Although Covid infections have been rising of late largely due to fast-spreading variants of Omicron called BA.4 and BA.5. there have been no changes to the rules on COVID since all remaining restrictions in England were lifted on 24th February 2022. By way of recap, the current government advice continues to be as follows: –
Adults who develop Covid symptoms are advised to try to stay at/work from home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better. If you do leave home, the government suggests wearing a mask and avoiding crowded spaces to avoid infecting others. Free tests are no longer available for most people (other than frontline NHS staff and the most vulnerable groups) but you can buy one for about £2.
If you take a test and it proves positive, you are advised to try to stay at home/work from home for five days (and beyond if still unwell) after the day of the test. If you have a medical appointment, you should tell the staff about your result in advance, and the guidance says you may wish to ask others to do your shopping.
If you are a close contact of people with Covid you don’t have to self-isolate or take daily tests, regardless of your vaccination status.
People aged 18 and under who have mild symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat or slight cough, can still go to school or college. If they have a temperature or are unwell, the advice is for them to stay at home and avoid contact with others where possible – they can go back to school when they are well enough and don’t have a temperature. Testing isn’t recommended – but if they test positive, they should try to stay at home for three days.
There is separate guidance for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk from Covid and for those working in health and social care.
Should you wish/need to arrange a test for Coronavirus, the latest government update on private providers can be found here.