The next step in the Government’s Living with COVID plan has come into force and as we learn to live safely and fairly with COVID-19, there are actions that we can take to reduce the risk of catching respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 and passing them to others.
It’s important that we continue to protect ourselves and our communities by:
- Getting vaccinated – vaccines remain our best defence against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, such as flu, and COVID-19 walk-in clinics are still available, as well as booked appointments
- Letting in fresh air if meeting others indoors, even for a few minutes at a time helps reduce older stale air that could contain virus particles
- Practicing good hygiene by washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes and cleaning your surroundings regularly
- Wearing a face covering or a face mask when you have close contact with someone at higher risk of becoming unwell from COVID-19 or other respiratory infections or in crowded or enclosed spaces.
If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, you are advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. It is particularly important to avoid close contact with anyone who you know is at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if they are infected with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, especially those whose immune system means that they are at higher risk of serious illness, despite vaccination.
The spring booster programme has started and offers a booster to people 75 and over, those who live in a care home and people 12 and over who have a weakened immune system. Those eligible for a spring booster will be contacted by the NHS but it’s never too late to get vaccinated, even your first or second dose, you’re still eligible. Children aged five to 11 years old can now have their first dose of the vaccine. Visit the NHS website for more information or to book an appointment.
Those at the highest risk of become seriously ill will be eligible for COVID-19 treatments and will be contacted directly by the NHS and will be sent lateral flow tests to use if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. If this test is positive, the individual will be contacted by a clinician to discuss and arrange treatment options.
From 1 April, lateral flow tests are no longer available for free for the public, but are now available privately if you wish to purchase them.
Visit the Government’s website for the latest information.