Health advice and support

Keeping Lincolnshire Safe

You can help keep Lincolnshire safe and prevent new outbreaks by following these steps:

Wash your hands

Wash your hands with soap and water more often than usual, for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available.

You should always wash your hands or use hand sanitiser after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, before you eat or handle food, or when you get to work or arrive home.

Keep your distance

In order to minimise risk you should still limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.

More information on this can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Wear a face covering

The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted. However, the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.

Get tested

If you show any of the symptoms of Covid-19, including:

  • a new continuous cough
  • high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

You should order a test immediately.

It is also advised that you test regularly using lateral flow testing kits.

Self-isolate 

As soon as you show symptoms or test positive for Covid-19 you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.

Further advice on self isolation.

Sign up for test and trace

The NHS test and trace service ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, it helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.

Further information about test and trace.

View all national guidance

Mental health

If you have to stay at home because of coronavirus, it's important to take care of your mental health. 

For tips on how to keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel while at home, visit Every Mind Matters.

Other help and support is available:

  • Domestic Abuse - ensuring victims and survivors of domestic abuse feel safe
  • Kooth - online support for young people
  • MIND - coronavirus and your wellbeing
  • NHS every mind matters - advice and practical support
  • Mental Health Foundation - looking after your mental health 
  • Age UK - coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and guidance
  • Young minds - what to do if you're anxious about coronavirus
  • British Red Cross - emotional and practical support
  • Lincolnshire mental health emotional wellbeing helpline - 0800 001 4331 (open 24/7)
  • Night Light service - trained volunteers who are supporting those who are struggling with their mental health through providing virtual cafes and regular phone calls

Support for the clinically extremely vulnerable

The government has ended the shielding programme for those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable.

You should continue to follow the government's general covid guidance, including hands, face and space, in addition to any condition specific advice they may have been given by your specialist in recent weeks.

The best way to minimise risk is to get both covid jabs and any boosters that are offered and getting a flu jab is important too.

If you do have concerns, speak to your GP or specialist who can advise you based on your specific circumstances.

If you have any further questions you can contact us through the COVID-19 helpline on 01522 782189.

Test and Trace local support

If you get a positive test, NHS Test and Trace will contact you and ask you to share information about yourself (symptoms, employment, activities etc.) and on the contacts you have had with other people just before or after you developed symptoms.

If NHS Test and Trace calls you by phone, the service will be calling using either a local Lincolnshire 01522 number or the national phone number 0300 0135 000. 

If one of our contact tracers cannot get hold of you, or you wish to verify a call we make, you will be provided with the following number to call back: 01522 552392. This call will be answered by a member our local Test and Trace team.

View full details on Test and Trace.

View our Covid-19 response privacy notice.

Covid-19 vaccinations

You will be contacted by the NHS, but not necessarily your practice, when it is your time to attend for the vaccination.

What to expect

Find out what to expect with the vaccination.

Who is eligible?

Find out who is eligible for the vaccination.

If you are not eligible yet, please wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.

Locations 

You have the choice to either:

  • Have your vaccination at a Local Vaccination Site via your local GP services, who will contact you directly if they haven’t already done so, or;
  • Book an appointment at a Large Vaccination Centre, either via online Book a coronavirus vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk) or the national telephone number 119.

If you receive the letter but have already booked your vaccination, you do not need to do anything else – you can ignore the letter and attend for your vaccination as per your appointment.

You should only attend if you have an appointment booked – you will not be vaccinated without an appointment. 

If you are experiencing covid symptoms of any kind, or self-isolating, please do not attend for vaccination. You will be rebooked when it is safe for you to attend.

Find a full list of vaccination sites in Lincolnshire.

