Changes to Covid guidance

20 January 2022

In the 7 days up to 14 January (based on data published on 19 January) we had 2594 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 in Brighton & Hove.

This is:

  • down 38% on the previous 7 days
  • equivalent to a weekly rate of 889.2 per 100,000 residents
  • higher than the South East which was 875.2 per 100,000
  • lower than the rate for England, which was 986.2 per 100,000 

This week the government has announced that the measures put in place under plan B in England will be lifted and we’ll return to the Plan A measures.

This includes:

  • From 19 January: You are no longer asked to work from home if you can. Talk to your employer to agree arrangements to return to your workplace.
  • From 20 January: Staff and pupils in secondary schools and colleges will not be required to wear a face covering in classrooms.
  • From 27 January: You will not be required to wear a face covering, including in indoor settings and communal areas of schools.
  • From 27 January: You’ll no longer need to show your NHS COVID Pass at venues and events by law.

What this means for Brighton & Hove

Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health at Brighton & Hove City Council said:

“Cases in the city continue to move in the right direction, but the level of Covid infection in the community remains high. National data shows that one in twenty people in the South East had Covid last week, so high levels of caution are still needed.

“It’s important to remember that the government’s announcement of the lifting the Plan B measures is not a complete end to guidance. Guidance continues to be in place to limit transmission, protect our health and manage the pressure on our NHS and social care services.

“This means we need to keep doing what we can to keep each other safe. Please keep testing (and self-isolate following a positive result), wearing face coverings in crowded and enclosed places, opening windows, washing your hands and getting your vaccinations.

“We also need to remember that the Plan B requirements around wearing a face covering and using a Covid Pass remain in place for another week and we must continue to follow them.” 

Summary of latest requirements around testing and isolation

No further changes were announced around testing or isolation but with a number of changes being introduced in the last two weeks it can be difficult to know which advice to follow. We’ve summarised the key points:

Get a PCR test if you have symptoms

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even mild, you must self-isolate immediately and book a COVID-19 PCR test.

If you test positive you'll need to stay at home and self-isolate as advised. When you receive your results you’ll be given advice about what to do next.

Use a lateral flow test when you don’t have symptoms

You should take a lateral flow test on days when you're more likely to catch or spread COVID-19, before you meet others, socialise or go to crowded or enclosed places.

Please report all results so that you receive the most up-to-date advice.

You no longer need to order a PCR test to confirm the result but if you test positive you must self-isolate immediately.

Some exceptions apply, including if you will be applying for a Test and Trace Support Payment you will still need to take a PCR test.

Where to get your free lateral flow test packs

You can order tests online or pick up test kits from Jubilee Library, Hove Town Hall or at local pharmacies.

How to use your lateral flow test kits

How you do the test depends on the test kit you’re using.

Please check which pack you have as it may be different to one you’ve had before and read the instructions before testing.

If you’re still not sure what to do you, you can watch a video that shows you how to use the different test kits.

If you don't feel confident doing the test by yourself you can also book a supervised test at participating pharmacies.

Self-isolate if you test positive on a lateral flow or PCR test

Anyone who develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19 on a lateral flow or PCR test must self-isolate immediately.

If you do not have a temperature, you can take an LFD test from 5 days after the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you did not have symptoms), and another LFD test on the following day. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result.

Please report your LFD test results after taking each test.

You should not take an LFD test before the fifth day, and if the test result is positive, please wait 24 hours before you take another test.

The self-isolation period remains 10 full days for those without negative results from 2 LFD tests taken a day apart.

If you end your self-isolation period before 10 full days you are strongly advised to limit close contact with people outside your household, especially in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces, to further reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19. Work from home if you can and limit contact with anyone at higher risk of severe illness.

This isolation guidance also applies to children and young people who usually attend an education or childcare settings.

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