Coronavirus update: Message from the Director of Public Health, New Government coronavirus measures, Flu vaccinations

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Coronavirus update

23 September 2020   

Message from Kelly O’Neill, Director of Public Health at Hounslow Council

Kelly ONeill

Many of you will have heard the announcement from the Prime Minister last night where he addressed the nation to explain the new measures being brought in across England.

These measures have been put in place to help slow the spread of the virus, cases of which are currently rising exponentially. The measures will help save lives, control the increased demand on our hospitals and we hope will prevent the need for greater restrictions or a lockdown. It’s everyone's responsibility to familiarise ourselves with this latest guidance, which you can read about below, and follow it. We must not put our health at risk or return to where we were earlier this year when lives were at stake. Ignoring this guidance is making a choice to put other people at risk.

This week we have seen the rate of coronavirus infection in Hounslow reduce from a high of 37 cases per 100,000 people last week to 25 cases per 100,000 people this week. These figures do not reflect a fully accurate picture and are based on positive cases of people who have been able to get tested. We know that the current testing provision in London isn’t able to offer tests to everyone who needs one. What we do know, and what matters, is that cases are rising rapidly across London as a whole, and more people are needing hospital treatment.

The new rules in place will see restaurants and bars close at 10pm and people who are able to work from home being asked to do so. Everyone must observe the rule of six – no gatherings inside or out of more than six people. Please don’t break the rules. They have been imposed to address rising infection levels and you will be fined if you are found to be ignoring them.

We must all do our bit to protect the vulnerable people in our borough. Even if you are in a lower risk age group, and not as worried about coronavirus symptoms, please keep Hounslow safe for everyone by following government advice on social distancing, self-isolation, wearing face coverings in crowded spaces (inside and out) and practising good hand hygiene; if we do this we contribute to keeping coronavirus at bay.

Don’t forget how awful things were during the peak of the first wave. We saw 238 people die in Hounslow and hundreds more were seriously sick, many of whom are still suffering the ill effects.

With the winter months approaching, it is important we get on top of this! If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine, go and get vaccinated and help protect Hounslow from the double threat of flu and coronavirus. This year, the programme is being expanded to help protect more people from flu and ease pressure on the NHS and urgent care services.

Thank you for helping to keep Hounslow safe.

Kelly O'Neill

Director of Public Health

Hounslow Council

New government measures to address rising cases of coronavirus

New measures to stop the spread of covid

What are the new rules?

Face Coverings:

  • Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings (from 23 September).
  • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings (from 24 September).
  • People who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.
  • Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law (from 24 September).
  • Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.

Work and businesses: 

  • You should work from home again if possible or continue to do so.
  • From 24 September, all hospitality venues must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways, but delivery services can continue after 10pm.
  • Premises selling food and drink are restricted to table service (from 24 September). 
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details. The app will be rolled out nationally from 24 September.
  • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises Covid secure (from 28 September):
    • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the Covid-19 secure requirements in law with fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
    • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.
    • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where required by law.

Meeting people safely: 

  • Support groups must be limited to a maximum of 15 people (from 24 September).
  • Indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six. There is an exemption for indoor organised team sports for disabled people (from 24 September).
  • There will be a new exemption in those areas of local intervention where household mixing is not allowed to permit friends and family to provide informal childcare for children under 14 (from 24 September).
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions will be restricted to a maximum of 15 people (down from 30). Other significant standalone life events will be subject to the ‘rule of six’ limits, except funerals (from 28 September).
  • The planned return of spectators to sports venues will now not go ahead from 1 October.

Read more about the Government's changes and announcement.

Keeping everyone safe

Hands face space

Coronavirus infection rates in the borough are rising. It’s important we all play our part and keep our family, friends and neighbours safe by: 

  • Washing our hands regularly for 20 seconds.
  • Wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces.
  • Making space from people we don’t live with.

Find out more about the latest coronavirus guidance on our website

Coronavirus testing prioritised for people with symptoms

Mobile Testing Unit

There is a national issue with testing due to lab capacity to process tests. This means that there is currently a limit on the amount of tests taking place at all testing sites in Hounslow and with home testing as well. We therefore need to prioritise those who need tests, only people with Covid-19 symptoms (fever, new continuous cough, loss or change in taste/smell) should book a test.

You should NOT get tested if:

  • You have returned from abroad or are about to travel.
  • You are returning to the workplace.
  • You have been in contact with a confirmed case or if another member of your household has symptoms. You may be advised to isolate if you have been in contact with a confirmed case but you should only get a test if you have symptoms.

