PATIENTS have been assured they will be able to get help from a GP over the Easter weekend.

But health bosses have urged people not to just turn up at the door amid the coronavirus pandemic.

All GP practices in north east Essex will be open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, with their normal weekday opening times.

Weekend appointments are also available for Saturday and Sunday and these can be booked in advance with your GP practice, up to and including Friday.

People must not turn up at their GP practice unless specifically invited to attend.

The aim is to ensure people without coronavirus symptoms can access primary care services as well as support the wider NHS system during this very busy time.

Many pharmacies will also be open over the Easter weekend.

Dr Hasan Chowhan, a GP in Colchester and chairman of North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I would encourage anyone who feels unwell to firstly visit the NHS 111 Online symptom checker or contact their pharmacy for help and advice.

“GP practice appointments will be available, but it is really important that you only go to your GP practice if you are asked to do so.

"Anyone with coronavirus symptoms of a high temperature and new, continuous cough should stay away, remain at home and seek advice from NHS 111 Online.

“Please do not go to your GP practice, pharmacy or hospital for advice as you risk spreading the virus to others.

"Anyone who needs to self-isolate and requires an isolation note for their employer can access one at NHS 111 Online; you do not need to ask your GP for this.”