Living with Covid-19

Protecting yourself and protecting others remains important as we learn to live with Coronavirus.

Around one in three people with Coronavirus do not have symptoms meaning the behaviours we adopt are vital to keeping people safe, healthy and well.

To help prevent the spread of infectious viruses like Coronavirus you can:

Get vaccinated

Getting vaccinated can significantly reduce the risk of catching Covid-19 and becoming seriously ill as well as reducing the risk of spreading the virus to others. Clinics remain available throughout the county for first, second, third and booster doses. Find a local clinic or read more about the Coronavirus vaccine.

Let fresh air in or meet outdoors

Having good ventilation if you are meeting other indoors, or choosing to meet outside, can help to disperse Covid-19 particles which reduces the risk of the virus spreading.

Wearing a face covering

Consider wearing a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces to limit particles spreading, especially where you come in to contact with people you do not usually meet.

Wash hands often

Regular handwashing for at least 20 seconds and following the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.’ approach will also help to reduce the risk of infection.

Stay at home if you are unwell

If you are not feeling 100 per cent, staying at home will protect you and others. Resting will give you a better chance at recovery and by staying at home, you will be reducing the risk of infecting other people.

Further guidance on how to stay safe

Testing for the virus

As immunity levels are high, testing and isolation will play a less important role in preventing serious illness. The availability of free testing has now reduced, and routine asymptomatic testing has been paused in most settings, including health and social care settings.

Read more about changes to testing for COVID-19 in England.

Coronavirus affects everyone differently, so it is important if you test positive or if you are not feeling well to stay at home – protecting you from getting more poorly and others from getting infected.

The symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections are very similar. It is not possible to tell if you have COVID-19, flu or another respiratory infection based on symptoms alone. Most people with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections will have a relatively mild illness, especially if they have been vaccinated.

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you no longer feel unwell.

Guidance for people in prisons and places of detention has not changed – read the full guidance online.

Twice-weekly asymptomatic testing in education settings is no longer advised. Find out more about managing Coronavirus in education and childcare settings.

Guidance for people who test positive for Covid-19 and their contacts

As part of the 'Living with Covid-19 plan', there is no longer any legal requirement for people with a positive test, or unvaccinated contacts of people with a positive test, to self-isolate.

‘Living with Covid-19’ plan

However, people who do test positive, by PCR or lateral flow test, are advised to stay at home and avoid close contact with others for at least five days. There is different advice for children and young people aged 18 and under.

  • Not to attend work and work from home if possible
  • Take actions to prevent household transmission e.g. separate towels, regularly cleaning touchpoints
  • Inform close (household and overnight) contacts

Many people with COVID-19 will no longer be infectious to others after 5 days.

People who test positive are also advised to avoid meeting people at a higher risk of becoming seriously unwell from Covid-19 for 10 days after the first positive result.

Your contacts

If you are a household or overnight contact of an individual who has tested positive for Covid-19, you are advised to take additional precautions for 10 days. 

This includes avoiding contact with anyone at higher risk, and limiting close contact with other people outside of your household.

Non-household contacts are advised to take extra care by following the safer behaviours guidance.

Read the full guidance for people with Coronavirus and their contacts.

Schemes, programmes and the app

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, national funding for practical support and Medicines Delivery service will discontinue.

The NHS Covid-19 app is being updated. It will continue to let people know if they have been in close contact with someone who has Covid-19 and will signpost individuals to the new guidance (summarised above).