calls to residents.

Currently we seeing low levels of demand, but are monitoring this closely and are ready to respond should this change. Our phone line will remain open daily through the festive period, on bank holidays this will be open 24 hours a day. Our out of hours team have been trained to deal with contact from Clinically Extremely Vulnerable residents.

We wanted to reach out and ask if you are aware of residents in your area who are vulnerable and could be isolated, if you could contact them safely to check in. We are open for referrals if they require food or access to other services.

Ways to contact:

  1.  Complete anonline referral form
  3.  Phone0207 525 5000 and choose option 3

We appreciate this is difficult for many people over the Christmas period, we want to say thank you for your work in helping vulnerable residents in our community.

Yours Sincerely,

Community Support Alliance

Southwark Council

Isabelle Pearce

Project Manager | Southwark Community Support Alliance | London Borough of Southwark | 0207 5254861 | 07936 332 092 | | Visiting address: Southwark Council, 160 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QH.

COVID19 (Coronavirus)

For the latest NHS guidance, please visit

To read the latest advice and information for Southwark residents, please visit

If you have an enquiry about a vulnerable Southwark resident, please email, complete a referral form or call 020 7525 5000