The rules have changed in recent weeks, as various restrictions come to an end across the UK.
Here’s everything you need to know about the right thing to do if you catch Covid.
Should I self isolate?
Technically you do not have to and there is no penalty for leaving your home.
The Government advice currently states: “You will not be legally required to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid-19.”
Isolation has become voluntary, not mandatory, but it is still recommended.
It says you should “stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people”.
Self-isolation support payments that enable low-income workers to stay home have also ended, and Boris Johnson has called on those with Covid-19 symptoms to “exercise personal responsibility”.
You also don’t need to self-isolate if you have come into contact with someone who has Covid.
The advice states: “You will not have to take daily tests or be legally required to self-isolate following contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme has also ended.
Should I take a test?
Currently yes, you should still take a test.
The NHS says you should get a PCR test as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms, even if mild:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
However, this is also set to change. Free PCR tests will not be available to people with symptoms from April, except for a small number of at-risk groups.
You’re no longer advised to do daily rapid lateral flow tests after you’ve come into contact with someone who has Covid-19.
Free lateral flow and PCR tests for the general public, costing around £2bn a month, are also set to end on 1 April for most age groups.
Domestic Covid passports will no longer be recommended in venues from 1 April, though people will still be able to indicate their Covid status via the NHS app for international travel.
How can I treat Covid?
There is no pill that helps treat Covid, but you can help with some of the symptoms.
The NHS gives the below advice.
Treating a high temperature
If you have a high temperature, it can help to:
- get lots of rest
- drink plenty of fluids (water is best) to avoid dehydration – drink enough so your urine is light yellow and clear
- take paracetamol or ibuprofen if you feel uncomfortable
Treating a cough
If you have a cough, it’s best to avoid lying on your back. Lie on your side or sit upright instead.
To help ease a cough, try having a teaspoon of honey. But do not give honey to babies under 12 months.
If this does not help, you could contact a pharmacist for advice about cough treatments.
You should call 111 if:
- you’re feeling gradually more unwell or more breathless
- you have difficulty breathing when you stand up or move around
- you feel very weak, achy or tired
- you’re shaking or shivering
- you’ve lost your appetite
- you’re unable to care for yourself – for example, tasks like washing and dressing or making food are too difficult
- you still feel unwell after 4 weeks – this may be long Covid
You should call 999 if:
- you’re so breathless that you’re unable to say short sentences when resting
- your breathing has got suddenly worse
- you cough up blood
- you feel cold and sweaty, with pale or blotchy skin
- you have a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin and does not fade when you roll a glass over it
- you collapse or faint
- you feel agitated, confused or very drowsy
- you’ve stopped peeing or are peeing much less than usual
What are the Covid rates?
As of Tuesday 22 March hospital admissions across the UK are up 21.7 per cent week-on-week.
The number of people testing positive has gone up by 20.4 per cent in seven days, following weeks of increases. In the past week 592,459 have tested positive.
In total, 163,929 have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus, and week on week it has increased by 17.1 per cent.