Covid-infected people living in England have the option to stop self isolating for up to three days if they are negative once more, according it was announced.
The quarantine will now end after 7 days, instead of 10. They can provide negative lateral flow on day 6 and 7.
Sajid Javid (Health Secretary) stated it would minimize disruptions due to the Omicron variant’s rapid spread.
The change was made based on recent advice from experts in health.
This change is occurring amid an increase in Covid cases, which have created staff shortages at businesses, rail and health services.
People who have tested positive for Covid can use the new guidance, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated.
If they have been in close contact with a positive case (as is the current case), those who don’t get double-jabbed need to be isolated for at least 10 days.
Officials advised that people should not stop being isolated if they still have symptoms.
It is strongly recommended that people who are ending their isolation by day seven avoid contact with vulnerable individuals, do not go to crowded spaces or areas poorly ventilated and stay at home.
The UK saw another 90,629 Covid-related cases reported on Tuesday. It is somewhat lower than last week’s record. A further 897.979 people have received their third or booster dose.
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Omicron’s spread rapidity was announced by the UK Health Security Agency, (UKHSA), as a threat for critical public services.
According to the agency, self-isolation guidelines reflect current medical advice and will be made public “in due course”.
The chief executive of the organization, Dr Jenny Harries stated that new rules would help break “chains of transmission”, while minimizing “the effect on lives and livelihoods”.
Javid claimed that UKHSA is “very comfy” with the fact that the protection provided through lateral flow tests was similar to 10 consecutive days without isolation.
He stated, “I feel that this is an extremely sensible, balanced and proportionate decision to take.”
“We are trying to lessen the effects of pandemics on everyday life.”
Every person in the UK is legally obliged to self-isolate within 10 days of being tested positive or experiencing symptoms.
England’s revised rules allow those who are isolated after having tested positive to undergo lateral flow testing on days 6 and 7, and can be released immediately from isolation if they receive negative results.
If a person tests positive at day 6 or 7, they will still be capable of ending isolation after receiving two negative results 24 hours apart.
This means that they can end isolation with the help of two similar tests after the negative second test on the eighth, ninth, or 10th day.
According to the government, the initial rules will be guidelines. A change in the law regulations will occur when Parliament comes back from Christmas recess.
The government has stated that it will continue to follow the rules, as long as they are consistent with current law.
While people are encouraged to submit their lateral flows results to government officials, this is not required.
According to the Welsh Government, it will consider updating self-isolation laws in Wales to reflect UKHSA’s new advice.
Northern Ireland’s Health Department stated it wouldn’t be changing any of its rules at this point, but that they would review the situation.
Scotland hasn’t confirmed whether similar changes will be implemented.
Persons who are fully-vaccinated come in direct contact with people with coronavirus and have been instructed to do a lateral flow test for seven days.
The UK’s government website for ordering tests was temporarily shut down nine days before the advisory was published. However, Mr Javid stated that there were no shortage of kits available and that the problem was due to the lack of delivery slots.
However, some individuals have reported difficulties getting tests. These can be obtained at local pharmacies or GP’s surgeries, as well as libraries.
After Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that no additional restrictions will be placed in England prior to Christmas Day, the isolation rule was changed.
On Tuesday, he stated that not enough evidence was available to prove Omicron’s severeness and vaccine impact.
However, he said he couldn’t rule out additional measures following 25 December and would not hesitate to “act” should necessary.
Prime Minister was under intense pressure from backbenchers for details about the Christmas rules.
Many expressed their disappointment at the lack of details from Downing Street as well their suspicions of the need to impose tougher restrictions.
New measures in Scotland have been introduced starting Boxing Day. They include a limit on indoor and outdoor event attendances and the cancellation Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festivities.
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