COVID-19: testing and isolation

Free testing ends for the general public

On Monday, 21 February 2022, the government published a Living with COVID-19 strategy. Individuals are not legally required to self-isolate, and instead are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they test positive.

From Friday, 1 April 2022, the general public will not have access to free testing. All FAST sites and PCR sites in the borough will be closed. 

Most visitors to adult social care settings, and visitors in the NHS, prisons or places of detention will no longer be required to take a test.

Testing continues for certain groups

The government will continue to provide free symptomatic testing for:

  1. Patients in hospital, for whom a test is required for clinical management or to support treatment pathways.
  2. People who are eligible for COVID-19 treatments because they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. People in this group will be contacted directly and sent lateral flow tests to keep at home for use if they have symptoms as well as being told how to reorder tests.
  3. Individuals who live or work in high-risk closed settings, for example in some NHS, Social Care and Prison settings where infection needs to be identified quickly to minimise outbreaks.

NHS England will be writing to those eligible people to inform them of the new process.


It's no longer mandatory for venues to require attendees to demonstrate their COVID-19 status. You'll be able to view vaccination status, a recent negative test or exemption through the NHS COVID Pass.

What should I do if I test positive for coronavirus?

There is no longer a legal requirement for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection to self-isolate. However, if you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive test result, the public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, if you can.

COVID-19 dashboard