At 00:01 today (Monday, 14th December), new changes went into effect in regards to isolation over COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.
Th result is that the isolation time has dropped from 14 days to 10 days.
This change will apply in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 00:01 am on Monday 14 December.
The change applies to those in the UK as well as those who are arriving from countries not on the travel corridor list, cutting down the time you’ll spend isolating.
A statement issued by the UK Chief Medical Officers last week:
“Self-isolation is essential to reducing the spread of COVID as it breaks the chains of transmission. 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 who return from countries which 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 for 10 days from onset of symptoms or 10 days from point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic.
We urge everyone to self-isolate when appropriate, it will save lives.”
The new advice is as followed
On Monday 14 December, the change to the isolation period for contacts will apply to all those who are currently self-isolating including those who commenced self-isolation before Monday.
Self-isolation periods will begin on the day after exposure, a test or the start of symptoms.
The NHS Test and Trace service will tell people to self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days from Monday.
The passenger locator form will be updated from Monday.
Due to the time taken to test technical changes and release updates through the app store, the NHS COVID-19 app will tell close contacts to isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days from Thursday 17 December.
In England, if you receive a notification from the NHS COVID-19 app before 17 December to isolate because you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive:
- if you have also been contacted by NHS Test and Trace you must follow isolation guidance provided by contact tracer
- if you have been advised to isolate by the app (and not by NHS Test and Trace) then you can leave isolation when your isolation countdown timer says 3 days
Why the change?
A big part of the change comes down to compliance. Or lack of thereafter, with people feeling they are unable to isolate for the full 14 days – especially if they need to work and have no access to sick pay, thus money is tight (either they be a traveller or someone in the UK), with up to 20% compliance.
Although one has to wonder if reducing it will increase compliance…
Watch out for Test to Release
Test to Release is due to start on the 15th December, with you being able to cut down the time spent in isolation, on the provision of a valid private test. At the time of publication (2 am Monday, 14th December), the Test to Release strategy has been published, however, a list of providers who you can test with has not.
Note, you will need to take a private COVID-19 PCR test, which will need to come back negative (using NHS Test and Trace capacity is not allowed).
As this part of the story develops, we’ll be keeping an eye on the developments.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.