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Ending of free testing in England

(137 Posts)
Daisymae Thu 31-Mar-22 09:43:30

So free testing ends in England, no need to wear a mask anywhere too. Jennie Harries said today in an interview on Radio 4 that she would expect people to wear a mask in instances of high infection like we have now. Has she not noticed the infection rate coupled with the fact that very, very few are wearing a mask? The poor management of the whole Covid fiasco is really just staggering. Meanwhile half of the country is off sick.

volver Thu 31-Mar-22 09:45:52

Mask wearing is required by law in Scotland and we have a far higher infection rate than England at the moment.

How do we explain that?

Grandmabatty Thu 31-Mar-22 09:54:32

I'm assuming it's because more people in Scotland are testing and recording results. The approach here has generally been more cautious.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 31-Mar-22 09:58:47

Covid is a clever little virus.

Let’s hope it continues to mutate and become less severe, just like the common cold (which I think is a coronavirus?)

Jaxjacky Thu 31-Mar-22 09:59:22

We don’t seem to have ‘half of the country off sick’ where I live, hospitals, GP surgeries, bin rounds, shops, schools etc are all running normally.

volver Thu 31-Mar-22 09:59:45


The higher rate is based on sampling and extrapolation done by the ONS, and is done exactly the same way in England.

Scotland does actually have a higher rate of infection than the rest of the UK at the moment. And anecdotally, about 90%+ are wearing masks.

JaneJudge Thu 31-Mar-22 10:06:35

I have it and I know loads of other people with it too. The care teams are so short staffed atm that we are sharing staff with other services

I know this is a very British thing to post but could it be to do with the weather and being indoors/outdoors.

rosie1959 Thu 31-Mar-22 10:15:31


I'm assuming it's because more people in Scotland are testing and recording results. The approach here has generally been more cautious.

The testing rate in Scotland does not appear higher according the the uk dashboard testing over the last 7 days in Scotland just under 140k testing in England 4.5m

Grandmabatty Thu 31-Mar-22 10:18:49

Okay. I stand corrected.

Daisymae Thu 31-Mar-22 10:19:27

Well, I know for a members of my own family have been off sick over the past couple of weeks. Our local NHS Trust has stopped visiting because of the impact of Covid on patients and staff. I can't think that this is unique.

FannyCornforth Thu 31-Mar-22 10:24:11

My husband, who is immune suppressed, got a box of tests delivered yesterday.
I hadn’t ordered them.
So I wonder if this is going to be a regular thing?
He also has a Respiratory Occupational Health Therapist who used to visit every six weeks.
She recently cancelled an appointment and hasn’t been in touch ( very unlike her ).
So I can only conclude that she is very busy with other (new) respiratory patients.sad

Farzanah Thu 31-Mar-22 10:27:04

I think it’s bizarre to stop testing at this time.
Christine Pagel has written a piece in the Guardian today and this is what she says
We’re living two realities: one in which people have returned to living life as if covid is over, and the other in which we are approaching record levels of infections, with an estimated 4.26 million cases last week. Most of us know people who have covid, work and education are being disrupted, and the NHS is under severe strain again due to new patients and sick staff. Admissions with covid are only 2% below the first omicron peak two months ago and still rising. Primary covid admissions are rising too and admissions in over 65s are now 15% higher than Jan ‘22 peak.

Yes GrannyGravy Covid is a clever little virus.
Let’s hope that it continues to mutate in the right direction! Who knows?
Even so what’s sure it that we will be left with its legacy for many years to come.

rosie1959 Thu 31-Mar-22 10:28:39

I have noticed although rates are high in Germany and France they have also dropped their mask ruling rules considerably.
I admit I really don’t have the faith that mask wearing makes that much difference to the spread of Omicron.

Daisymae Thu 31-Mar-22 10:32:33
Here is the Guardian article, seems well balanced

LadyWee Thu 31-Mar-22 11:33:20

This one by Pagel.
Really good reading.
It’s just a political game isn’t it and all countries will follow suit for the popularity while it appears to be less severe.
The stats now from England are pretty much useless as who is actually properly testing, reporting,
Isolating etc. Without LFTs the stats are useless. But will be used by those in favour off the do nothing approach as evidence that the government has made the right decisions.
Incidentally our trust currently has a ‘critical incident’ declared due to Covid peak driving up demand. ED is closed to walk in patients, ambulances are not able to respond to calls and there is excess death and illness reported in their data. In our area Covid peak looks to be next 2-4 weeks so staff are bracing themselves. Not good is it.

