Coronavirus update: Message from the Leader, Covid-19 app, advice for businesses

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Coronavirus update

25 September 2020   

Message from the Leader of Hounslow Council, Cllr Steve Curran

Cllr Curran

London was today placed on the national coronavirus watchlist. No new measures have been brought in yet, but the current measures will be strictly enforced across the capital. Testing capacity in London has been improving, if you have coronavirus symptoms it is important to book a test.

This serves a reminder to us all that we must work together to act against the virus to keep our vulnerable residents safe, protect the NHS and support our local economy. Cases across the capital and the rest of the country are rising exponentially, so I am glad that extra measures were brought in by the Government this week. The new measures announced are in place to help slow the spread of the virus, helping to save lives and prevent the need for a return to a full lockdown where businesses and schools could be forced to close again.

Please make yourself familiar with all the changes that have been made, and continue to play your part, by following the key government guidance – washing hands regularly, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, keeping two metres apart where possible, and no social gatherings in groups of more than six. Ignoring the guidance is making the choice to put other people’s health and livelihoods at risk.

Our local businesses are doing their best to remain open in these difficult times. Please do support them and be respectful, keeping them safe by wearing a face covering and observing other additional measures in place. It is just as important that local businesses understand and follow the new mandatory rules, such as closing by 10pm, displaying a test and trace QR code, reminding customers to wear face coverings and equipping staff with appropriate personal protective equipment. Repeated failure to follow these rules could lead to fines of up to £10,000.

This week saw the launch of the new NHS Covid-19 app. Everyone is encouraged to download the app immediately; it is vital in our fight against managing the virus. It can help to inform you if you have been in contact with someone that has tested positive and will help you to quickly identify if you have symptoms, order a test or check-in to venues by scanning a QR code.

Yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a new emergency Job Support Scheme set to replace the current furlough support package. The scheme will see the Government subsidising the pay of employees who are working fewer hours than previously. Anyone who is self-employed will also continue to receive Government support. This is a very uncertain time for employers and workers and the Council has a range of extra support available for residents. Visit our website for more information to find the support right for you.

While the Chancellor’s support packages are welcomed, the support will not go far enough for communities like ours with strong links to the aviation industry. This week I was also interviewed by BBC London and had the opportunity to discuss the stark economic impact of coronavirus on Hounslow and other communities connected to aviation. More than 40,000 jobs are at risk in Hounslow and £1bn could be lost from our local economy due to the impact of coronavirus on Heathrow. We must act now to help support our communities, not just here in Hounslow but those across the country with strong links to the aviation industry and we are calling for an Aviation Community Fund to respond to those needs directly. You can watch part of that interview here.

This week we celebrated World Car Free Day across the borough, and I, like many of you, took advantage of our Streetspace programme to enjoy a car free trip by cycling with some of my fellow Cabinet Members to see work commence on the new Temporary Cycleway 9. It is fantastic that our Streetspace schemes are making it safer and more convenient for people to walk or cycle, helping us all make healthier and more sustainable travel choices.

Finally, wishing everyone observing Yom Kippur g’mar chatima tovah and well over the fast.

Have a great weekend and look after each other.

Cllr Curran signoff

Meet the NHS Covid-19 app ambassador tomorrow in Hounslow

Covid 19 NHS test and trace app

Hounslow residents are being encouraged to download the NHS Covid-19 app, to help control the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.

To support the launch, NHS street teams will be taking to community spaces across the country, including Hounslow, to help explain and demonstrate the app, and to encourage the public to download.

The ambassador teams will be at the Blenheim Centre, from 9am to 5pm, tomorrow (Saturday 26 September) to answer any questions residents may have.

The app, which is completely anonymous, will help you to quickly check if you have Covid-19 symptoms, order a test and check-in to venues by scanning a QR code.  

It will send you a notification if you come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus – with information about what action you need to take.

By choosing to download the app, you will be helping to stop the spread of coronavirus, keeping Hounslow safe and protecting your family, friends and neighbours.

Download the app now from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

To find out more about the app and how it will help to reduce the spread of the virus, visit:

Creating a coronavirus QR poster for your business

Test and Trace QR poster

It is now mandatory for businesses to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry.

Owners should create a poster and display a QR code if they are a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public or an event which is taking place in a physical location.

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service.

Customers and visitors will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.

To create your QR code visit

Posters must be displayed clearly at every entrance in a minimum size of A4, no higher than 130cm off the ground to ensure it is within easy reach for wheelchair users. Ensure your posters are in a visible and safe position, making it easy for customers to scan and where they cannot be easily removed.

Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code. An alternative check-in method must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app, for example a handwritten register.

Further information on displaying the QR posters can be found on the NHS website.

Update from the Chancellor 

Job support scheme

Yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a new emergency Job Support Scheme, set to replace the current furlough support package. The Job Support Scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus and help keep their employees attached to the workforce. The scheme will open on 1 November 2020 and run for six months.

