Bristol City Council priority consultation.

Bristol City Council are asking people to tell them what they think about our proposed priorities for Bristol for the next five years as Bristol recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alternative formats of the survey can be requested in another language, Braille, audio tape, large print, easy read, BSL video or CD-ROM or plain text by emailing or calling 0117 922 2848.  

You can take part at

PCR testing for close contacts

The rules on self-isolation if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 have changed. 

From Monday (16 August), both people who are double vaccinated and under 18-year-olds no longer legally have to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 . 

You are strongly advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.  Remember, the PCR test is not the same as the lateral flow (rapid) tests you use at home.

lateral flow tests are sometimes called rapid tests.  These tests give you an answer straight away but are not as accurate as the PCR test.  You can get them from your local pharmacy.

Once you have taken your PCR test you don’t have to self-isolate while you wait for the result.  However, you are advised to take extra measures like wearing face coverings when inside buildings and limiting contact with others, especially clinically vulnerable people. 

Find out how to get your free PCR on GOV.UK.

Nasal only rapid tests

The government has begun rolling out packs of nasal only lateral flow (rapid) tests, called ACON Flowflex, across the country. We will soon begin to see these tests in Bristol as stocks are renewed.

These tests are being introduced alongside, and in some cases to replace, the nose and mouth swabs, to make the testing process less unpleasant and more efficient when doing them from home.

The test works in the same way as the current nose and mouth tests, but instead of swabbing your throat as well, you only have to swab the nose. This test is best used by people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Before taking a home test, it is advised you try to:

avoid eating, drinking, smoking or vaping 30 minutes before or during the test
avoid taking the test if it is damaged
throw away all the test materials, once you’re done, in household waste
wash your hands before and after use

No tests will be wasted – so you may still be able to pick up some nose and mouth tests for some time. Please make sure to read the instructions on your testing pack thoroughly before and during use.

If you have symptoms of the virus, self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test which is analysed in a laboratory.

To remind yourself how to do a nose and mouth test, visit the website

To read the instructions for the nasal only tests, visit the website

If you’d like any information on COVID-19 in Bristol or want to know anything about it, head to our Coronavirus Updates page.

Changes to self-isolation guidance

From Monday 16 August, double jabbed individuals and under 18s no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

Those identified as close contacts will still be advised to take a PCR test, which can be booked on the government website or by calling 119.

Anyone under 18 who has been identified as a close contact will receive advice on whether they need to get tested or not. When getting a PCR test, you will not need to isolate between getting a test and receiving the result but the advice would be to minimise social contact and wear face coverings in the meantime.

You are classed as being fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of the vaccine. If you’ve not received your vaccine yet it’s not too late.

The NHS COVID-19 app will also update in line with the new guidance, so if you are pinged by the app but have been fully vaccinated you will not need to self-isolate.

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

Despite these changes the pandemic is not over and the virus is still with us. Please do what you can to protect yourself and others in Bristol.

If you’d like any information on COVID-19 in Bristol or want to know anything about it, head to our Coronavirus Updates page.

Cabot Circus vaccination walk-in clinic now open

Logo for Cabot Circus - white text on black background which reads 'Cabot Circus Bristol'.

A new city centre vaccination walk-in centre has opened at Cabot Circus.

The centre, which will run every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 7pm until Saturday 2 October, is located next to Five Guys and Claire’s on the upper ground floor of the shopping centre.

The Pfizer vaccine will be available for people who are over the age of 17-and-three-quarters. You can get your first or second dose, as long as your first dose was eight weeks ago.

Vaccination remains one of the key tools in the fight against COVID-19. Even if you’ve had the virus, you do still need to go and have your vaccination. It’s also really important that you attend your appointment for your second dose of the vaccine. Best protection is given when you are fully vaccinated.

To find a full list of walk-in clinics visit the Healthier Together website.

If you’d like any information on COVID-19 in Bristol or want to know anything about it, head to our Coronavirus Updates page.

The National Disability Strategy – Our Response

Graphic which shows the logos of Bristol Disability Equality Forum (four coloured diamonds with graphic on each showing a different Disability with the words Bristol Disability Equality Forum') and the UK Government's website (graphic of a white crown on a black backdrop with white text underneath the crown reading 'GOV.UK') on a white backdrop overlapping a green backdrop. Text in black on a yellow rectangle reads 'The National Disability Strategy - Our Response'.

On Wednesday 28 July, the Government released their National Disability Strategy. The Government say that the strategy sets out their ideas on how to improve the everyday lives of Disabled people.

You can read the strategy here:

We at the Forum, and many others, are frustrated by the strategy and don’t think it will improve Disabled people’s lives very much.

It is a strategy created without enough involvement of those with lived experience and their Disabled people-led (staff and trustees) organisations.

It is yet another government strategy that has no details about:
a. how Government will measure the difference it makes,
b. how it will make sure it achieves permanent improvements in Disabled people’s lives, according to Disabled people themselves, and
c. whether the changes made are the best solutions to Disabled people’s priorities.

When the Forum met with the Minister for Disabled People (Justin Tomlinson MP), we said the lack of involvement of organisations with a majority of Disabled staff and trustees, and of Disabled people themselves is not acceptable.

Those who were consulted about the strategy were organisations for Disabled people (not run by them), carers, employers, businesses and non-Disabled staff of organisations run by Disabled people, etc.

The Minister also said that he discussed the strategy with his Regional Disability Networks. When we asked how many people this had involved it turned out that his team had spoken to an average of 25 people per region and, when we asked for more details, he could not say how many of these were Disabled people themselves, or organisations run by Disabled people!

This clearly shows neglect for the Government’s supposed commitment to the principle of ‘Nothing About Us Without Us‘ and ‘person-centred‘ planning.

The Government has also stopped having any meetings of its own advisory group of Disabled people’s organisations, despite their promise to work with Disabled people.

This follows the Government’s lack of concern about the impact on Disabled people of decisions they made about the Coronavirus pandemic and tells us that individual Disabled people need to become more active within Disabled people-run organisations.

It is really important that Disabled people do this so that their organisations can show that we do not represent just a small part of the UK’s Disabled citizens. This is essential if we are to get your voice heard.

According to the Minister for Disabled People, Disabled people will be consulted about what the Government need to do to achieve the aims of the strategy, and what impact their actions will have on Disabled people. So we asked him to commit to discussing it with us.

We are waiting to get a written invitation but are not holding our breath!

Designing COVID-19 community solutions with CHAS Bristol

CHAS Bristol logo - whole graphic is made up of text which reads 'CHAS BRISTOL Housing Advice Service'. Most of the text is in black apart from the word 'CHAS' which is in a bright red.

CHAS Housing Advice Service, a community-led charity that provides free legal advice to those facing housing or homelessness issues in Bristol, want to hear from Bristol’s Disabled community about working together and the impacts on local communities from Covid-19.

“We know that this year has been a difficult year for everyone. A lot of us have felt less safe in our homes. Money, jobs and food have at times been limited, debts may have risen, increased isolation may have left us feeling lonely and some of us may have experienced abuse or discrimination in or around our homes.

That’s why we’re keen to reach out to Bristol’s Disabled community to understand the issues COVID-19 has presented, to understand what the emerging community needs are and explore how CHAS Bristol could work closer with Disabled groups to create a stronger future through working together.” (Pieter Roden – Project Coordinator and Administrator)

They have sent us a brief 5-minute survey where you can tell them about your experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues that have been faced.

You can find the online survey here:

An Easy-Read version can also be downloaded at the link below. If you need any assistance with either survey or want it in any other format, you can find contact details here.