A number of changes came into effect on 29 March as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown. The full guidance can be read here, but the main points are as follows:
The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors.
And this is why from 29 March - when most schools start to break up for the Easter holidays - outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the rule of six) or 2 households will also be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
The 'stay at home' rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.
Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme.
The government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel which will report on 12 April.
All children and students returned to face-to-face education in schools and colleges from 8 March. Childcare and children's supervised activities can also resume where necessary to enable parents to work or engage in similar activities.
The government is introducing twice-weekly rapid testing for secondary and college pupils - in addition to regular testing for all teachers - to reduce the chance of the virus spreading in schools.
Higher Education students at English universities on practical courses were also able to return from 8 March.
You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops or places of worship where these remain open, and on public transport, unless you are exempt. This is the law. Read guidance on face coverings.
Information about coronavirus is available in many different languages here: Doctors Of The World
An easy to read guide to coronavirus is available here: mencap.org.uk
The charity SignHealth is committed to making sure coronavirus information is available in British Sign Language.
As with any virus, such as the common cold or flu, the best way to protect yourself and those around you is to practise good hygiene. Make sure that you:
Further to the UK Government announcement of an extension to the Job Retention Scheme in support of new national restrictions that come into force on Thursday 5 November, more information with regards to the scheme can be found here.
Could you take a short-term role in the NHS to help us fight COVID-19? The NHS is looking for:
Whether you want to return to the NHS, or change roles for a short-time, the NHS will train you and support you in this short-term role.
We've set up a local dedicated COVID-19 helpline and email for residents. Email Covidemail@example.com or call 01303 761116 to:
Kent County Council is publishing the latest case numbers for all of Kent's districts, including Folkestone & Hythe, on its website throughout the lockdown period: kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/coronavirus/cases-in-kent
Please note that reports about people not adhering to social distancing guidelines should be made online to Kent Police. Possible frauds or scams should also be reported to the police.