COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol

Guidance for commissioners and service providers for those dependent on drugs or alcohol.

This publication was withdrawn on

Please use Alcohol and drug misuse prevention and treatment guidance for resources for those providing alcohol and drug interventions, and use the infection prevention and control guidance for information on PPE

Applies to England



This guidance outlines coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for commissioners and service providers involved in assisting people who are dependent on drugs or alcohol or both.

Please note: this guidance is of a general nature and should be treated as a guide, and in the event of any conflict between any applicable legislation (including the health and safety legislation) and this guidance, the applicable legislation shall prevail.

A new COVID-19 variant is spreading in some parts of England. There may be additional advice for your area. Find out what you need to do.

Published 15 April 2020
Last updated 19 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated information about mutual aid and support groups.

  2. Updated guidance to reflect current practice in services.

  3. Removed links to withdrawn national lockdown guidance

  4. Updated guidance in line with national lockdown and updated guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable.

  5. Updated to reflect recommendations for best practice for drug and alcohol services in the current stage of the pandemic.

  6. Updated guidance with information on local restrictions from 2 December.

  7. Updated guidance in line with national restrictions commencing 5 November 2020.

  8. Updated to include information on local COVID alert levels and virus transmission.

  9. Updated in line with regulations limiting the number of people permitted to attend a support group to 15.

  10. Added statement on hands, face, space; updated guidance on return to school; added links to social distancing and what you can and can't do; amended to reflect change to 6 people meeting.

  11. Changed isolation period from 7 to 10 days.

  12. Guidance updated relating to PPE supply, NHS test and trace, accessing treatment and meeting of groups inside and outside.

  13. Added link to 'COVID-19: information on stopping drinking for people dependent on alcohol'.

  14. Updated information on symptoms.

  15. Added clarification on guidance and legislation.

  16. First published.