We are aware that many people have been unable to get an appointment. If you cannot access a test, please continue to try to book a test online or by calling 119, and continue to isolate in the meantime. This is important to reduce the spread of infection. You will not receive a test without a booking. Please do not turn up to a test site without a booking.

If you are isolating at home with symptoms or a positive test, there is support available on how to manage symptoms.

Guidance for the safe use of places of worship 

Places of worship

As infection rates increase across the borough it is important to follow the guidance to ensure places of worship remain open and safe. 

You must maintain social distancing from others not in your household including avoiding all physical contact such as hugging or shaking hands. You should also avoid touching communal objects, wear a face covering while inside the venue and regularly wash your hands.

Caution should also be taken regarding any performances, singing or the use of instruments during religious services. More information on guidance for preforming arts can be found here.

To support the national NHS Track and Trace programme, it is strongly advised that places of worship display the official NHS QR code posters so that attendees can ‘check-in’ at their place of worship in line with the national app. 

Read the full Government guidance for places of worship here.

If you operate a place of worship and require additional advice on making your venue safe and Covid-19 secure please contact

Help us help you protect against flu

Flu season 2020

Flu is a serious condition that kills thousands and hospitalises thousands more in England each year. The flu vaccination is the best protection for you and those around you which is why it is offered for free for those most at risk.

Adults at high risk from flu are also most at risk from coronavirus and the free vaccine is more important than ever, to help protect the nation from a double threat this winter. That’s why this year, the free flu vaccine is being offered to a record number of 30 million people to help protect as many as possible from flu and ease pressure on the NHS and urgent care services.

Ask your pharmacist or GP if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine. If your child is at school and aged 4-11-years-old, make sure you sign and return the consent form.

Visit for more information.

Hounslow celebrates Recycle Week

Recycle Week 3

This week we are celebrating Recycle Week. The theme this year is to thank the people of Hounslow for continuing to recycle despite all that has happened this year.

The Council, businesses and other organisations across the borough are fully supporting Recycle Week as a great opportunity to highlight the importance of recycling. Everyone – organisations and individuals - can support Recycle Week by using #RecycleWeek on social media.

Statistics released by Recycle Now, the organisation running the campaign, show that through lockdown the UK has become even more environmentally aware, with nearly nine in 10 households saying they ‘regularly recycle’.  Coming out of lockdown, more people are prepared to change their lifestyles to help the environment: 73 per cent, up from 68 per cent in 2019. And an amazing 93 per cent of UK households say they believe that ‘everyone has a responsibility to help towards cleaning up the environment’.

Read more about Recycle Week or find out more about how you can recycle in Hounslow. 

Hounslow supports World Car Free Day


Council Leader Steve Curran and fellow Cabinet Members pictured with Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner (Third from left) as works start on the new temporary Cycleway 9, part of Hounslow’s Streetspace programme

World Car Free Day was celebrated yesterday across the globe and in Hounslow, promoting cycling and walking as healthier, more convenient and more environmentally-friendly means of travel.

This year’s campaign was focused online as part of Transport for London's response to the coronavirus pandemic, celebrating Londoners’ stories of walking and cycling.

There is still time to share your car free trip, whether you scooted to school, cycled to work or walked to the shops, share your journeys with us and TfL by using the hashtag #MyCarFreeTrip. 

We have many Streetspace schemes being implemented across the borough, making it safer and more convenient for people to walk and cycle by introducing a range of measures such as restricting some roads to through traffic and implementing pop-up cycle lanes to make it safer for cyclists on busy roads.

Read more about Hounslow Streetspace programme and how you can make more car free trips. 

Last chance to help us shape plans for Boston Manor Park’s new Arts and Crafts Market

Boston Manor Park market

The Council is inviting the public to help shape plans for a new outdoor Arts and Crafts Market at Boston Manor Park by completing an online survey, before it closes on Thursday 24 September. 

Residents are being asked to share their thoughts on plans for the Arts and Craft Market and on what they would like to see and buy once it opens so that it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. 

The Arts and Crafts Market is one of several changes underway in Boston Manor Park. In 2017 the London Borough of Hounslow was awarded funding by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore Boston Manor House. From winter 2021 Boston Manor House will be open to the public six days a week and host a regular programme of events and activities for the community. Read more about the proposed changes. 

