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Much ado about a flu

2 January 2022

The Status of COVID-19 was changed already in March 2020 in the UK. Since then, it is considered to be a seasonal flu.

Status of COVID-19

"As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK. ….

The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall) ….

The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.


Cases of COVID-19 are no longer managed by HCID treatment centres only. All healthcare workers managing possible and confirmed cases should follow the updated national infection and prevention (IPC) guidance for COVID-19, which supersedes all previous IPC guidance for COVID-19. This guidance includes instructions about different personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles that are appropriate for different clinical scenarios.”


As quoted below, the new guidance says, as, COVID-19 should be treated like a seasonal respiratory infection – a flu.

Guidance COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC)

Guidance on infection prevention and control for seasonal respiratory infections including SARS-CoV-2.*

*SARS-CoV-2 is the virus the assumed presence of which results in the diagnosis COVID-19.