Living with Covid-19 – what are the new rules?

Health and care partners are urging the public to be careful and take sensible precautions, with Covid-19 still present in our communities.

From 1 April 2022 rules regarding Covid-19 testing and isolation changed in England.

As part of the government’s Living with Covid-19 plan, free testing has now ended for most people and people are urged to take sensible precautions if they are unwell.

At the same time Covid-19 cases are still present in our communities, and our health services are continuing to see patients testing positive.

Therefore, health and care partners are reminding people that rules do still apply in healthcare settings; people are still expected to wear a mask and there are requirements still in place in relation to testing that patients will be supported with.

Allison Cannon, Chief Nursing Officer at Sussex Commissioners, said: “It is important that as we transition to living with Covid-19 we still remain vigilant and protect the most vulnerable in society, as well as those who work in healthcare settings, therefore, you must still wear a face covering when using health services. You should also keep practising good hand hygiene.

“If you are over 75 you may have already received a letter inviting you get your spring booster. It is extremely important you do this as Covid-19 is present in our communities and we want to ensure you are protected as possible. If you are yet to have your first or second dose, or your original booster please also come forward.”

In a joint statement, Public Health Directors across Sussex, Alison Challenger, Alistair Hill and Darrell Gale said: “As free testing ends, the number of confirmed cases will inevitably drop. This could easily give a false impression that the pandemic is over. That’s simply not the case.

“Rates remain high across Sussex and it’s up to us all to follow the public health advice to protect ourselves, our communities and those who are most at risk.

“Vaccination remains our best defence, and low-dose vaccines are now available to all children aged 5 to 11 years, in addition to those aged 12 and over who are eligible.

“Together with basic good hygiene like covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing as well as regular hand washing, we can all help to keep Sussex safe.”