COVID-19 Support for individuals
Living with Coronavirus
The Government has removed remaining domestic restrictions in England and announced its plan for living with COVID-19. As we learn to manage and live with COVID-19, there are still steps we can take to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19.
The best way to protect yourself and others from the virus is to get vaccinated. It is your main form of defence against COVID-19.
The end of restrictions
Here is a summary of these changes and what this means for you.
- End of the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test result
- End of routine contact tracing
- End of guidance for voluntary COVID-status certification for certain venues
- Free testing for most people will no longer be available
- Limited free symptomatic testing will continue for a small number of at-risk groups, including social care workers
What you can do to stay safe
- You are strongly advised to get vaccinated as soon as possible
- Let fresh air in if meeting indoors, or meeting outside
- Wash hands
- Wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially where coming into contact with people they do not usually meet and when rates of transmission are high
- Try to stay at home if unwell
- Take a test if displaying Covid symptoms
- Stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you test positive
You can also keep checking GOV.UK for updates on living with COVID-19.
Clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV)
Following clinical advice and the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine programme, people previously considered to be CEV are not being advised to shield again.
The JCVI have advised a spring booster (second booster dose) to people over 75, residents in care homes and over 12 years old who are immunosuppressed.
If you were previously identified as clinically vulnerable, you are not being advised to shield again, however you should continue to follow the steps to stay safe. Get advice from your GP or health professional on whether additional precautions are right for you.
Testing and self-isolation
Legally you do not have to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19.You don't have to take daily tests or self-isolate if you come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme has ended, but if you were told to self-isolate before 24 February you can still make a claim up to 6 April.
Staff and students in most education and childcare settings no longer need to test twice a week.
Adults and children who test positive are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days.
Even though there is no longer a legal requirement to self-isolate, you are still strongly advised to stay at home if you test positive for COVID-19. Staying at home if you test positive will protect your loved ones and those who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
Going away this summer?
If you are travelling to or from England you should check on GOV.UK to see:
- Entry requirements for the country you’re going to or travelling through
- What you need to do before and after you return to England
- Whether you need to take any tests and when
- What you need to do to travel with children
- Whether you’re exempt from any rules
Businesses and venues
Businesses still need to work safely, update their risk assessments and take action to improve poorly ventilated spaces.
Employers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business.
All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance.
GOV.UK has a useful ventilation video that shows how staff can play their part in keeping the working environment safe.
If you need emotional support, advice and information or if you are feeling distressed or are in a crisis get help today.
The NHS provides a range of talking therapies for mental health issues like anxiety and depression which are free, effective and confidential. Your GP can also refer you to this service.
You can look at our Mental Health and Wellbeing Directory for information on a range of different organisations.