Changes to testing and care homes as we all learn to live safely with coronavirus

A timetable for changes to Wales’ Test Trace Protect service is being published today (28 March) as part of wider plans to gradually move beyond the emergency response to the pandemic.

A new Social Care Transition Plan is also being published today (28 March), which will set out new arrangements for care homes between April and June.

The changes come as Wales today takes further cautious steps to relax some of the legal protections which have been in place for most of the pandemic – face coverings will no longer be a legal requirement in shops and on public transport and the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive will cease.

But the Welsh Government will continue to strongly advise that everyone self-isolates if they have COVID symptoms or test positive. The self-isolation payment will continue to be available until June. And strengthened guidance will advise face coverings are worn in all public places, including public transport, to help keep Wales safe.

The changes to Test Trace Protect are focused on protecting the most vulnerable, limiting their risk of infection and ensuring testing capacity is maintained to monitor outbreaks and detect any new variants.

The main changes to Test, Trace, Protect include:

  • From today (28 March), people will be strongly advised to self-isolate if they have COVID. Self-isolation support payments of £500 will continue to be available until June.
  • Wednesday (30 March) is the last day the public will be able to book a PCR test if they have symptoms.
  • From Thursday (31 March) all PCR testing sites in Wales will close.
  • Free lateral flow tests to support regular asymptomatic testing in workplaces will end on Thursday (31 March) except for health and social care workers.
  • Free lateral flow tests for the public for regular asymptomatic testing will end on Thursday (31 March).
  • From Friday (1 April) if you have COVID symptoms you should use a lateral flow test to check whether you have COVID. These can be ordered gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or by calling 119. If you test positive you should report your results www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result and isolate for a minimum of five full days and take lateral flow tests on day five and day six (if both negative) before leaving isolation.
  • From Friday (1 April) only people eligible for COVID-19 treatments will be able to order PCR tests to be done at home. 
  • Routine asymptomatic testing in childcare and education settings, except special education provision, will stop at the end of the term (8 April).

For further information visit Changes to testing and care homes as we all learn to live safely with coronavirus | GOV.WALES
 

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