From yesterday, 24 February 2022, the legal requirement to isolate if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive came to an end as part of the next phase of the Government’s response to COVID-19.
However, it is important that Knowsley residents remember that the virus is still circulating and that we have a role to play in protecting our community, in particular our more vulnerable family and friends.
Cllr Christine Bannon, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “COVID-19 has not gone away and rates in Knowsley remain high. It is therefore vital we all take steps to keep our community safe and reduce the spread of the virus where possible.
“Although there is no longer a legal requirement to isolate, I urge anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to limit their contact with others and access free testing while it remains available. I would also urge anyone who has tested positive to stay at home, where possible.
“The vaccine remains our best form of protection against the virus, so please get vaccinated. If you’ve not yet had any vaccine, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. There are still clinics taking place across the borough and more can be found on the NHS.gov website. You can also contact your GP to make a vaccination appointment.
“Moving forward, we must all play our part in keeping Knowsley safe.”
What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
If you are experiencing one of the main COVID-19 symptoms (loss of taste or smell, a new continuous cough or high temperature), you are advised to stay at home, avoid contact with other people and book a PCR test (these will remain available until 1 April 2022).
There is no legal requirement to isolate. However, isolating will help reduce the risk of spreading the virus and help keep Knowsley safe. You can book a PCR test through www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 119.
What should I do if I have tested positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive for COVID-19 (by LFD or PCR test) you are advised to stay at home and avoid close contact with other people for at least 5 days. You can safely return to your normal routine if you receive two negative lateral flow (LFD) tests on consecutive days from day 5 onwards. However, you should continue to avoid meeting higher risk people for 10 days.
What should I do if I am a close contact?
Contact Tracing is no longer in place. If you test positive, it is important that you contact any close contacts who can then take additional precautions and follow guidance.
People who live with or have stayed overnight in a household of someone with COVID-19 are at most risk due to prolonged contact.
Household members should, where possible, minimise contact with the person who has COVID-19, avoid contact with anyone who is vulnerable, limit contact with people outside their household, wear a face covering in any crowded, enclosed or poor ventilated areas and remain vigilant to symptoms.
What support is available?
Up to 24 March 2022, eligible individuals with COVID-19 who cannot attend work will still be able to claim statutory sick pay from the first day of their absence.
What steps can I take to keep safe?
The best way of protecting yourself against the virus is to get vaccinated. If you’ve not had the vaccine yet, its not too late and if you’re still waiting on your 2nd or booster doses, get them done as soon as you can. You can find your nearest clinic online at www.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 119.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, you should continue to follow the preventative measures we introduced over the last two years. We know that they work. This includes:
- Limiting contact with others and staying at home if you have symptoms, or test positive
- Regular hand washing
- Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces
- Continue to keep rooms well ventilated