All remaining Covid-related legal restrictions in England will end on Thursday (February 24), including the need to self-isolate.
Cornwall Council’s Public Health team is asking that residents and visitors continue to act responsibly and take precautions where necessary to limit the spread of the virus.
Anyone who has not been vaccinated is urged to do so as soon as possible to keep themselves and their communities as safe as possible.
In brief, the latest changes to Covid restrictions mean:
From Thursday, there is no longer any need to self-isolate after recording a positive test. However, isolating for at least 5 days is still advised.
Routine contact tracing will end on the same day.
Contacts of people who test positive no longer have to test for 7 days or abide by any other rules.
Free PCR (symptomatic) testing and Lateral Flow Tests (asymptomatic) will end on April 1. People will be able to buy tests.
The most vulnerable people will continue to get free tests if they are symptomatic.
Test and Trace Support Payments will end on Thursday.
Covid provisions for increased statutory sick pay will apply for a further month.
From yesterday (February 21), staff and students in most education and childcare settings no longer need to test twice a week.
Cllr Dr Andy Virr, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Public Health, said:
“I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement and we must now all learn to live safely with Covid.
“It’s great that we’re returning to some kind of normality, but we must also remember that the virus is still out there and infecting a lot of people.
“This means we all have a responsibility to keep taking precautions when necessary and follow the guidance that we know is very effective in stopping the virus from spreading.
“So take a mask if you’re heading somewhere busy, try to meet outside if you can or open windows when meeting indoors, keep washing your hands and ensuring surfaces are clean, and above all, make sure you get vaccinated – it’s never too late!
“Only by acting responsibly can we all learn to live safely with the virus.”
Rachel Wigglesworth, Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said:
“The Public Health team has been working hard throughout the pandemic to keep residents and visitors safe and will continue to monitor the spread of Covid in Cornwall and advise education settings and workplaces around outbreaks.
“I would urge everyone to carry on acting responsibly and to keep taking sensible precautions to keep the spread of the virus to a minimum and protect our most vulnerable residents.”
She added: “We know that the pandemic has taken a severe toll on people’s mental health, and this latest announcement may also cause significant stress and anxiety.
“We want anyone who is struggling to know that there is help and support available – they don’t have to face these issues alone. There is plenty of information on our website at www.cornwall.gov.uk/mentalhealth
“If you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health call the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 24/7 NHS mental health response line on 0800 038 5300. It’s free to access by anyone, any age, any time, day or night.”