COVID 19


All remaining domestic Covid-19 restrictions in England have ended as part of the Government’s ‘Living with Covid-19’ plan. There are still steps you can take, and safer behaviours you can follow, to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated – this includes your booster dose and coming forward for your Spring Vaccine, if eligible.
  • Consider wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces.
  • Let fresh air in if meeting indoors or meet outside.
  • Avoid close contact with others and stay home if you can if you feel unwell and have flu like or Covid-19 symptoms and a high temperature.
  • Wash your hands regularly.

Testing

Wolverhampton’s Covid-19 rapid lateral flow and PCR test centres have now closed, as the Government phases out free testing for the majority of individuals. For more information please view Rapid test centres close as Covid guidance changes.

Symptomatic testing

From 1 April, free tests for people who have Covid-19 symptoms will continue to be provided to the following groups:

  • NHS patients in hospital, who will be tested via the established NHS testing programme
  • those eligible for COVID-19 antiviral and other treatments, who will be sent a pack of tests and can request replacements if they need them
  • NHS staff and staff working in NHS-funded independent healthcare provision – the current lateral flow test ordering portal will remain available for this group to order their own tests
  • adult social care staff in care homes, homecare organisations, extra care and supported living settings and adult day care centres, as well as residents in care homes and extra care and supported living settings via the established organisation ordering portal
  • adult social care social workers, personal assistants, Shared Lives carers and CQC inspectors will be able to order tests from the current online lateral flow ordering system
  • staff and patients in hospices will be supplied tests by the hospice
  • staff and detainees in prisons and other places of detention will be supplied tests by the detention premises as currently happens
  • staff and detainees in immigration removal centres will be supplied tests, as currently happens, by the organisation concerned
  • staff and users of high-risk domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings

Asymptomatic testing

From 1 April, free tests for people without symptoms of Covid-19 will continue to be provided for:

  • adult social care staff and a small number of visitors providing personal care
  • hospice staff
  • patient-facing staff in the NHS and NHS-funded independent healthcare provision
  • some staff in prisons and other places of detention, and some refuges and shelters
  • Care home outbreak testing for all staff and residents will also continue all year.

Please note, rapid test kits will continue to be available to purchase from various high street pharmacies and other retailers for people who are not eligible for free testing.

For full details of the changes, please visit gov.uk/coronavirus


Guidance for workplace testing


Vaccinations

Vaccines will remain the first line of defence against Covid-19. They are safe, effective and provide the best protection against serious illness from Covid-19.

Here you can find more information, including who can get a Covid-19 vaccine.

Visit Covid-19 vaccination to see the latest walk-in and bookable vaccination clinics.

Living with Covid-19

The working safe Covid-19 guidance has been replaced with one overarching public health guidance document for all workplaces to follow the key principles, to help reduce the risk in the workplace.

Guidance for reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including Covid-19, in the workplace.

Good ventilation brings fresh or cleaned air into indoor spaces. The more fresh air that is brought inside, the more diluted any airborne virus will become. In poorly ventilated spaces, residual virus can remain in the air after an infected person has left and increase the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

You should maximise the supply of fresh air in your premises. You can do this through:

  • Fully or partially opening windows, air vents and doors to improve natural ventilation
  • If you use mechanical ventilation, ensuring that your systems are set to maximise fresh air and minimise air recirculation. Maximising the amount of fresh air your system draws in or ensuring additional fresh air will help avoid COVID-19 spreading.
  • Identifying any poorly ventilated spaces as part of your risk assessment, and taking steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas (see below for further details)

You can also encourage the use of outside space where practical, in particular for higher risk activity such as exercise or when people are singing or raising their voices.

Useful Links:

The requirement for every employer to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their health and safety risk assessment has been removed. Employers may choose to continue to cover COVID-19 in their risk assessments. Employers that specifically work with COVID-19, such as laboratories, must continue to undertake a risk assessment that considers COVID-19. Employers should continue to comply with the requirements for cleaning, ventilation and welfare facilities in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 or the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 to control occupational health and safety risks.

Employers have a duty to consult with their employees, or their representatives, on health and safety matters. The Health and Safety Executive has guidance on how to keep people safe and healthy at work.