On Monday 19th July, the UK Government lifted most COVID-19 restrictions in England. This has been called ‘Freedom Day’ by some people. So, what has changed, and how will this affect hospitals, GP practices, and other health services in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea?
What changed on Monday?
The latest relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions comes as part of the delayed ‘Step Four’ of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. In this step, most remaining COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
Social distancing measures and limits on crowds at both indoor and outdoor events have been removed, and the use of masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces is no longer a Government requirement. Individual service providers and business can still choose to keep COVID-19 measures in place.
Transport for London have announced that passengers must still wear masks on buses and trains in London, and most shops and supermarkets in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea have done the same. Many other shops and services are still limiting the number of people allowed inside to allow people to keep a distance from others.
What does this mean for local healthcare services?
Across Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, NHS safety measures remain in place in hospitals. The same infection prevention and control measures are in place, to ensure the safety of patients and NHS staff.
If you need to visit a hospital:
- Only come to a hospital if you have no COVID-19 symptoms (unless you need emergency care)
- Sanitise your hands when you enter
- Wear a face covering, unless you are exempt
- Keep two metres apart from others
If you would like more information on the measures still in place in local hospitals, please click here.
Most local GP practices are keeping strict COVID-19 measures in place too. Many GP practices are still offering telephone or virtual consultations. Many are also limiting the number of people allowed in the practice, requiring everyone to wear a mask, and observing social distancing measures.
Do you have any concerns about accessing health and social care services now most restrictions have been removed?
We are the independent champion for people using health and care services in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea. We want to know how you feel about the latest easing of restrictions, and if you have any concerns about accessing health and social care services.
We are running a short survey to find out how people are feeling following the latest relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions. If you have five minutes, please complete it here.