Travelling to a COVID-19 Vaccination Centre

Before you make you vaccination appointment, there are a few things to consider, such as:

  • how you'll get there
  • what day and time is likely to be easiest for you
  • can someone in your household or support bubble take you
  • use public transport if needed - bus and taxi operators are following covid-safe guidelines but make sure you wear your mask and sanitise your hands before and after your journey
  • if you need accessible transport, many taxi companies have suitable vehicles

If you need further advice on transport options, The Lincolnshire Transport Helpline provides information and advice on a wide range of transport options including community car schemes and CallConnect - find out your travel options here or call 0345 456 4474 (Mon-Fri 9am – 6pm, Sat 9.30am – 4pm).

If you book your vaccination appointment and then find you can't get there, you can re-arrange your appointment for a different time or venue.

Further information

COVID 19 vaccination in Lincolnshire FAQs.

Vaccination of care home staff

The Government has announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for all care home workers in England – with staff urged to get their lifesaving jab as soon as possible to protect themselves and the people they care for.

This also includes a requirement for anyone whose work or volunteering requires them to enter an adult care home to be vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they are medically exempt, in the case of an emergency or from the emergency services. It does not apply to family members visiting residents of care homes.

A 16 week grace period began on Thursday 22 July 2021. This means workers (both care home staff and anyone who enters a care home for work reasons) have until 16 September to get their first dose of the vaccine so that they can be fully vaccinated by the time regulations come into force on 11 November, allowing for an 8 week gap between doses.

People living in care homes are particularly vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID-19, and the Government has said that making vaccination a condition of deployment in care homes will "help ensure that residents at high risk from COVID-19, either due to their age, underlying health conditions, or disability, are better protected against the virus".

Some 90% of care home staff in Lincolnshire have had their first vaccination and 82% have had a second dose, according to latest figures. The remainder have just over 6 weeks in which to get their first jab to ensure they are able to have the second by 11 November. Meanwhile, some 93% of residents in Lincolnshire's care homes are fully vaccinated with both doses.

Councillor Cllr Wendy Bowkett, Lincolnshire County Council's Portfolio Holder for Adult Care and Public Health, said: "Care homes up and down the country have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 and, despite the fantastic efforts of staff to keep their residents safe, around 7,000 care homes in England have sadly registered at least one death related to coronavirus.

"We cannot lose sight of the fact that, despite the lifting of restrictions recently, the virus hasn't gone away and the vaccine is the best protection people can get from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. It also helps to cut transmission of the virus from one person to another.

“It’s brilliant news that 9 in 10 care home staff in Lincolnshire have already had their vaccine, and I would encourage the remainder – and anyone else who is required to go into a care home for work purposes – to get theirs as soon as possible if they can.

“While taking up the offer of vaccination may, for whatever reason, be a difficult decision for a small number of individuals, it is important to remember that it not only protects you but also your colleagues and the people you care for who are most vulnerable to this deadly virus."

"Pre-booked appointments can still be arranged via the National Booking System or by calling 119, or GrabAJab at one of the county's walk-in events"

For more information about the vaccine, including the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit https://www.lincolnshire.nhs.uk/covid.

COVID-19 testing

There are two types of test available to Lincolnshire residents: 

  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests 
  • Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests 

The type of test you need depends on your circumstances. 

Symptomatic testing 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms then you should self-isolate and book a PCR test as soon as possible at one of our fixed testing sites. These sites are open between 8am and 12pm for PCR tests (you must book first), and from 1pm for drive-through lateral flow test collection (no need to book). 

Asymptomatic testing 

If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms you can do a lateral flow test.  

Everyone in England can take a free lateral flow test twice a week. However please note that lateral flow tests are NOT recommended for: 

  • anyone with COVID-19 symptoms - if you have symptoms you should self-isolate and book a PCR test immediately – do NOT do a lateral flow test
  • children who are primary-age or younger should not do lateral flow tests - these children should only have a PCR test if they have COVID-19 symptoms

Regular asymptomatic testing is a vital part of the plan to reopen society and the economy, and to suppress the spread of variants.  

Rapid lateral flow tests identify people who don't have COVID-19 symptoms but who can still infect others. They give a result in 30 minutes so positive cases can isolate immediately. This helps stop the virus spreading.  

