Living with Covid-19

Let’s keep being kind to keep each other safe

As we learn to live with COVID-19, we are advising local residents to remain cautious. Please continue with good hygiene, keeping indoor places well ventilated and other practical measures as appropriate to keep yourself and others safe.

COVID-19 testing ended on 31 March for the majority of people and Halton Borough Council is no longer able to provide tests to our community, schools or businesses.

There are some groups who remain eligible for free COVID-19 tests from 1 April – those at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and eligible for treatments, if they develop symptoms.

If you have a health condition that means you are eligible for COVID-19 treatments, you will be sent tests directly from the NHS and should follow guidance here - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-care-and-treatments-for-coronavirus/treatments-for-coronavirus/

Free tests will also continue for NHS and social care staff and those in other high-risk settings. 

Self-isolation advice – there is no longer a legal requirement to self-isolate if you have tested positive or suspect you have COVID-19. The advice is now as follows: 

  • adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature
  • children and young people who are unwell or have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend
  • adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious. Children and young people aged 18 and under who test positive for COVID-19 are advised to try to stay home and avoid contact with others for 3 days (from the day after the date of the test).

The symptoms of COVID-19 can include the following:

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature 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
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

Please find more information here about symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, or they are worsening, contact 111 or speak to your GP. In an emergency dial 999.

It is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated. For most people, especially if they have been vaccinated, COVID-19 will be a relatively mild illness. However, COVID-19 can still be a very serious infection and for some people the risk of becoming severely unwell is higher.

In some cases, COVID-19 can cause symptoms that last for weeks or months after the infection has gone. People who have had a mild illness can still have long-term problems.

COVID-19 vaccinations in Halton

Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is the best way of protecting yourself from the disease. There is also growing evidence that vaccines also protect against Long COVID, which can cause a range of debilitating symptoms. It is never too late to come forward for a vaccination.

You can check if you’re eligible for a vaccination and find details of local clinics via the NHS website.

Across Cheshire and Merseyside, there are drop-in vaccination clinics operating – you do not need to book in advance to attend.

To find out where your nearest drop-in clinic is visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/find-a-walk-in-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-site/.

Where do i find information on infection rates?

You can find information (including data for your post code area) on the Government’s website here.

Self-isolation support payments

From 24 February 2022, the Government has ended the £500 self-isolation support payment scheme.

Financial support

Please find further information on support from Halton Borough Council on the following webpages:

Support for clinically and extremely vulnerable

The guidance for people who are clinically and extremely vulnerable is now largely in line with that for the general population. This is because a lot more is now known about the virus and what makes someone more or less vulnerable to COVID-19, the vaccine continues to be successfully rolled out, and treatments are becoming available.

Please find more information here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk/covid-19-guidance-for-people-whose-immune-system-means-they-are-at-higher-risk

Pregnant women

You’re at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 if you’re pregnant. If you get COVID-19 late in your pregnancy, your baby could also be at risk.

Please get vaccinated – It’s strongly recommended that you get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect you and your baby. There are lots of local places offering regular vaccination clinics including ‘walk-ins’ where no appointment is needed. It may also be possible to get a COVID vaccination during antenatal clinics – please ask your midwife for more information.

Please visit the NHS website to book an appointment and to see details of local walk-in clinics. We also regularly publish details of clinics on our social media – Facebook and Twitter.

It’s preferable for you to have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. This is because they’ve been more widely used during pregnancy in other countries and are safe to use.

Find out more about pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccination

It’s also important to follow advice to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout your pregnancy – please see the NHS website for latest guidance.

Pregnant women and the workplace

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has recently announced a change regarding pregnant employees. Previously, further consideration was given to a workplace risk assessment once pregnancy reached 28 weeks’ gestation. This has now changed to 26 weeks following clinical data that suggest that risk of complications from COVID-19 increase from around 26 weeks’ gestation.

General advice on reducing risk of COVID-19 infection applies at all gestations. All pregnant workers must undertake a workplace risk assessment with their employer and/or their occupational health team if they have one.

Further information can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-pregnant-employees/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-pregnant-employees