Sajid Javid Announces Self Isolation To Drop To Five Days From Next Week
The health secretary has announced the isolation period for fully vaccinated people is set to drop.
Sajid Javid explained the move would mean isolation for fully vaccinated people in England will fall from seven days to five.
Once a person has completed five full days in isolation, a negative lateral flow test on days five and six will be enough for them to return to normal life, with the new guidance due to come into effect from Monday, January 17.
According to Sky News, Javid said ‘we must proceed with caution’ but stated that figures from the Office for National Statistics show ‘encouraging signs that infections are falling’ and ‘early signs that the rate of hospitalisation is starting to slow’.
The health secretary told the House of Commons: ‘UKHSA data shows that around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five and we want to use the testing capacity that we’ve built up to help these people leave isolation safely.
‘These two tests are critical to these balanced and proportionate plans, and I’d urge everyone to take advantage of the capacity we have built up in tests so we can restore the freedoms to this country while we’re keeping everyone safe.’
Data from the UK Health Security Agency suggests two-thirds of people infected with coronavirus are no longer infectious to others by the fifth day of their illness.
The Independent reports that Boris Johnson had previously rejected dropping the isolation period down to five days on the grounds it could be ‘potentially dangerous’, but later changed his mind after a blunder over how the rule was applied in the US was cleared up.
In December, the limit on isolation had previously been dropped down from 10 days to seven in the event of negative lateral flow test results on days six and seven of an isolation period.
With each nation of the UK able to set its own rules on COVID restrictions, it is not yet known whether Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will follow England’s example.
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