What's in our Coronavirus Info section:
From the 24th of February, in England, the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme is closed.
From the 24th of February, the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive has been removed. The guidance remains to stay at home, and to avoid contact with other people in order to avoid passing on the infection.
Everyone aged 12 and over can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the vaccine. A booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available for everyone aged 16 and over, and some children aged 12 to 15, who have had 2 doses of the vaccine at least 3 months ago.
NHS 111 Online Assessment - General NHS advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) and what to do next if you think you have symptoms.
Update 27th January 2022
As of today, 27th January it will no longer be compulsory to wear masks in public places, or show vaccine/covid-negative passports. However, businesses are free to set their own safety measures and these will still be in place in venues across Oxford, so please check before you visit to avoid doubt. We would strongly encourage people to continue wearing masks in public enclosed spaces, in order to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.
For those seeking a safer shopping experience when buying groceries: Sainsburys, Tesco, Lidl and Morrisons are among the large retailers who will continue requiring face coverings instore
As of 27th January 2022, most legal restrictions have been lifted - see this explainer for more. However, case numbers remain higher than they were at the start of the first lockdown, so we strongly encourage people to behave as if the restrictions are still in place, to protect each other and the NHS.
It remains important to be aware that coronavirus is often symptomless, so taking regular Lateral Flow Tests will help you best protect those around you. You can order tests to be delivered to your home, or collect them from a local pharmacy (nb: you now need a special code, arranged in advance, to collect test kits in person - get your collect code here).
From April 1st Lateral Flow Tests will no longer be available for free. You can currently order a pack of 7 tests once every 3 days.
It's also crucial to get a coronavirus vaccine as soon as you are eligible, including booster jabs. Click here to find out more about booking a first dose, second dose or booster jab.
For a good idea of what symptoms to look out for check out this BBC explainer on how to know if you have coronavirus. A recent study by ZOE on omicron suggests that a different range of omicron symptoms may also be experienced. Also, the IFH (International Forum on Home Hygiene) has detailed guidance on hygiene measures which will best protect you from getting infected, and stop those who become infected from spreading their infection to others.
You can find a wide range of entertaining and uplifting things to participate in virtually through our Virtual Events column.
Oxford City Council has collated useful information with links to guidance on staying at home, school closures, council tenants, waste collection and other issues. It also has guidance translated into other languages. For anyone facing financial hardship of any kind, they have also recently launched a directory of the essential support that is currently available remotely. Help is available from the council for anyone who needs it - you can call them on 01865 249 811.
In addition,Money Saving Expert has a comprehensive guide to your financial rights as well as help for renters and guidance on things like topping up prepaid energy.
Sadly, fraudsters are using the the publicity surrounding coronavirus to carry out scams. Thames Valley Police have issued the following statement regarding COVID-19 related scams, and ask that the public remain vigilant.
Information for Organisations
HMRC have launched a new helpline to assist businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus. You can call 0800 0159 559 to discuss your circumstances and explore options. The helpline is open 8am-8pm Mon-Fri and 8am - 4pm Sat.
Good Finance have an excellent COVID-19 Resource Hub to help charities and social enterprise navigate the problems posed by the outbreak. Charity Excellence also has a very helpful and extensive list of sources of funding for charities and local projects - currently there are 250 and counting, with more added every Monday.
As of 27th January 2022, face coverings are no longer compulsory on public transport. However, the use of masks is still strongly advised, to protect you and others around you. The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, have said that face masks will remain compulsory on trains throughout the UK. Face coverings are also still required on TFL, so if you're travelling to London you will need to have one handy.<
In terms of travel further afield: from 4am on Friday, February 11th 2022, fully vaccinated passengers entering England will no longer need to book Covid tests. Updated information is available here. Unvaccinated travellers will need to book and pay for covid tests.
Guidance on events and venues has not changed since restrictions were lifted in July 2021. Venues are able to set their own rules, and many events require proof of a recent negative covid test for attendees, so always check before you book (and booking in advance remains advisable!)
If you're looking for entertainment while staying at home, we continue to highlight online events. Check out our virtual events page to see what's out there.
You can also continue to place events on our site - click here and enter your event title, description, date and time as normal. For listing virtual events: in the Custom Venue box, just paste in the link to your stream, whether it's Zoom, Facebook, Youtube or elsewhere!
What we're doing
Daily Info exists to help people get the most out of life in Oxford, and that remains our mission in good times and bad. We're thrilled that, thanks to support from the government as well as our brilliant customers and readers, we have weathered the storm so far. We have made a few changes over the past 18 months which you may want to bear in mind when contacting us:
Our team are currently working remotely for the most part, so our office is not open to the public. We are available to answer the phone (01865 241133) and email enquiries ([email protected]) between our new core hours of 9am-3pm Mon-Friday
The Printed Sheet
Our iconic printed sheet has switched to a termly edition for the time being - the new one will be sent to venues around Oxford in January 2022. If you would like to display a sheet in your venue, advertise in the sheet, or you'd like us to distribute posters on your behalf when we deliver the sheet, please get in touch on [email protected]
As the printed sheet is no longer weekly, our regular advertising is now online-only. This means you get 2 weeks online for the price of one. Our word limit for free line ads has increased from 20 words to 30.