Containing and managing local coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks

Guidance for local authorities and local decision-makers on containing and managing COVID-19 outbreaks at a local level.

This publication was withdrawn on

For more details on current guidance, see Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19.

Applies to England



This document sets out how NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) will work with local authorities, Public Health England (PHE) and the public to contain and manage local COVID-19 outbreaks.

Published 17 July 2020
Last updated 7 October 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated text for autumn and winter (2021 to 2022).

  2. Updated the 'compliance and enforcement' section to reflect the responsibilities of district authorities and county councils.

  3. Updated 30 July 2021 following the move to step 4 of the roadmap. The update outlines the key policy changes and how they affect local authorities, while outlining the ongoing national and local roles and responsibilities to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

  4. Updated 18 March 2021 following the publication of the government's roadmap. The update makes clear national and local roles and responsibilities.

  5. Removed information on action cards used to help businesses and organisations manage an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

  6. Removal of out-of-date text relating to education tiers.

  7. Removed annex 3, please instead refer to

  8. Added annex 3: information on tiers of national restriction for education and childcare.

  9. Removed reference to the powers Food Safety Act (1990) section 12 and the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/2996) [Regulation 8] from annex 2, which can only be used in respect of food safety issues.

  10. First published.