Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to stay safe and help prevent the spread

Update 30 Nov 2021: In England, temporary measures have been put in place to respond to the Omicron variant to slow its arrival and spread. Check the guidance on GOV.UK for what this means for you.

Update 29 Nov 2021: Targeted testing has been introduced in Brentwood following a confirmed Omicron Covid-19 case. For more information, go to our news story.

For information on getting tested, vaccines, coronavirus news and data, and support for businesses and residents, go to the Coronavirus hub.

Brexit information for residents

Changes after Brexit if you live in the UK

Visit GOV.UK to find out how the new Brexit rules apply to things like travelling to Europe.

EU, EEA or Swiss nationals living in the UK

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you and your family might be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK. You might also be able to apply if you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland.

The deadline for most people to apply was 30 June 2021.

You can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you or a family member are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and began living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

You must also either:

  • meet one of the criteria for a later deadline to apply
  • have reasonable grounds for not applying by 30 June 2021

Check if you can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you've applied and have pre-settled status

If you applied to the scheme and have pre-settled status, you'll need to apply for settled status before your pre-settled status expires.

Settled status will let you stay in the UK as long as you like.

Support for the EU Settlement Scheme

Visit GOV.UK for:

  • a toolkit to help voluntary and community organisations support EU communities
  • details of the EU Exit: ID Document Check App that you can use to validate a passport or identity document. If you do not have access to a suitable phone or device then you can find a local scanning service listed at This includes services provided at some Essex Libraries. Please check that the service is available before travel.

If you need further help with an application then please contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre on 0300 123 7379. If you need immigration advice, then you can contact one of the organisations listed online that are allowed to provide this advice.

If you do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to use a computer or mobile device to complete the online application then contact the Assisted Digital Service on 03333 445 675 or by texting “VISA” to 07537 416 944.

UK nationals living in the EU

Visit GOV.UK for guidance on the rights and status of UK nationals who moved to the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland before 1 January 2021.

You can also check specific guidance for the country that you live in.

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