‘Living With Covid’ – Guidance from today and end of free universal testing

See https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-next-steps-for-living-with-covid for full details

From today the updated guidance will advise people with symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and a high temperature or who feel unwell, to try stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature.

Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result will is advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious.

Advice will be provided for individuals who need to leave their home when they have symptoms or have tested positive, including avoiding close contact with people with a weakened immune system, wearing a face-covering and avoiding crowded places.

Free lateral flow tests will not be available for most people and you will not normally be advised to take a PCR test if you have symptoms but to follow the guidance above. However free testing will still be available for some groups if they have symptoms and these include:

• People who are eligible for community COVID treatments as they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill – these people will be contacted directly and sent lateral flow tests at home to use if they have symptoms

• Certain patients in hospital where a PCR test is required for their care and to provide access to treatments and to support ongoing clinical surveillance for new variants

• People will be tested before being discharged from hospital into care homes, hospices, homelessness settings and domestic abuse refuges

You will be able to buy lateral flow tests at chemists

Caring Together has a small supply of lateral flow tests for our members who might need them – please get in touch if this is the case.