COVID-19 is not going away and we'll need to live alongside it, like we do with other viruses.
The majority of people are now fully vaccinated. As immunity levels are high, testing and isolation will play a less important role in preventing serious illness.
Changes to COVID-19 testing
For the majority of the general public, you will no longer need to test for COVID-19 regularly.
There are some exceptions to this based on your place of work, or if you fall into a 'clinical extremely vulnerable' category based on your medical history.
Visit Living with COVID-19 for more about who can continue to access free tests.
For the rest of the population, from 1 April 2022, the government is no longer providing free universal testing in England. This applies to both lateral flow and PCR tests.
For lateral flow tests, online ordering through GOV.UK and collection from pharmacies or other community hubs will no longer be available.
All PCR testing sites in Hertfordshire have now closed.
Reducing the risk of catching COVID-19
Individuals can still reduce the risk of catching and passing on COVID by:
- getting vaccinated
- letting fresh air in if meeting indoors, or meeting outside
- wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, especially where you come into contact with people you don't usually meet
- washing your hands and following advice to ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’.
If you start to feel unwell with COVID symptoms, stay at home until you feel better, like you would if you had another illness such as a heavy cold or flu.
Whilst you're not required to legally self-isolate, good practice means you should stay at home and minimise risks of passing a virus onto anyone around you, particularly vulnerable people.
What to do if you have COVID or COVID symptoms (NHS)