Earlier this week the Prime Minister outlined the plan for Living with COVID-19. NHSE have sent a letter to the system providing an initial update, which outlines the areas that are being reviewed and may change, and those areas that will remain the same. This includes guidance around NHS staff who test positive for Covid, testing amongst staff and patients, and visiting guidance for patients in NHS settings.
Healthcare staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 should not attend work until they have had two negative LFD test results taken 24 hours apart. The first test should not be taken before day 5 after their initial positive test. UKHSA will be updating the guidance for staff and patients exposed to COVID-19 and this will be posted on the UKHSA guidance pages today.
The letter also confirms that there are no immediate changes to infection prevention control (IPC) requirements. This includes the requirement for staff, patients and visitors to wear a mask/face covering in healthcare settings. The consistent application of IPC measures, alongside the roll out of the vaccine programme and staff and patient testing, remains the most effective defence against the entry and spread of COVID-19 in healthcare settings. Communications resource are available to help reinforce this message within primary care settings.
We have also published a letter on the next steps for the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme alongside planning parameters which set out the current priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme for 2022/23, based on the central role of vaccination to the government’s strategy for Living with COVID-19, the latest government advice to deliver a spring dose for those most at risk, and to offer vaccination to five to 11-year-olds.