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Living with Covid: North East community reacts to next steps as self-isolation and free testing to end

The nation is preparing for a move to the Government’s “living with Covid” strategy, as announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week.

Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 11:57 am

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Chief Medical Officer, Sir Chris Whitty, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance address the nation during a press conference on the plan for Living with Covid. Picture: Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images.
Chief Medical Officer, Sir Chris Whitty, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance address the nation during a press conference on the plan for Living with Covid. Picture: Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images.

The legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive Covid test will be axed from Thursday, February 24 while free universal testing will cease for the general public from April 1.

While warning that the pandemic was not over in a press conference, Mr Johnson told the public that vaccines remain the country’s best line of defence when it comes to protection, and reaction to any future variants.

We asked for your views on an end to the legal requirement to self-isolate later this week, and access to free Covid testing later in Spring.

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There was concern over the impact this move will have on the most vulnerable, while others welcomed a return to more normal life.

Speaking this week, the Prime Minister said protecting the “most vulnerable” would continue to be a priority.

Here is what you had to say on our social media pages:

Stephen Pattison: “About time. Can’t go on like this forever. It’s costing the country millions that our children will be paying back for years to come.”

Beverley Bird: “If the Government want us to take [tests] they should provide them for us. The cost of living has gone up ridiculously, so where does it stop, our health?”

Gloria Dixon: “Well I for one will continue wearing a mask and being careful, don't care what Boris says.”

Diane Tucker: “The UK will be all walking around with Covid. Then the NHS will be overrun with patients.”

Val Hall: “Depends on the cost and reason for taking them. Just general curiosity then definitely not, but to make sure I was Covid free before visiting a vulnerable member of my family, then yes of course.”

Stephen Blackburn: “As one of the vulnerable people I think we have been thrown to the wolves thanks to Boris wanting to improve his public image and reputation.”

Claire Bowie: “I've never even done a test, whats the point anyway if everything is being lifted.”

Sarah Edwards: “I feel like the need to self isolate should end but people should still have to wear a mask when in public if they have any symptoms and to have two clear LFTs before having a clear conscience about mixing with other people if they have tested positive.”

Steve Kinson: “About time, we've been living under restrictions long enough.”

Joyce Hopps: “I'm quite happy about taking responsibilities for myself. I would have done that in the first place instead of bankrupting the country.”

Andrea Fretwell: "I’ve always thought we should just get on with life, but the people with health problems isolate."

Lindsey Harrison: “I think we have to try get back to normal but it concerns me for the more vulnerable such as cancer patients and elderly with conditions such as COPD.”

Andrew Hall: “So people need to start to pay to be tested? How do they think this will pan out well? Let me help them, people won't test themselves, so, if there is still Covid going about it will spike again!”

Karen Johnson: “No choice if you have to test to care for someone vulnerable. Where they think people will find the extra money is beyond me.”

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