Official advice

Page updated 14th January 2021

Not all information in the media and social media sites about coronavirus is reliable. For official updates and guidance please check:

  • GOV.UK Website
    (Protect yourself and others from coronavirus – Testing for coronavirus – Local lockdown – Work and financial support – Working safely – Businesses and self-employed people – School openings, education and childcare – International travel and immigration – Driving and transport in the UK – Healthcare workers, carers and care settings – Health and wellbeing – Housing and accommodation – Volunteering and offering help – Support if someone dies)

The Government has launched a Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp. The free service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).
(Coronavirus prevention and symptoms – Latest number of cases in the UK – Advice on staying at home – Travel advice – Myth busting)

To use the service, add 07860 064422 to your phone contacts, then send a message with the word ‘hi’ to that number. You will be sent a menu of options to choose from.

Covid 19 Vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine programme is happening in our area now!  Please wait to be contacted – you will be contacted at the right time.


Mental Health


The way that patients are discharged from hospitals has changed. Patients will still receive high quality care from acute and community hospitals, for 95% of patients leaving hospital with a need for ongoing support, the assessment and organising of ongoing care will take place when they are in their own home.

Further details can be found in the following government publications;

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust are looking at what they can do between now and the end of June to start to treat patients who need urgent care, and those who have been waiting the longest for planned treatment. After June they will start looking at how they re-start all of their business as usual services, while continuing to deal with COVID-19. 


Local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups have been made aware of increased demands on practice staff to process early requests for repeat medication.

Whilst they understand that members of the public are feeling anxious, they would like to remind those requiring repeat prescriptions to only order what they need, when they need it. This will help make sure everyone can continue to get the medication they need. There is currently no shortage of medicines.

You can follow the local Clinical Commissioning Groups on Facebook:

NHS Volunteers Responders  

If you need help getting food, medicine or other supplies, or need help getting to a medical appointment, or would like to talk to someone, call 0808 196 3646 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm) Visit NHS Responders

DWP Benefits

Council tax

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has announced a further £150 council tax discount for those already in receipt of council tax reduction.