FAQs: Covid-19 Guidance

A lot of guidance surrounding covid-19 has changed over the past few weeks. It is important to keep up to date with the latest national advice and restrictions.

What is Plan A guidance?

From Thursday 27th January, England will return to 'Plan A' Covid-19 Guidance, this means:

  • Face coverings are no longer a legal requirement, but is suggested to continue to wear one when in crowded & enclosed public spaces.
  • Work-from-home guidance has been lifted. Workers must speak to their employers about return to office arrangements.
  • Venues & events are no longer required by law to check NHS Covid Pass.
  • Residents are still encouraged to get vaccinated & boosted when they can.
  • Test, trace & isolate should still be practiced.

I am feeling generally unwell but don’t have any of the three main symptoms of cough, temperature or loss of taste of smell – am I okay to go to work / school?

Although the three main symptoms do remain a good indicator, while community transmission is so high we would recommend that anybody feeling ‘generally unwell’ uses a Lateral Flow Test. You can order them via the government website.

Somebody I live with has tested positive, can I still go to work / school?

Vaccinated persons and children: Any person aged under 18 years and 6 months and / or fully vaccinated do not need to isolate if they are well, however you are strongly advised to take a Lateral Flow Test every day for 7 days, before leaving the house.
 
People who are not fully vaccinated: Any person not fully vaccinated and living in the same household as someone with COVID-19 are legally required to stay at home and self-isolate.

What if I do not have any LFTs available?

If you are living with somebody who is positive (or have been identified as a close contact) but do not have any LFTs to hand, we would advise that you either order some online via the government website immediately or ask a friend to collect from a local pharmacy. Reminder that before you pick up LFT's from a pharmacy you should get a collection code. You should only go to the pharmacy without a collection code if there is none available. Until you have access to an LFT we would recommend that you self-isolate as a precaution.

I have tested positive, how long do I have to isolate for?

There is no longer a legal requirement for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection to self-isolate, however if you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test result, the public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

The following advice is for:

  • people with any of the main symptoms of COVID-19
  • people who have received a positive COVID-19 lateral flow device (LFD) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result
  • people who live in the same household as, or who have had close contact with, someone who has COVID-19

This also applies to children and young people who usually attend an education or childcare setting, with additional information available for these settings.

There is separate guidance for those working in health and social care settings.

What does the term 'fully vaccinated' mean?

Currently, when talking about being 'fully vaccinated' this means having both your first and second vaccination. It is, however, recommended that you also receive a booster vaccination that you can book through the NHS National Booking System.

What do I do if I start experiencing coronavirus symptoms?

If you start to experience coronavirus symptoms, it is important that you get a PCR test and self isolate immediately. Visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 to book a test.

What is different about the Omicron variant?

Early indications show that although Omicron is more infectious than previous variants that we have seen, there may also be a reduced risk of hospitalisation. However, this reduction may be due to a larger proportion of Omicron cases being re-infections and the majority of new infections have been in the younger working age group. Both associated with a lower risk of becoming severely unwell.

High case numbers overall mean that hospitalisations are high even with a smaller proportion of people becoming unwell. The best way to reduce risks against Covid-19, including the Omicron variant, still is to; test regularly, get vaccinated & boosted, practicing good hand hygiene, wearing face coverings and using ventilation when indoors.

What has changed in the testing guidance?

From 11 January in England, people who receive positive LFT results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test. Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Anyone who develops 1 of the 3 mainCOVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take aPCR test. Under this new approach, anyone who receives a positiveLFT test result should report their result onGOV.UK but will not need to take a follow-upPCR test. After reporting a positiveLFD test result, they will be contacted byNHS Test and Trace so that their contacts can be traced and must continue to self-isolate. There are a few exceptions to this revised approach:
  • People participating in research or surveillance programmes may still be asked to take a follow-up PCR test, according to the research or surveillance protocol.
  • Finally, around one million people in England who are at particular risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 have been identified by the NHS as being potentially eligible for new treatments. They will be receiving a PCR test kit at home by mid-January to use if they develop symptoms or if they get a positive LFT result, as they may be eligible for new treatments if they receive a positive PCR result. This group should use these priority PCR tests when they have symptoms as it will enable prioritised laboratory handling.

When taking a LFT, please be sure to register the result via the NHS app. You should register your covid-19 test result whether it is positive or negative.

Why should I register my Lateral Flow Test result?

As well as protecting your community and allowing us to provide support where needed, registering your LFT results can help us identify any common areas where the virus is picked up. This can help us ensure that if any vulnerable individuals are contacted, we can take action quickly. In addition, it allows us to paint a picture of the positive and negative cases within a region and supply support where best needed.

Can I still visit a care home?

For guidance on care home visits, please follow the guidance on the government website. For specific information on a particular carehome, please contact the care home in question directly.

 

Return to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) homepage

 

 

Last updated: 02 March 2022 10:37:53