Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Prime Minister announces plan for living with COVID-19

Prime Minister announces plan for living with COVID-19

by Guy Murphy

Prime Minister announces plan for living with COVID-19

Today, 21 February 2022, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s long-term strategy for living with COVID-19.

From today, the Government is removing the guidance for staff and students in most education and childcare settings to undertake twice weekly asymptomatic testing.

From Thursday 24 February the following changes will come into effect:

  • There will no longer be a legal requirement to isolate. However, it recommended that those who test positive isolate where possible and limit any contact with those who are vulnerable.
  • Those with COVID-19 symptoms and those who are close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status. However, it is advised that those with symptoms limit their contact with others and exercise personal responsibility.
  • Self-isolation support payments will come to an end.
  • Contact tracing will come to an end.
  • Removal of all remaining Coronavirus restrictions.

From 24 March, COVID-19 provisions within Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations will end.

From 1 April, the following changes will come into effect:

  • COVID-19 tests will no longer be available for free, except for the oldest age groups and those most vulnerable. Social care staff will also continue to be able to access free symptomatic testing.
  • The Government will remove the guidance on voluntary COVID-19 status certification and will no longer recommend the use of the NHS COVID Pass.

You can read more on the Government’s Plan for Living with COVID-19 here.

Dr Sarah McNulty, Knowsley’s Director of Public Health, said “COVID-19 has not gone away and it’s important that we still protect ourselves, and those around us, even though the restrictions have lifted

“We know that the preventative measures we have introduced over the last two years have worked and many of these behaviours are part of our everyday life – and these behaviours should continue.

“The best protection against the virus is to get vaccinated – if you’ve not yet had any vaccine, it’s not too late to get vaccinated and get protected. Remember if you have symptoms or test positive, minimise your contact with others, in addition everyone should continue with regular hand washing, continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces and continue to keep rooms well ventilated.

“COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities so please continue with the steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and being seriously ill with COVID-19.”