Prime minister Boris Johnson has been facing increasing pressure to trim self-isolation time in a bid to ease the pressure staff absences are putting on the NHS.
It comes as new Covid-19 hit a new record high yesterday, surpassing 117,000.
The US also hit new record infections, as it halves the isolation time for those who are asymptomatic.
Last week the government reduced isolation from ten to seven days, for those with a negative test.
France, Italy, Greece and Portugal join the UK in recording their highest daily infection figures to date, as Omicron sweeps Europe.
With figures climbing, several health service bosses have warned over the past two weeks that staff absences are leaving London hospitals teetering on a “dangerous situation”.
Chair of healthcare and workforce modelling at London Southbank University, Professor Alison Leary warned yesterday that the capital could see as much as 40 per cent of its NHS workforce off sick amid the latest Covid-19 wave.
“The NHS is in a fairly fragile state in terms of workforce anyway – that’s fairly well documented – and the increased absence rate due to Covid and Omicron in particular are putting a lot more strain on the system,” Leary told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme yesterday.
The problem of staff absences is now outweighing the number of patients being admitted to hospitals, health bosses have cautioned.