York's Public health leaders are reminding residents about national changes to COVID-19 testing which come in to force today, Friday 1 April, as part of the government’s ‘Living with COVID-19' plan.
While free COVID-19 tests will continue to be available to help protect people with additional vulnerabilities and NHS and care staff, universal testing for everyone ends today.
Updated national guidance advises people with symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and a high temperature or who feel unwell, to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature.
Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result is being advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious.
Advice for individuals who need to leave their home when they have symptoms or have tested positive includes:
- avoiding close contact with people with a weakened immune system
- wearing a face covering
- avoiding crowded places
Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.
Cllr Carol Runciman, the council’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:
We’re now moving in to the next phase of the national response to COVID-19 and although universal testing has ended, it’s still important that we are sensible in dealing with any illness.
"By continuing to work together, we can reduce the spread of the virus further and protect those who are most vulnerable to it.”
Fiona Phillips, the council’s Assistant Director of Public Health, said:
COVID-19 is still very much with us so it’s important that we all take a ‘common sense’ approach to dealing with it.
"York residents and businesses have done a fantastic job in reducing the spread of the virus in the city and by trying to avoid contact with other people when we’re feeling unwell, we can continue the good work.”