The Prime Minister has announced an end to all remaining coronavirus restrictions in England.
In its place, the government has put forward a "Living with Covid" plan. Below we have summarised these changes, and outlined how they effect supported housing and general needs providers.
From 24 February the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test will be removed. Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. After five days, they may choose to take a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) followed by another the next day. If both are negative, and they do not have a temperature, they can safely return to their normal routine.
Those who test positive should avoid contact with anyone in an at risk group, including if they live in the same household.
There will be specific guidance for staff in particularly vulnerable services, such as adult social care, healthcare, and prisons and places of detention. We will keep you updated as the specifics of these guidelines are detailed.
From 1 April LFDs and PCR testing will no longer be free for most people. There will however, be some limited ongoing free testing:
The government will continue to support the adult social care sector with the following protections:
The regulations on compulsory vaccinations in all health and social care settings are to be revoked subject to consultation and parliamentary approval.
Professional bodies and senior personnel in the sector consider it a ‘professional responsibility’ to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus. The government has therefore asked the relevant professional regulators to review how this responsibility could be strengthened through their guidance. The government will also be consulting on this through its guidance for Care Quality Commission-regulated providers.