From 1 April 2022 the Government moved to living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19.
As we learn to live safely with coronavirus (COVID-19), there are actions we can all take to help reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to others. These actions will also help to reduce the spread of other respiratory infections, such as flu, which can spread easily and may cause serious illness in some people.
COVID-19, along with many other respiratory infections such as influenza (flu), can spread easily and cause serious illness in some people. You may be infected with a respiratory virus such as COVID-19 and not have any symptoms but still pass infection onto others.
The risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is greatest when someone who is infected is physically close to, or sharing an enclosed and/or poorly ventilated space with, other people. When someone with a respiratory viral infection such as COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release small particles that contain the virus which causes the infection. These particles can be breathed in or can come into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. The particles can also land on surfaces and be passed from person to person via touch.
You will not always know whether someone you come into contact with is at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from respiratory infections, including COVID-19. They could be strangers (for example people you sit next to on public transport) or people you may have regular contact with (for example friends and work colleagues).
There are simple things you can do in your daily life that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections and protect those at highest risk.
Things you can choose to do are:
- get vaccinated
- let fresh air in if meeting others indoors
- practise good hygiene:
- wash your hands
- cover your coughs and sneezes
- clean your surroundings frequently
- wear a face covering or a face mask
Face coverings and face masks can help reduce the chance of you spreading infection to others, especially in crowded and enclosed spaces, and may protect you from becoming infected by some respiratory viruses.
If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, you are advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
There is guidance on steps you can take to protect other people if you are unwell with symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19.
See information about Coronavirus vaccination in Northamptonshire
Testing has changed - please see our main testing page for further
Travelling in the UK and abroad
You must follow the rules for international travel.
Travelling to England from outside the UK
People planning to travel to England should follow the guidance on entering the UK.
Travelling in the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands
There are no restrictions on travel within England.
You should check the rules at your destination if you're planning to travel to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, or to Ireland or the Channel Islands as there may be restrictions in place.
Do not travel if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating.
Businesses and venues
All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance.
Employers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify. The working safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider including:
- identifying poorly ventilated areas in the venue, for example by using a CO2 monitor, and taking steps to improve air flow in these areas
- ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue
- providing hand sanitiser to enable staff and customers to clean their hands more frequently, and cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly
- communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place
COVID-19 continues to be a virus that we learn to live with and the imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people's education remains.
The Government's priority is for schools, colleges, childminders and nurseries to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education and care to all children and young people. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, and mental and physical health.
There are no nationally set direct restrictions on visiting in care homes.
Visiting is an integral part of care home life. It is vitally important for maintaining the health, wellbeing and quality of life of residents. Visiting is also crucial for family and friends to maintain contact and life-long relationships with their loved ones, and to contribute to their support and care.
People living in care homes are typically more vulnerable to severe illness as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Additional measures are therefore in place to facilitate visiting while keeping care home staff and residents safe.
- testing arrangements
- infection prevention and control (IPC) measures
- individual risk assessments
- isolation on return from some high-risk activities out of the home