22nd February 2022
Current COVID-19 restrictions
Restrictions and guidance varies by nation, expand the tabs below to read more about where you live.
- In England, the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive COVID-19 test will end on 24th February, however people who test positive will still be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least five full days and continue following this advice until they have received two negative test results on consecutive days.
- People who live in the same household as someone who has tested positive are advised to work from home if possible, avoid contact with high risk individuals and limit close contact with other people. Non-household contacts are advised to follow more general advice on ventilation, wearing masks and hygiene.
- From 1st April, free PCR and lateral from testing for the general public in England will no longer be available, however free tests for people from at-risk groups who have symptoms will be available (details of which groups will be eligible are to be confirmed). Free symptomatic testing will remain available to social care staff.
In addition to the changes above, from Thursday 27th January England returned to Plan A measures, meaning:
- Social distancing rules are no longer in place
- Mandatory COVID-19 certification will end, but venues may choose to use the NHS COVID Pass voluntarily
- Face coverings are no longer be required by law in indoor venues
- However, it is suggested that people wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces where they might come into contact with people they do not normally meet
- Local directors of public health are still able to recommend face coverings in communal areas only in education settings within their area, but only where the department and public health experts judge the measures to be proportionate – this is a temporary measure
- Face coverings must still be worn in health and care settings, including primary care and pharmacies
- As of Wednesday 19th January, the government no longer asked people to work from home.
- Proof of COVID status is no longer legally required for entry to bars, restaurants or cinemas. However this remains required for entry into nightclubs, as well as for indoor unseated and partially-seated events with 500 or more people in attendance
- Masks remain mandatory on public transport and in indoor public settings and hospitality
- People should remain 1m apart in retail and shopping centres, indoor hospitality settings, indoor visitor attractions and on public transport, where possible
- People who have tested positive for coronavirus must isolate for 10 days. People may end self-isolation on day seven if they have two negative tests 24 hours apart.
- Fully vaccinated adults and children who are close contacts of those who test positive are advised to isolate and take a lateral flow test as soon as possible. If this is negative they should continue to take lateral flow tests for 10 days and avoid visiting hospital and care homes, even if the PCR test is negative. Adults who are not fully vaccinated must isolate for 10 days.
- People should work from home wherever possible, employees at work should continue to observe social distancing rules.
- Social distancing rules are no longer in place
- Guidance urging people to work from home wherever possible has been relaxed in favour of a “hybrid” system of office and remote working
- Adults and children aged 12 and over still have to wear face coverings in indoor settings such as shops, hospitality venues and public transport
- In hospitality settings, face coverings can be removed while dancing, drinking and dining. They remain mandatory on public transport and in indoor public settings.
- The two-metre distancing rule remains in healthcare settings such as hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and dentists
- People who test positive in Scotland will be allowed to exit self-isolation after seven days if they have no fever and record two negative lateral flow tests
- Household contacts of people with the virus can take a lateral flow test every day for seven days rather than going into self-isolation
From 28th January:
- Proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test taken within the last 48 hours is required for nightclubs, large events, cinemas, theatres and concert halls, unseated indoor events with over 500 people, outdoor unseated events with more than 4,000 people, and any event with more than 10,000 people
- Working from home remains important but has moved from law to guidance
- Government guidance is that people should remain 2m apart from each other. By law, employers must take all reasonable measures to ensure a 2m distance
- Face coverings are still required on public transport and in most indoor public places
- People who have tested positive for coronavirus must isolate for 10 days. People may end self-isolation on day eight if they have two negative tests 24 hours apart
- Fully vaccinated adults and young people between 5 and 17 are not required to isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, but must take a lateral flow test every day for seven days. Not fully vaccinated contacts over 18 must self-isolate for 10 days and take a PCR test on days 2 and 8.
What to do if you are worried about restrictions lifting
The vaccine rollout has significantly reduced transmission of COVID-19 but no vaccine is 100% effective so you may feel anxiety about catching COVID-19 even after vaccination. If you are vulnerable or worried, remember these important steps to protect yourself from COVID-19:
- Get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu. Read more here
- Wear a mask in areas where you’ll mix with other people
- Avoid crowded places especially indoors
- If you meet indoors make sure the area is fully ventilated and ask people you're meeting to take a lateral flow test
- Keep two metres distance from people who are not members of your household
- Speak to your employer about home working
- Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
- We have Distance Aware badges and lanyards available, if you want to politely remind others to give you space.
- Avoid information overload. Only look at reliable sources of information about coronavirus that are updated regularly. Sources like the NHS, Gov.uk, Health Protection Scotland and Public Health Wales can provide you with up-to-date information.
- Try to stay connected. At times of stress, we work better in company and with support. Try and keep regular contact with your friends and family and friends. It’s good to connect with people on social media but avoid reading or engaging with content that might cause unnecessary stress to you or others. Only share content from reliable sources.
- If you are feeling isolated or lonely and need someone else to talk to, contact one of these helplines:
- Samaritans:116 123 (for anyone at any time for any reason)
- Mind: 0300 123 3393
- Keep a routine. It is a good idea to stick to your daily routine as much as you can. You may also like to focus on the things you can do if you feel able to including partaking in activities and hobbies that you enjoy.
- Keep healthy. Try to lead a healthy lifestyle - eating a diet including plenty of fruit and vegetables, taking regular exercise and getting a good night’s sleep will help your immune system to deal with any infection.
Vaccinations and advice for people who are immunosuppressed
We are aware that if you or a loved one is immunosuppressed you have particular worries about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the effectiveness of the vaccine. You can read more about this here.
COVID-19 treatments for people most at risk
Patients at highest risk of COVID can access these treatments through new NHS COVID Medicines Delivery Units (CMDU). This includes patients decompensated liver disease, cirrhosis, have had a liver transplant, or if you are a liver disease patient on immunosuppressive therapy. Read more here.