What to Know About COVID Etiquette After England Ended Free Testing


Written by Adonis Hakk

April 18, 2022

The provision of free COVID-19 tests for the public has ended just as when coronavirus cases recently hit an all-time high in England: this, combined with lax rules on masks and other safety protocols, has left people wondering how to navigate or proper COVID etiquette to the latest wave of infection.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on almost every aspect of society, individuals must keep pace with the rules of etiquette, including manners that have sprung up during the pandemic.

When should I take a COVID-19 test?

Giving free coronavirus tests for people has ended, meaning individuals who need to get tested must pay for one or contact a reputable testing provider. While there is no legal requirement to test, there is no way of knowing if an individual is infected without testing, which is vital if people experience COVID-19 symptoms that overlap with seasonal respiratory infections and hay fever.

Additionally, others might think coronavirus is now less risky than seasonal flu. However, there are immunocompromised and unvaccinated individuals who remain at risk. Taking a Covid-19 test is still essential in preventing transmission and spread.

Being Out in Public

  • When should I wear a mask?

Wearing a mask is no longer mandatory. However, experts recommend that people must still wear one outside, especially when meeting or going near other people, such as on public transport and indoor areas. Masks can reduce the chances of getting infected. The additional layer of protection also means that if people get infected, they are likely to receive a lower dose of the virus, reducing the severity of the symptoms.

  • Should I avoid paying with cash?

Health experts said that the chances of acquiring COVID-19 after touching currency are minimal. But despite that, many establishments have streamlined their payment options, making them safer and more convenient for customers.

  • How do I sneeze correctly?

It does not matter if you do it in public or into your mask. The important thing is that you have to cover your sneeze somehow. The primary goal is to keep other people’s particles away from you and yours to them.

  • How to greet someone?

A kiss on the cheek and handshakes are considered unsafe to greet someone during the pandemic. What people can do instead is to exchange pleasantries without physical contact or smile with their eyes.


  • Can I have family and friends over for a meal?

People are allowed to do so, but they must remember to apply basic safety protocols such as proper social distancing and wearing of masks. Individuals can also entertain outdoors instead of indoors and communicate any rules beforehand to keep everyone safe.

  • When do I wear a mask when dining out?

The etiquette on mask usage depends on three factors: the preference of the other diners, the restaurant’s policy, and the state and local regulations. When eating, it is advisable to keep the mask under your chin. Alternatively, you can put it somewhere clean and safe when seated at the table, but it is a considerate gesture to lift the mask to cover the nose and mouth whenever a server approaches.

Common COVID-19 etiquette

  • What do I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

People are no longer required to test or self-isolate, but should they experience any symptoms related to COVID-19, they must take a coronavirus test. If the test result is positive, the public health advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel better.

  • Do I need to self-isolate?

If you test positive, the requirement is to take five whole days to self-isolate until you no longer have a high temperature or you are already feeling well. Those who want to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus to others could follow the previous stringent guidance for ending the isolation period and take two consecutive negative tests for coronavirus starting from days five and six.

Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

Harley Medic Global is a government-approved testing provider and an expert in COVID-19 testing. They have many locations across the UK, ensuring that a testing centre is near you. Getting a test is as easy as booking online and finding their closest clinic. Visit their website harleymedic.co.uk to learn more.

Read More: Britain Battles the Surge of Coronavirus Cases due to Omicron Variant


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