Your guide to coronavirus (COVID-19)

October 2020

Protect yourself and loved ones by following these rules

  1. Stick to the ‘Rule of Six’: Do not meet up with more than six people at any time, indoors or outdoors.
  2. Wash your hands: Make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser, regularly. This is the same amount of time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice.
  3. Cover your face: Stay safe by wearing a face covering where rules apply. This includes on public transport, shops, taxis, pubs and restaurants.
  4. Keep a safe distance: Stay 2 metres apart (3 steps) from people you don’t live with.
  5. Work from home if you can.
  6. Pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm with table-service only. Takeaways can continue to make deliveries.
  7. A maximum of 15 people can attend a wedding, and up to 30 for a funeral.
  8. Fines for rule breakers: The fine for not wearing a face covering or breaking the Rule of Six has doubled to £200.
  9. You are legally required to stay at home if you are asked to by NHS Test and Trace: This could be because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
  10. People who do not self-isolate when asked to, could be fined up to £10,000.
  11. Businesses are also being fined if they break the rules.
  12. Check your symptoms: If you start to develop any coronavirus symptoms, stay at home and book a test straight away.

How do I know if I’ve caught coronavirus?

COVID-19 is caused by a virus, called coronavirus, which can affect your lungs and airways.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing incidents in 24 hours
  • A loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

You must stay at home – which is sometimes called self-isolation – and book a test straight away if you have any of these symptoms.

Children with cold symptoms, for example a runny nose or sore throat, can stay in school. They should only stay at home and book a test if they develop coronavirus symptoms.

You should only book a coronavirus test if you have symptoms or if you have been asked to by a doctor or public health professional.


In Brent, testing is available through:

  • Harlesden walk-through testing site
  • Wembley walk-through testing site
  • Mobile testing site – only available on selected dates
  • Home testing

To get a test at a testing site, you must book an appointment in advance.

Stay at home (self-isolation) advice

If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

You will need to self-isolate for 14 days if:

  • Someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
  • Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
  • You have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • You arrive into the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk

If you are self-isolating, you should not leave your home for any reason. You should ask someone to bring you food and medicine if you need it.

Download the NHS COVID-19 app

The NHS COVID-19 app is the fastest way of knowing if you are at risk of coronavirus.

Key features:

  • Available in 9 languages
  • Anonymous and secure
  • See your area’s risk-level
  • Book a test quickly and easily
  • Check your symptoms

Download through your device’s app store

Businesses must by law display the QR Code for the NHS COVID-19 app. This is so customers can check-in through the app when they enter the venue. This includes all venues from the following sectors: hospitality, leisure and tourism, close contact services, places of worship and Local Authority venues.

Key terms explained

  • Self-isolate:This is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus.

  • Social distancing:This means you should stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with or anyone not in your support bubble. You should not hug, kiss or touch anyone you do not live with. In busy spaces, where keeping 2 metre apart may be difficult, keep at least 1 metre apart and wear a face covering.

  • Support bubble:If you live alone or are a single parent living with children under 18, you can form a support bubble with another household. This means you can have close contact with that household as if you live with them. They must not be in a support bubble with anyone else.

  • Quarantine:This is when you do not leave your home because you have returned from a country with a high coronavirus risk.

Support available

If you, or your business, are struggling due to coronavirus, there is a range of financial and emergency support available through the council.

Support is available for people on low incomes who have been asked to stay at home by NHS Test and Trace and are unable to work. To get the £500 Test & Trace Support Payment, you must be:

  • Asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • Employed or self-employed
  • Unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • Currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

Brent Council expects to have a system in place for giving out these payments from 12 October.

Brent Mutual Aid group logo

Mutual Aid groups near you

Brent Mutual Aid group is made up of 20 Mutual Aid independent groups run by neighbours that connect, listen and support other neighbours.

Groups covering all of Brent have been working to provide practical support such as delivering food, medicine and other supplies to people who need to stay at home, as well as providing emotional support. 

Other Mutual Aid groups near you

More information including translations

More information, advice and support is available at This includes information in different languages and accessible formats.

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