Free hospital parking scrapped for NHS staff under updated living with Covid plan

Posted by: Laura O'Neil

Wed 30th March 2022

Covid tests will still be available to specific groups once free testing for the general public ends on Friday and free hospital parking for NHS staff will come to an end, new guidance announced by Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday states.

Free tests available to certain groups

Free lateral flow tests for everyone without symptoms were set to end on Friday under Boris Johnson’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan.

However, as part of the updated guidance, free symptomatic testing will be available for patients in hospitals and the community, where a PCR test is required for their care and treatment.

Health and social care staff, prison staff, and staff in domestic abuse and homelessness refuges will also continue to have access to testing.

People will also be tested before being discharged from hospital into care homes, hospices, homelessness settings and domestic abuse refuges.

However, most hospital, care home, or prison visitors will no longer be required to take a test.

More guidance on what people should do when visiting adult social care settings will be published by Friday.

Self-isolation period cut to five days

From April 1, anyone with a positive Covid test result will be advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious.

Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can.

They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend.

Designated settings, which were initially set up to provide a period of isolation to Covid positive patients before they move into care homes, will be removed along with restrictions on care home staff movement.

Parking, PPE and boosters

Free parking for NHS staff, which was introduced during the pandemic, will come to an end on March 31.

Adult social care residents and staff will continue to have priority access to vaccinations and boosters along with free personal protective equipment (PPE)

People aged 75 and over, residents in care homes for elderly adults, and those who are immunosuppressed are now eligible to receive a Spring booster jab.