People will have to pay for testing from April 1

Coronavirus restrictions have been scrapped for people living in England, as part of the government’s plan to live with Covid.

The decision came following an announcement made by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson in the House of Commons on Monday, 21st February.

The full easing of restrictions means anyone who now tests positive for Covid-19 will no longer be legally required to isolate, although it will still be advised.

People who do not work in health and social care will also be required to pay for Coronavirus, PCR and Lateral Flow Tests from April 1, and Covid Passports are only recommended for international travel.

“We’re at half-time, but the match is certainly not over yet.”
Jonathan Gribbin, Director of Public Health, Nottinghamshire

Director of Public Health for Nottinghamshire, Jonathan Gribbin urged people to remain cautious despite the full easing of restrictions in England.

“Living with Covid as a plan represents on a strategy of breaking the chains of transmission to protecting those who are at risk,” he said.

“It’s important that people go and get vaccinated if they haven’t done so already, and people start to practice safer behaviours. If we are meeting with people indoors, make sure to let plenty of fresh air in, as we approach warmer days, meet people outdoors,

“It’s also important that people wear a face-covering in crowded and close spaces and people continue to take tests if they develop Covid symptoms and avoid contact with other if we develop symptoms,” he added.

He added; “The World Health Organisation and SAGE, are suggesting it could be a few more years before we reach a situation of stability and predictability (of the virus).

“We’re at half-time, but the match is certainly not over yet,” said Jonathan Gribbin.

Jonathan Gribbin, Director of Public Health for Nottinghamshire, on the problems Covid-19 could still continue to cause

Robert Dingwall, a Professor in Sociology at Nottingham Trent University and an expert in social science, believes it was the right time for the Government to remove Covid Restrictions due to change in human behaviour.

“What we’ve seen with Covid in the last few months, since July 19, is that people have been making their own interpretations of the rules and applied them to their own circumstances,” he said.

“You don’t need laws on social-distancing, because people naturally do it anyway, this was even before coronavirus. People don’t like being one-metre to people they don’t know,” he added.

“Let’s not forget that cases and hospital rates have also been falling, so if the government didn’t ease it now, then when would they?

“(The easing on restrictions), it’s recognising the reality of what happening the last few months.”

Robert Dingwell on why people will choose to social distance, even after Covid.

The Government also announced on Monday that people who are over 75 years old, or deemed vulnerable will be able to get a fourth Covid-19 jab from the Spring. Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, have also stated they are planning a campaign in Spring to get more people in the county vaccinated.