The self-isolation period is set to be cut from two weeks to ten days for at-risk contacts from coronavirus cases across the UK as the government cuts home stay orders before Christmas
- People in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are currently having to wait two weeks
- Wales yesterday cut the deadline to 10 days with newer science
- The rest of the UK will follow suit in a new move starting Monday next week
People forced to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone infected with coronavirus only have to do so for 10 days instead of 14 days in the UK.
The Ministry of Health today confirmed that the amended policy will come into effect next Monday, December 14th.
This means anyone contacted by NHS Test & Trace before next Tuesday, December 15, will still be able to meet with others on Christmas Day.
The move across the UK will follow in the footsteps of Wales, which officially made the change yesterday.
People are urged to self-isolate after being close to someone who later tests positive for coronavirus to prevent them from spreading the disease if they get it.
Many people pass the virus on to others without developing symptoms or before they get sick. This means that self-isolation, even for people who are feeling healthy, is critical to stopping the virus.
Two weeks was the required isolation period throughout the outbreak as almost no one would be infectious two weeks after the virus was caught.
However, the UK chief medical officers said the science was strong enough to allow the period to be shortened, and the likelihood that people would still be infectious after 10 days was only one or two in 100.
People who come into close contact with others who later test positive for coronavirus no longer have to isolate for two weeks, but for ten days, as reports suggest (Image: Commuters on the London Underground yesterday morning).
A statement signed by the four Senior Doctors for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said: “Self-isolation is important to reduce the spread of Covid-19 as it breaks the chains of transmission.
& # 39; After reviewing the evidence, we are now confident that we can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from 14 days to 10 days.
“People returning from countries that are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days.
“People who test positive should continue to self-isolate 10 days after symptoms appear, or 10 days after they test positive if they are asymptomatic.
"We urge everyone to self-isolate if necessary, as this will save lives."
They added that self-isolation periods would be shortened for all Britons starting Monday, including those who had been told to self-isolate for 14 days prior to that date.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said all four doctors across the UK had made the decision.
Mr Gething said: “These regulations were put in place as soon as possible after a public health recommendation agreed by the four UK CMOs that presented a low absolute risk and reduced the isolation period to 10 days compared to the known low compliance of 14 Days.
& # 39; In the published Impact Assessment on Self-Isolation Requirement, we recognized that self-isolation for 14 days is likely to have adverse effects in a variety of circumstances and on protected groups.
“If you can safely reduce the self-isolation time to 10 days, this relative damage will be reduced.
"This change will reduce the time children and young people spend outside of personal study, reduce the impact on caregivers (disproportionately large women), and help alleviate disruption to businesses and our critical public services."
The NHS Covid-19 app will be updated to reflect the changes from December 17th.
They said that starting Monday, those who are asked by the app to isolate themselves will be able to leave the period when the app countdown timer shows three days.
The lead doctors are Professor Chris Whitty for England, Dr. Michael McBride for Northern Ireland, Dr. Gregor Smith for Scotland and Dr. Frank Atherton for Wales.
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