- There is no longer a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid
- You won’t need to test daily or self-isolate if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid.
- Immunocompromised people will be eligible for another dose of the vaccine 6 months after their last dose – a fifth dose for this group of people
- Free mass testing will come to an end, although the Government has stated that free tests will still be available to vulnerable people
The announcement is concerning for many people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) including people living with Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia (WM) and their families, for whom home testing and restrictions have provided a degree of freedom and reassurance since the end of lockdown.
We await further details on key issues such as access to treatment, the roll out of the fifth jab and access to free lateral flow tests for vulnerable people, and we’re calling on the Government to give clear and timely guidance to CEV, healthcare professionals and organisations so that we can ensure the most vulnerable in our society are safe.
“For many people this announcement may be a cause for celebration, but for CEV it is causing great anxiety,” says Jane Nicholson, WMUK CEO. “With the ongoing problems faced by WMers and other CEV around access to treatment and extra doses of the vaccine, removing free testing and the need to self-isolate creates a real risk for people who are immunocompromised. It’s vital that the Government clearly outlines steps to protect this vulnerable group of people from the virus, including free testing for them and their close contacts, as well as making treatment and vaccines easy and straightforward to access for all those who are eligible.”
Across the rest of the UK, devolved nations are at different levels of restrictions:
- Scotland – face masks are mandatory in public indoor settings and you must self-isolate if you have symptoms or test positive
- Wales – currently at alert level 0, masks are still mandatory and you must self-isolate if you have symptoms or test positive
- Northern Ireland – you must self-isolate if you have symptoms or test positive, face coverings are strongly recommended in indoor settings
As always, we’ll be keeping on top of Covid updates to ensure you have the information you need to keep yourself and loved ones safe.