People self-isolating with Covid in England can now end their quarantine three days early as long as they receive two negative test results, the health secretary has announced.
Under previous rules, people had to self-isolate for a full 10 days if they were infected with Covid-19. Now they can curtail that period by producing negative tests from lateral flow tests taken on both day six and the last day.
Sajid Javid said the change was prompted by guidance from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and that it would “reduce the disruption to people’s everyday lives caused by the pandemic”.
He warned that people leaving quarantine after seven days instead of 10, should “continue to remain cautious”.
The announcement comes amid a fresh spike in cases, driven by the spread of Omicron, the new Covid variant. The rise in infections has seen staff shortages across businesses and a sharp drop in festive shopping.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday allayed growing fears of additional Covid restrictions by confirming that the government would not introduce any in England before Christmas, but he said he could not rule out further measures after 25 December.