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Government sets out next steps for living with Covid

The Government has announced who will be able to access free Covid tests once the universal testing offer for the general public stops on 1 April 2022.

Free tests will continue to be provided to people who are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and eligible for treatments, to use if they develop symptoms. NHS and adult social care staff will also continue to get free tests, along with those in other high risk settings.

There are national plans in place to implement a rapid testing response should a new health threat emerge, such as a variant of concern. Vaccines and anti-viral treatments will enable the country to manage Covid in the same way as other respiratory infections. Updated Government guidance will be published on 1 April.

Ruth Hutchinson, Surrey’s Director of Public Health said,

“The Government has said that the groups of most concern to us in Surrey will still have access to free Covid tests when the universal offer to the general public stops on the 1st of April. This includes people at risk of serious illness, NHS, adult social care staff and people working in specific high risk settings.

“Covid is still very prevalent in Surrey. As we learn to live with the virus we need to remember that it is still highly infectious, and keep doing what we can to stop it spreading. The vaccine is highly effective in preventing serious illness, and it is never too late to get it, if you haven’t already done so.

“If you are feeling unwell or have a high temperature you should still stay at home and avoid contact with other people until your symptoms have gone away. Hand washing, face coverings and good ventilation are simple and easy precautions that we know make a big difference to levels of transmission in the community.”

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