COVID-19 Changes: Questions and Answers

Testing changes after 1 April 2022

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19 after 1 April?
The current public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with others. Further guidance will be provided on the gov.uk website, once available.

What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms after 1 April?
The current public health advice is to stay at home if you feel unwell and avoid contact with others. Further guidance will be provided on the gov.uk website, once available.

How do I get a PCR test if I have symptoms of COVID-19 after 31 March?
From 1 April you will no longer be required to take a PCR test if you have symptoms of COVID-19. PCR tests will be limited to a small number of people who are particularly at risk or work in certain health and social care settings.

How do I get an LFD test after 1 April?
From 1 April, free LFD and PCR tests will end. You will no longer be able to order them online from gov.uk or collect for free from a pharmacy. However, LFD tests will continue to be available to purchase from pharmacies.

Other changes

What should I do if a close contact has symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19?
Since 24 February there is no longer a need to self-isolate or test for 7 days after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This applies to everyone, including critical workers.

Can I get financial support if I choose to self-isolate?
The Test and Trace Support Payment ended on 24 February 2022. From 24 March 2022 Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will no longer be payable from day 1 if people are unable to work because they are sick or self-isolating due to COVID-19. Pre-pandemic Statutory Sick Pay rules will apply.

Why has twice weekly COVID-19 testing ended in schools?
Twice weekly testing at schools ended on 21 February. Evidence shows that the risks of COVID-19 to children and young people are low and that vaccination offers a high level of protection from serious illness. Twice weekly testing will continue in some settings, such as Special educational needs and disability (SEND) schools and social care until the end of March. Up until the end of March, schools can distribute tests for a short period following an outbreak.

Do I still need to be fully vaccinated to work in social care?
The legal requirement for health and social care staff to be double jabbed will be removed from 15 March 2022.

Do I need to give my details when I visit places?
Guidance on venue check-in has ended. Businesses and other organisations do not need to collect contact details or display NHS QR code posters.

Will I need an NHS COVID Pass to get into events and venues?
The Government is no longer recommending that venues use the NHS COVID Pass.

Should I delete the NHS COVD-19 App?
The NHS COVID-19 app continues to have a role in helping us stay safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19. The app is a quick and easy way to get the latest advice and find out if you may have been exposed to COVID-19. While testing is still widely available, the app will continue to let you know if you’ve been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, so you can look out for symptoms and take care by following guidance on safer behaviours. If ‘pinged’, you will not be advised to self-isolate or do daily testing, but you will be provided with guidance on simple actions you can take to limit the spread of COVID-19.

What happens if there’s a new variant of COVID-19 or a local outbreak in my area?
The Government will continue to monitor the virus to detect and assess new variants. If a new variant is discovered, it will be assessed to establish its severity, which in turn will inform the level of response necessary. To ensure we are fully prepared, a range of capabilities have been maintained that can be scaled back up if required.

What advice is there for businesses about staff who test positive or have COVID-19 symptoms?
The current advice is to stay at home if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. From 1 April, the Government will replace the existing set of ‘Working Safely’ guidance with new public health guidance. Employers should continue to consider the needs of employees at greater risk from COVID-19, including those whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from the virus.

Do I have to test when I travel?
From 24 February, international arrivals no longer have to self-isolate after a positive day 2 PCR test or an unclear test result. However, if anyone receives a positive test result, the public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. For travel rules visit the online guidance about international travel.