The market which will open in 2021 will:

  • Celebrate the creative talent of people in Hounslow
  • Support local artists, makers and creative businesses by creating opportunities for them to sell their work
  • Provide an enjoyable and inspiring destination for visitors from across west London and beyond

To have your say on the development of Boston Manor Park’s Arts and Craft Market please complete the survey.

Last chance to be part of the pick

KBT Great September Clean

Hundreds of thousands of #LitterHeroes have been taking to our streets and parks to clean up and protect our environment.

Great British September Clean continues until 27 September 2020.

We are calling on you - our #LitterHeroes - to be part of the pick and do your bit to care for Hounslow’s wonderful parks and open spaces, as we join forces to collect and safely dispose of litter from our country's streets, parks and beaches.

So join us, as we stand together and declare that litter – which degrades the beauty of our environment and threatens to harm wildlife – is not acceptable.

There are two ways you can get involved and show support for our Great British September Clean:

  1. Organise a private group clean-up with up to five family & friends
  2. Pledge to do your own individual clean-up, you can give as little as 15 minutes to the campaign.

We can provide you with litter picking equipment and arrange to have your separated waste picked up after your event. Please contact with details once you have registered your event.

Read more about how you can participate in Hounslow. 

Remember to keep sharing your photos & videos with us on social media to inspire others to love where they live. Together we're spreading awareness of the problems we face and showing how we can make change when we come together! 

Tag @keepbritaintidy #GBSeptemberClean #CleanerGreenerHounslow.

September 2021 applications for Reception and Year 7 school places open now

School applications

If your child is starting primary school or moving up to Year 7 in September 2021, the application process for places is now open.

The deadline for applications to transfer to secondary school must be submitted by 31 October 2020.

The deadline for applications for primary school is 15 January 2021.

The Schools Admissions Team will be able to offer advice and assistance by phone, on 020 8583 2721/2711 or by email

For more information read our brochures for primary and secondary school applications or visit

Space Waye booking system

Space Waye Re-use and Recycling Centre

Space Waye Reuse and Recycling Centre has a convenient booking system for cars. You need a booking to enter the site, without a booking you will not be able to enter the site. 

The new platform reduces queuing at Space Waye by permitting visitors to book a convenient 30-minute slot for arriving and unloading.

Trade customers will continue to have access to Space Waye without the requirement of a booking via Heron Way (Gate 3).

For further information please visit

Street Tag Schools Leaderboard launches next week! 

Street tag young people

Street Tag is a fantastic way to start making active travel choices to school or work. The family friendly initiative rewards families and individuals for their physical activities such as walking, scooting, running and cycling by turning Hounslow into a virtual playground. 

So far, almost  five million steps have been taken by Hounslow families playing the game, collecting over 21,000 virtual tags!

The Hounslow Schools Leaderboard launches 1 October, offering even more ways to take part and earn points. Top school teams will win fantastic prizes including vouchers for sports equipment as they compete to be the most active school.

To sign up your school, email or fill an online form at

How does Street Tag work?

  1. Install the app, create a team and join the local Hounslow leaderboard
  2. Earn points from physical activities indoor and outdoor- walking, running, cycling to scan virtual tags and convert your steps into Street Tag Points
  3. Get rewards and win prizes such as vouchers for sports equipment and more.

Get ready to push the boundaries and start your journey to a healthy lifestyle with Street Tag. You can download the app now on ios and android.

Read more information about the launch in Hounslow or visit 

What can you do around Hounslow this autumn?

Move More Hounslow

We've put together a useful pool of resources for some fun activity inspiration.

Events and Days Out

What's on in Hounslow  local activities and events across our borough 

Hounslow Urban Farm learn all about farm animals 

Syon Park Gardens visit the beautiful historic gardens 

Chiswick House Gardens enjoy 65 acres of gardens 

Osterley Park & House a Georgian country estate

Gunnersbury Park beautiful parkland and museum

Getting Active

How much should I be doing?

Activities for all

Couch to 5k App

Couch to Fitness support

Free Health Walks  

Activities for young people

Nature, Arts & Crafts

Activities from Fields in Trust

Bounce Theatre

DiY radio

Support Wildlife at Home


Online Home Learning Resources 

Latest information and advice

If you think you know someone who’d like to receive this e-newsletter, forward it on and they can subscribe here. 

The Council has a coronavirus advice webpage which is updated daily with the latest local information for residents and businesses. 

Advice in accessible formats and different languages

You can also follow us on social media using the links below. 

The latest information on coronavirus in general is available on the Government’s website. 

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