How will the Job Support Scheme work?

  • The Government will subsidise the pay of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to lower demand.
  • It will apply to staff who can work at least a third of their usual hours.
  • Employers will pay staff for the hours they work.
  • For the hours employees can't work, the government and the employer will each cover one third of the lost pay.
  • The grant will be capped at £697.92 per month.
  • All small and medium-sized businesses will be eligible.
  • Larger business will be eligible if their turnover has fallen during the crisis.
  • It will be open to employers across the UK even if they have not used the furlough scheme.

The self employed will also continue to receive support through an extension to the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Find out more about the scheme on the Government website.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Did you know rules on face coverings have changed?

Fines for not wearing a face covering

As well as wearing face coverings in shops, places of worship and on public transport, unless you are exempt, you must now wear them:

  • If you are indoors in any pubs or restaurants until you are seated to eat or drink
  • In taxis
  • In any shop, including if you are a member of staff

The fine for failing to wear a face covering in those areas has been increased to £200 and will be enforced by the police.

Read more about the changes to face covering advice.  

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.

Updated travel advice

Self Isolation rules

Anyone entering the UK from somewhere not on the nation's list of exempt ''travel corridors'', which now includes  Denmark, Iceland, Slovakia and Curaçao, must go into self-isolation for 14 days.

For 14 days, starting from the day after arrival, people who are quarantining should not:

  • Use taxis or public transport to reach their destination on arrival in the UK, if possible.
  • Use public transport or taxis once at their destination.
  • Go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Have visitors except for essential support.
  • Go out to buy food, or other essentials.

The Government has warned travellers that breaking quarantine rules is a criminal offence, and that they may face a fine and potentially a criminal record.

The full advice can be found on the Government's website.

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.

Stop Smoking

Stop smoking

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we all live our lives and how we think about our health.

The NHS campaign, Better Health, is inspiring people to use this time as an opportunity for a ‘health reset’ including getting more active and losing excess weight. For smokers, expert advice remains that the best thing you can do for your health at this time is to quit smoking as soon as possible.

If you think it's time to quit, you can find plenty of information and support from the NHS here to help you stop smoking and improve your health.

Stop Smoking London have provided some top tips to help you quit: 

  1. Use Nicotine Replacement Therapies.
  2. Keep Your Hands Busy.
  3. Exercise Regularly.
  4. Practise Mindful Eating.
  5. Sleep Well.
  6. Ask For Help.

More information and advice is available at

Hounslow Heath ward - Notice of vacancy


Due to the resignation of Councillor Hina Kiani, a casual vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Hounslow Heath Ward.

By virtue of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus Postponement of Elections and Referendums)(England and Wales) Regulations 2020 the by-election will not currently take place, and the vacancy will be held open until the by election takes place.

More information on the vacancies is available on our website.

Help shape the future of the high street

Hounslow High Street

Residents are invited to have your say on the future of the borough’s four main town centres: Brentford, Chiswick, Feltham, and Hounslow. 

Our town centres have always been vibrant places with thriving shops and very few vacant units. However, the pandemic has resulted in a drop in customer footfall, impacting businesses and jobs caused by quickly changing resident habits, such as a move to online shopping, and different work patterns.

We want to understand the needs and ambitions of the local community for their town centres; It is therefore vital that residents and businesses participate in this survey to help guide the future character and offer of our town centres.

The Council will hold virtual workshops exploring the community vision for each of the town centres. If you would like to be involved please agree to be contacted by the team when submitting your survey response. The deadline to share your views is 18 October. 

Read more about the survey and how you can shape the future of the high street.

Falls Prevention webinar

elderly lady on phone

Last month, Martha Flann, Falls Prevention Officer, London Borough of Hounslow, hosted a wellbeing webinar focusing on Falls Prevention. 

Martha discussed practical ways to reduce a person’s risk of falling; services available to residents to help with falls prevention and how these can be accessed.

The webinar has now been made available to everyone via our YouTube channel. Subtitles and captions are available in English, Hindi, Polish, Swahili and Urdu for any resident who is hard of hearing or whose first language is not English.

As we get older, the chances of falling increase and the consequences of a fall become more serious. Falls can lead to a lengthy stay in hospital, increased dependence on family members and carers as well as general reduction in our ability to go about life as normal.

To find out ore about falls prevention click here.

Event to celebrate carers tomorrow!

ADASS carers festival

The London Virtual Carer’s Festival, run by London ADASS, is happening tomorrow, 26 September, to celebrate the role of carers in the capital.

This year, the festival will be held virtually and will be quick, easy and free to join through Zoom. The focus of the festival is to celebrate and congratulate London’s carers with an event consisting of comedy, music, art and dance whilst also delivering thought-provoking stories and dementia-friendly virtual walks. All of which are being delivered in partnership with London carers.

You can see the full programme of events the London ADASS website. Book your free ticket ticket now, via eventbrite.

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

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 

Hounslow Adult & Community Education

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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