21.02.22 – Prime Minister sets out “Living with Covid” strategy
The Prime Minister has today set out the government’s “Living with Covid” strategy. The plan was based on 4 principles:
- Remove all remaining domestic restrictions in law.
- Protect the most vulnerable with targeted vaccines and treatments, accepting JCVI advice for new spring booster for those aged 75 and older, older care home residents, and those over 12 who are immunosuppressed.
- Maintain resilience to respond to new variants.
- Continuing the work of the Vaccine Taskforce and Therapeutics Taskforce.
From Thursday 24 February, the legal requirement to self-isolate will end. With this, self-isolation support payments will also come to an end, but covid provisions for statutory sick pay can still be claimed for a further month. The legal requirement for those unvaccinated self-contacts to self-isolate will also come to an end. Until 1 April, anyone testing positive should stay at home, but after that, “it will be down to personal responsibility just as with flu.”
From today, government is removing guidance for staff and students in most educational settings to undertake twice weekly asymptomatic testing. From 1 April, free symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public will end, although it will be kept in place for older age groups and those most vulnerable to Covid-19.
From 1 April, government will no longer recommend the use of voluntary covid status certification, but the NHS app will continue to be used for international travel. The government will continue to work with international partners on future pandemic preparedness. A Summit will be held on this next month.
The government will continue to work with devolved administrations as they take forward their own plans.