Farzanah Thu 31-Mar-22 11:42:44

The stats are not completely useless because the ONS Survey is still being carried out and this gives a pretty good idea of how things are going.
In fact it is crucial that a track of the virus and sequencing is still done to give warning of a new and possibly more virulent strain emerging.
Our local hospitals have also declared Critical Incidents on several weekends lately, 39 Care homes were not admitting when I last looked and GPS surgeries affected likewise.
This is what “living with covid” is like.

volver Thu 31-Mar-22 12:48:32

I have no time for Christina Pagel; her three myths in the article cited:

1. Covid is endemic: Nobody has said this and she is using it to create a false environment of discord, to suggest that we are being lied to.

2. People believe that COVID is evolving to become milder. That has never been proposed in any communication from anywhere, because it would be a lie. If you think that COVID is evolving to become milder, you’re not paying attention.

3. Nobody thinks we are “finished” our vaccination program. We’ve just started the second booster program for the elderly and vulnerable. Hardly “finished”.

Mathematician Pagel is part of Indy SAGE who are hardly exemplars of good pandemic forecasting. And are suddenly finding themselves irrelevant.

Sorry, but she gets on my wick. Please feel free to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm sure somebody will.

maddyone Thu 31-Mar-22 12:59:20

I’ve had it once and I don’t want it again. I don’t agree with ending free testing whilst the virus is still so prevalent.
volver I believe you do know what you’re talking about and I like to see your very sensible posts about Covid. I realise I’m a bit emotional about Covid as I’m afraid of getting it again.

volver Thu 31-Mar-22 13:06:05

I'm on the fence about testing and about masks maddyone. Glad to say its not my responsibility to make the decision.

I don't think you are extreme in what you say about COVID. But I am fed up to the back teeth with the doomsayers. This is what we've got now. We need to get on with it.

There are 140-ish people with Covid in the hospitals in my area, apparently that one third of the available beds. So for a population of 300,000 people we have 450 beds in hospital? If that's the case we need to look at the fitness of purpose of the NHS, because COVID is here now and we need some long term planning.

TillyTrotter Thu 31-Mar-22 13:15:09

I shall carry on wearing masks in high volume/risk situations but I am confused by how many Health staff are off sick with Covid (if that is correct)
as in hospitals and surgeries they have been masked, gowned and gloved for nearly 2 years now and yet more people seem to have Covid.
If the same people don’t take similar precautions in their home life outside of the medical establishments they work in, do they not have confidence that it makes any difference?
If they do take precautions - why are so many getting it? ?

TillyTrotter Thu 31-Mar-22 13:16:06

Sorry OP,
I have digressed away from the question about Testing.

Daisymae Thu 31-Mar-22 13:37:04

Tilly, I assume that health care workers are continually exposed to the virus so eventually they get infected. Plus they will get infected at home from people they live with as that's where many people pick it up.

TillyTrotter Thu 31-Mar-22 13:41:13

It’s a vicious circle isn’t it Daisymae and maybe one we can’t break we just have the virus variants weaken (as another poster said).
I feel most sorry for the very vulnerable some of whom will stay home more and that is very sad.

singingnutty Thu 31-Mar-22 14:00:35

On the subject of health care workers - DH had an appointment for a procedure in hospital just after I tested positive. He rang them to tell them this and they said if he didn’t have symptoms or test positive on the morning of the appointment he should still attend. He did, and of course told them again about my positive test. They were not concerned and the procedure went ahead. The following morning he tested positive. Perhaps there is now a policy to carry on with tests, procedures and appointments and if so you can see why because of the backlog, but surely this will just increase transmission and the strain on staffing. Someone must have taken a decision and given advice.

pinkquartz Thu 31-Mar-22 14:05:42

I no longer go out at all.
I had severe covid before the first lockdown and i have not been able to recover properly.

I am very afraid of catching Covid again.
My immune system has been weakened by other health issues and I take ages to even get over a "mild cold"
That UK is no longer bothering with testing or any other safety restrictions has me wondering if the Tory Party simply would like treduce the numbers of us that are already chronically ill and on disability benefits.