The government has now set out its strategy on how we live with and manage the COVID-19 virus, as we do with many other respiratory illnesses.
Free testing ended on 31 March, although people at risk of serious illness because of COVID-19, will continue to get free tests to use if they develop symptoms, along with health and social care staff and people in other high-risk settings.
While restrictions are now removed and testing reduced, the pandemic is not over. We encourage everyone to follow the public health guidance to protect themselves and others, particularly those who may become seriously ill if infected with COVID-19.
While there is no longer a requirement to self-isolate, the government's advice is to stay home and avoid contact with others if you test positive or have symptoms.
From 1 April 2022, those with symptoms who have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities will be advised to:
Vaccinations remain our best defence against the virus. Spring boosters are being offered to the elderly, care home residents, and the most vulnerable. Children aged 5 to 12 are also now able to access the vaccine.
In response to changes in the number of people and staff affected by COVID-19 we sometimes adjust our visiting hours. We will do this if the number of people affected is high or we are seeing more people poorly in hospital in order to minimise the number of people coming into hospital.
It is still a requirement to wear a face-covering in all healthcare premises unless you are exempt. Please don't be upset if we ask you to put a face-covering on, we're happy to accept that you may be exempt. Please just explain this if asked.