From 1 April, in line with UKHSA advice, the following updated arrangements for staff and patient testing will apply.
Patient facing staff should continue to test twice weekly when asymptomatic. LAMP testing (saliva tests) will no longer be available, but LFD tests for patient facing staff will continue to be available through the gov.uk portal.
All symptomatic staff should test using LFDs and continue to follow the current return to work guidance. In a change to testing policy, staff who are household contacts of a positive COVID-19 case will no longer be required to have a PCR test in order to return to work. Symptomatic staff can continue to access LFDs via the gov.uk portal.
Staff who are household contacts of a positive COVID-19 case will now be able to continue to work as normal if they remain asymptomatic and continue to test twice weekly. They will no longer be required to have a PCR test in order to return to work.
Although the general public will not be offered COVID-19 tests routinely if symptomatic, there may be some instances where a clinician will want to offer a COVID-19 test as part of a diagnostic pathway to support clinical decisions. In these cases, patients should be directed to the gov.uk website to order their tests, where they will be asked to confirm that their clinician has requested this.
High risk patients in the community identified for COVID-19 MAB / Antiviral treatment will continue to access tests from UKHSA – this will be communicated separately. Further information can be found in the NHSE letter dated 30 March 2022.