Wirral's independent local news website
The Government’s Living Safely with Covid plan has been updated, with new symptoms and testing rules, as Wirral’s Director of Public Health reminds residents that “the virus hasn’t gone away.”
With the removal of legal restrictions, the new guidance aims to support the public to make informed choices that reduce the spread of respiratory infections – including COVID-19 – as we move into a new phase of the pandemic.
Julie Webster, Director of Public Health, Wirral said, “Living safely with COVID-19 does not mean ignoring it. The virus continues to circulate in our communities and case rates have remained consistently high over the past few weeks.
“Free, universal community testing has now ended – meaning we no longer have detailed data on how many people have the virus locally but I need to stress that COVID-19 has not gone away.
“I urge Wirral residents to help prevent the virus spreading by doing the things we have done so well for the past two years. If you’ve not had the vaccine yet, it’s not too late to get your first jab.
“If you are due to have your 2nd or booster doses, get them as soon as you can. You can make an appointment online at NHS.UK or by calling 119. You can also book an appointment with your GP.”
Those most a risk and certain groups can still access free LFD tests from the Government. Tests can be ordered online, and you also see a full eligibility list here
For those who are not eligible for free tests, LFTs can be purchased over the counter in pharmacies, and some high street stores, starting from as little as £1.99.
The public are now being advised to look out for a wider range of symptoms to prevent the spread of all common respiratory infections, including COVID-19 and flu.
The updated list of symptoms includes:
Adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19 should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature.
If you have to leave your home while you have symptoms, you are advised to avoid close contact with anyone who you know is especially vulnerable to illness. For example, those whose immune system means that they are at higher risk of serious illness, despite vaccination
To lower the risk of spreading infection:
It is no longer recommended that children and young people are routinely tested for COVID-19 (unless asked to by a health professional). If they do test positive, they should not go into school and should try to stay at home for 3 days, after the day they took the test.
After 3 days, if they are well enough (and do not have an ongoing high temperature), they can return to school.
Regardless of testing positive, children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, when possible.
They can go back to school and resume normal activities when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.
Children and young people with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, or slight cough, who are otherwise well, can continue to attend school.
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