Covid19: End to isolation laws and free testing

From 24 February, all Covid legal restrictions, including those for self-isolation, will end in England. Free mass testing for Covid will end from the 1 April, except for the most vulnerable people.

From 24 February in England:
  • People who test positive for Covid will not legally be required to self-isolate. The government guidance in this case is to stay at home if you can, and avoid contact with other people for at least five days.
  • People who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid will not legally be required to self-isolate (if unvaccinated) or advised to take daily tests (if fully vaccinated).
  • The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme will end. Claims can be made up until the 24 February 2022.
  • Covid provisions for increased statutory sick pay will apply for one more month.
From 1 April in England:
  • Free testing for the general public will end, only the most vulnerable people will be able to access free testing.
  • People with Covid symptoms will be asked to use personal responsibility when deciding whether to stay at home.
  • NHS Covid passes and Covid passports will no longer be recommended.
Advice from SML:
  • There is no longer a need for a separate Covid Risk Assessment.
  • Instead, you should consider general workplace hygiene, cleanliness, and good ventilation in your general risk assessments.
  • Health and Safety Executive continues to provide guidance which will be updated regularly Coronavirus: latest information and advice – HSE news

More information from the Government is available here:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support – GOV.UK (
Prime Minister sets out plan for living with COVID – GOV.UK (

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