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Covid isolation period slashed to 10 days

The self-isolation period for people returning to the UK and people who have been in close contact with those who have Covid will be slashed to 10 days.

Covid isolation
Covid isolation

The self-isolation period for people returning to the UK and people who have been in close contact with those who have tested positive for Covid will be slashed to 10 days from Monday, December 14.

Covid isolation period reduced

The UK’s Chief Medical Officers made the announcement on Friday, December 11. The decision comes into force at 00.01 on Monday and allows Brits an extra four days of mixing.

In a joint statement, the top medics said: “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 rules apply to travellers from countries without quarantine exemptions, people flagged to contact tracers because they have spent time with someone who tested positive for Covid, people who live with someone who develops Covid symptoms and applies to each nation of the UK.

The UK’s chief medical officers have agreed that the 14-day period cannot be justified, when weighing up the balance of risk between how infectious people are at the end of isolation and the hardship of being forced to stay home for two weeks. The top medics believe that only around 2% of people might still be infectious after 10 days of isolation.

If you have done 10 days of self-isolation by Monday then you are free to leave your house. The NHS Covid-19 app will only apply the rules from Thursday.

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