24 February 2022
Covid member update – England and Scotland
Following the publication of England's living with Covid plan on Monday and Scotland's updated Covid-19 strategic framework on Tuesday, this Covid-19 update covers:
- The requirement for healthcare settings to continue following existing IPC measures
- England's living with Covid plan
- Scotland's Covid plan
Healthcare settings to continue following existing IPC measures
Since the Prime Minister announced plans to lift Covid-19 restrictions in England, we have worked with NHS England to get timely guidance to primary care audiology.
We can now confirm that at this stage there are no immediate changes to IPC requirements in healthcare. Existing IPC measures continue to apply to private and NHS audiology for the time being.
The UK Health Security Agency has today also confirmed that there is no longer a legal requirement for people with Covid-19 to self-isolate in England. However, "due to the higher risk nature of health and social care settings, the advice for staff members working in these settings has not changed".
Therefore, please note in England:
- Healthcare staff who have tested positive for Covid-19 should not attend work until they have had two negative LFD test results taken 24 hours apart.
- The first test should not be taken before day five after their initial positive test. These tests need to be 24 hours apart. If they are medically fit, they can return to work on the morning of day six if they tested negative 24 hours earlier.
Read the guidance.
If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected].
England's living with Covid plan
Key points to note from England's living with Covid plan:
General direction of travel
- Covid restrictions will be removed and replaced with public health measures like those to manage other infectious illnesses.
- In line with other viruses, pharmaceutical interventions and testing will be used to protect the most vulnerable.
- Monitoring will continue against future variants, and contingency measures will be in place to respond to any threats, including mass vaccination and testing in an emergency.
From today, 24 February:
- The legal requirement to self-isolate ends for the public (see separate healthcare guidance above).
- However, the government advises people who test positive to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least five full days and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received two negative test results on consecutive days.
- Self-isolation support payments, national funding for practical support and the medicine delivery service are no longer available.
- Routine contact tracing ends.
- Fully vaccinated adults and those under 18 who are close contacts are no longer advised to test daily for seven days.
- The legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate will be removed.
From 1 April, the government will:
- Remove the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider Covid-19 in their risk assessments
- No longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the public in England.
Read more about England's living with Covid plan.
The Scottish Government has updated its strategic framework for Covid-19. It said that if the Covid threat level remains "medium/low in the weeks ahead", it plans to follow the plan detailed in the figure below.
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