The pandemic is not over and the virus continues to circulate. We may see cases increase as we mix more with others.
Vaccination is one of our best defences against the spread of coronavirus. But no vaccine is 100% effective and some fully vaccinated people could still become infected or pass the virus to others without knowing. The more people that are vaccinated, the lower the risk to everyone else.
It is really important for everyone to say yes to vaccination where they can. We should also continue to think about what else we can keep doing to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. But we appreciate there are some people who are not able to take up the offer of a vaccine, or for whom the vaccine does not work as well.
Vaccines have weakened the link between infections, serious illness and hospitalisation, but that link has not been broken. The higher the rates of coronavirus circulating, the more people will get COVID-19 and some will also suffer with long-COVID.
How do I know if I have COVID-19 and how do I get tested if I think I have COVID-19
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of the three main symptoms which are:
- High temperature: this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new, continuous cough: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste: this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Anyone displaying any of these three symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home and self-isolate while making arrangements to be tested. If the test result is negative the person can return to their regular routine when they are well enough to do so.
Individuals receiving a positive test result
If you receive a positive test result, you must self isolate for 10 days and follow the stay at home guidance. If you receive a positive lateral flow test (LFT) result, you should isolate and arrange a follow-up PCR test.
Close contacts of positive cases of COVID-19 who are not required to self- isolate
From 7 August you will not be asked to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19, provided that you have been fully vaccinated or are under 18. You are considered to be fully vaccinated if you received the full course of an approved vaccine within the UK and it has been at least two weeks (14 days) since you completed a full course.
If you have participated in a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial (if carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004(2)), you do not need to self-isolate if contacted by TTP.
Contact tracers will call you to inform you that you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You will be offered PCR tests on day 2 from your last contact with the person who tested positive (or as soon as possible once identified as a contact) and again on day 8. It is important that you take these tests even if you feel well, you may have COVID-19 even if you do not have symptoms.
Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms should not go out, even if they are wearing a face covering.