Covid self-isolation period to be cut to five days
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
The amount of time people with coronavirus in England have to spend in self-isolation is set to be cut to five full days, the health secretary has said.
Sajid Javid told MPs in the House of Commons that data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows “that around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five".
Mr Javid said from Monday that people will be required to take two tests to get out of isolation and can leave isolation at the start of day six.
This follows pressure on the government to bring England in line with the United States, where the isolation period is five days.
Previous guidance from the UKHSA was for people to isolate for at least six full days from when they started having symptoms or tested positive.
People could leave isolation on day seven after two negative lateral flow tests on days six and seven.
At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Mr Johnson said: ”We are certainly looking at reducing the isolation period, and we hope to bring you more about that… as fast as possible.”
The decision is likely to be welcomed by Tories who have called for the change and could help ease pressure on Boris Johnson.
- 1 Greater Anglia application to demolish train station building thrown out
- 2 Doctors baffled by teenager's horrific long Covid symptoms
- 3 'How I made four million flipping council houses into luxury student digs'
- 4 Load of Bull! Anger as Red Bull ramps up threat against Norwich gin firm
- 5 It's going down! Demolition of car showroom begins to make way for homes
- 6 Busy city Riverside roads to stay closed as transport hub works begin
- 7 Farmers' market near Norwich set to reopen for the new year
- 8 Store still cordoned off with police tape two months after break-in
- 9 In pictures: The history and changing face of St Stephens
- 10 Petition to ditch new bus lane plan gathers pace
It could also help address staff shortages across the economy and public services by allowing people to return to work earlier.
The health service has been under intense pressure because of high Covid rates, leading to both hospital admissions and staff absences increasing.
A total of 40,031 NHS staff at hospital trusts in England were absent for Covid-19 reasons on January 9, up 2pc on the previous week, and more than three times the number at the start of December.
But NHS England data shows that hospital staff absences due to Covid have dropped every day since reaching a peak of 49,941 on January 5.
The total includes staff who were ill with coronavirus or who were having to self-isolate.