Getting tested regularly is the only way to know if you have the virus. Along with hand washing, wearing a mask and social distancing, regular testing is another way of protecting each other.  

Lateral flow tests can be done in two ways: 

  • assisted test - visit an asymptomatic testing site where a trained operator will assist you with the test, some employers offer assisted testing too
  • home or self-reported test - collect test kits from a testing site, local pharmacy or order home test kits online 

We have a list of testing sites, or you can visit the national COVID-19 test centre and vaccination site finder to find your nearest test centre. 

Lateral follow tests can also be collected from a participating pharmacy. Find your nearest pharmacy or test site with the COVID-19 test and vaccination site finder.

When should I do a lateral flow test? 

It's recommended that people do a lateral flow test twice a week.

Take a test before you leave home to go to work or school, before meeting friends or attending an appointment. Do another test 3-4 days later. 

People who are part of a workplace, school or university testing programme will have their own testing regimes to follow. 

What happens if I get a positive lateral flow test?  

If the lateral flow test is positive you will be prompted to book for a confirmatory PCR test. In the meantime you and your household should self-isolate

Try to have your follow-up PCR test within 2 days of the positive lateral flow test. If you wait longer than this then you may still have to self-isolate for 10 days even if the PCR result is negative.  

NHS Test and Trace will notify you if your follow-up PCR test is negative and you can stop isolating. They will also notify you if your follow-up PCR test is positive and advise you on self-isolation.  

What happens if I get a negative lateral flow test? 

If the lateral flow test is negative you could still be infectious so continue to follow the usual precautions such as hand washing, wearing a mask and social distancing. 

Do NOT do a lateral flow test if you have symptoms. If you have COVID-19 symptoms and get a negative lateral flow test, you should self-isolate and book a PCR test.  

How many kits can I pick up? 

You can collect two test kits, each contains seven tests. This is enough for seven weeks of twice-weekly tests. If you are not able to collect in person, you can order online where you will receive one test kit for each order. 

I'm a contact of a positive case, should I take a test? 

Contacts of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 who are double jabbed or aged under 18 are no longer legally required to self-isolate.

However, contacts are advised to take a PCR test even if they don't have symptoms. This should be done as soon as possible. You are not required to isolate while waiting for your PCR result.

If the PCR result is positive, you will need to start the 10 day self-isolation again from the date of your positive result.  

Double jabbed people are still at risk of being infected so you are advised to consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and limit contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

Most double vaccinated health and social care staff who are close contacts of cases will be able to return to work, provided they have had a negative PCR test. Daily LFD tests will need to be taken for 10 days as a precaution.

Staff working with clinically extremely vulnerable patients or service users will need a risk assessment to be carried out by a designated person in the workplace before they return to work.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. 

I've had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, should I take a test? 

If you've had a positive PCR result in the last 90 days do NOT do another PCR test, unless you develop COVID-19 symptoms.

What help and support is available to me if I need to self-isolate?

You may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500.

For further support, advice and guidance call the county council's COVID helpline on 01522 782189.

COVID-19 testing sites

Asymptomatic testing sites

The asymptomatic testing sites at Boston, Sleaford, Pinchbeck and Lincoln are now closed. You can do lateral flow tests at any of the other asymptomatic testing sites listed below or collect self-test kits to do at home from a testing site, local pharmacy or order test kits online.

If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms you can do a lateral flow test or collect a test to do at home at the following locations - you do not have to book:

  • Gainsborough - Gainsborough Leisure Centre, The Avenue, Gainsborough DN21 1EP. Monday-Friday 9.30am-5pm.
  • Market Rasen - Festival Hall, Caistor Road, Market Rasen, LN8 3HT. Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

You can also use the national COVID-19 Test and Vaccination Site Finder.

Symptomatic testing sites

If you have COVID-19 symptoms then you should self-isolate and book a PCR test as soon as possible at one of our fixed testing sites:

  • Lincolnshire Showground
  • University of Lincoln (this site is for the public, as well as students)
  • Skegness
  • Boston
  • Gainsborough
  • Grantham