Coronavirus information, support and advice
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The Government has published its Living with Covid-19 plan, which announced the end of legal restrictions, including the legal requirement to self-isolate if you have Covid-19 and the end to free universal testing.
Continuing the careful path towards living safely with Covid-19 is possible because of the success of the Covid-19 vaccination and booster rollout which has meant that there is a much lower risk of severe illness or hospitalisation for people who catch Covid-19.
But we also know the pandemic is not over, so it’s important we continue to take simple and effective actions that will protect our families and communities, particularly those at the greatest risk of severe illness.
Changes from 1 April 2022:
- free universal asymptomatic (rapid tests) and symptomatic testing (PCR tests) has now ended
- you no longer require the NHS COVID pass for most venues
- free symptomatic tests (PCR tests) will only continue for NHS and care staff, hospital patients, care home residents and those already eligible for antiviral treatments when they have symptoms
- asymptomatic (rapid tests) testing will continue from April in some high-risk settings where infection can spread rapidly while prevalence is high. This includes patient-facing staff in the NHS and care staff, staff in hospices and adult social care services, staff in some prisons and places of detention and in high risk domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings. In addition, testing will be provided for residential SEND, care home staff and residents during an outbreak and for care home residents upon admission.
- get vaccinated – protect yourself and others
- ventilate your space – ventilate and let fresh air in during meetings
- wear a face covering – especially around those who are not part of your household
- stay home – for at least 5 days if you’re feeling unwell, have symptoms or test positive
- wash your hands regularly – for at least 20 seconds
With a vaccine, you are less likely to become severely ill if you catch Covid-19, and it will help stop the spread of the virus.
Free universal symptomatic (PCR tests) and asymptomatic (rapid tests) testing has now ended. Rapid tests are still available for a cost. Check GOV.UK for more information or with your local pharmacy.
If you have any of these 3 Covid-19 symptoms, even if mild, consider staying home and avoiding contact with other people for 5 days:
- a new continuous cough
- a fever or high temperature
- or a change or loss of sense of taste or smell.
In addition to the main three symptoms, locally, we advise that you consider staying home and avoiding contact with other people for 5 days if you or your child experience any wider symptoms which are new, persistent or unusual such as:
- shortness of breath or wheezing
- loss of appetite
- muscle ache or pain
- sore throat and/or hoarseness
- persistent headache
- runny or blocked nose
- nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
If you feel unwell, stay at home for 5 days, which is the period when you are most infectious. It is also advised that children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature stay at home and only go back to school, college or childcare once they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend. If you have any questions, you can call 119.
As a Hackney resident or business, you can find information, support and advice to keep your community safe.