Coronavirus Updates

Latest updates on Coronavirus. As the situation is quickly evolving, it is important to be provided with up-to-date information. We’ll be updating and adding to our information. So keep checking back.

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07th March 2022

Living with COVID Plans: What does it mean for you?

The Government has outlined its roadmap on how it aims to deal with COVID-19 in the future. The plans still lack a lot of detail, but QCS has uncovered information surrounding VCOD and key dates for those working in adult social care.

What is COVID-19 Response Living with COVID-19?

The document outlines how the Government aims to manage how it will deal with COVID-19 going forward and offers a roadmap for the future.

So, what does that mean exactly?

The Government’s aim is to enable the country to manage COVID-19 like other respiratory illnesses, while minimising deaths and retaining the ability to respond if a new variant emerges, or during periods of waning immunity, that could again threaten to place the NHS under unsustainable pressure.

To meet this objective, the Government will structure its ongoing response around four principles:

  • Living with COVID-19: removing domestic restrictions while encouraging safer behaviours through public health advice, in common with longstanding ways of managing most other respiratory illnesses
  • Protecting people most vulnerable to COVID-19: vaccination guided by Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice, and deploying targeted testing
  • Maintaining resilience: ongoing surveillance, contingency planning and the ability to reintroduce key capabilities such as mass vaccination and testing in an emergency; and
  • Securing innovations and opportunities from the COVID-19 response, including investment in life sciences

But what do I need to know?

Adult Social Care

The Government will continue to support the adult social care sector with the following protections:

  • Supporting and encouraging the take-up of vaccines amongst care recipients and staff, including any further doses that may be recommended by JCVI for COVID-19 and other infections
  • Guidance on precautions for visitors and workers in adult social care
  • Providing access to free PPE to the end of March 2023 or until the UK IPC guidance on PPE usage for COVID-19 is amended or superseded (whichever is sooner)

Is there a key date to look out for?

Yes, 1st April 2022 the Government will publish updated IPC guidance. This will replace current COVID-19 IPC guidance for care homes, home care and other adult social care services. The Government will continue to work with local authorities and care providers to respond to outbreaks in care settings and manage local workforce pressures.

Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment Regulations

A public consultation on revocation concluded on 16th February 2022, and the Government will publish its response shortly. Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the regulations will be revoked ahead of 1st April 2022.

Any other dates that are useful to know?

There are quite a few and some you may have missed.

21st February the Government:

  • Removed the guidance for staff and students in most education and childcare settings to undertake twice weekly asymptomatic testing

From 24th February, the Government will:

  • Remove the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days
  • No longer ask fully vaccinated close contacts and those aged under 18 to test daily for 7 days and remove the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate
  • End self-isolation support payments, national funding for practical support and the medicine delivery service will no longer be available
  • End routine contact tracing. Contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests
  • End the legal obligation for individuals to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate
  • Revoke The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations

From 24th March, the Government will:

  • Remove the COVID-19 provisions within the Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations

From 1st April, the Government will:

  • Remove the current guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification in domestic settings and no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass
  • Update guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take to minimise contact with other people. This will align with the changes to testing
  • No longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England
  • Consolidate guidance to the public and businesses, in line with public health advice
  • Remove the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments
  • Replace the existing set of ‘Working Safely’ guidance with new public health guidance

Adult Social Care

The Government will continue to support the adult social care sector with the following protections:

  • Supporting and encouraging the take-up of vaccines amongst care recipients and staff, including any further doses that may be recommended by JCVI for COVID-19 and other infections
  • Guidance on precautions for visitors and workers in adult social care
  • Providing access to free PPE to the end of March 2023 or until the UK IPC guidance on PPE usage for COVID-19 is amended or superseded (whichever is sooner)

Further Information

Read the Government response in full

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

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