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Covid self-isolates CUT to 5 full days to get more Britons back to work amid staffing crisis

COVID isolation will be reduced to FIVE days altogether – in a bid to push more Britons back to work.

The Health Secretary today revealed the big rule change is coming next Monday.

Sajid Javid spoke to ministers in the House of Commons today following calls for a change in isolation

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Sajid Javid spoke to ministers in the House of Commons today following calls for a change in isolationCredit: PA

He told ministers that those who tested positive in the UK could then be isolated after a full five days, with negative tests on Thursday and Friday.

The change after weeks of calls for isolated to be cut, as the NHS struggles with mass staff absences.

The medical directors had resisted doing this earlier, after having reduced isolation from ten to seven days just before Christmas.

But when new research showed the change would lead to only two more people in 100 leaving quarantine while still infectious, ministers changed their minds.

Modeling UK Health Security Agency probed the risk of a positive case spreading the virus after two negative sideline tests.

It showed eight percent would still be infectious on Thursday, compared with 6.2 percent on Saturday.

Ministers today met with experts to figure out the plans, before Sajid Javid revealed their decision to the Commons.

A string of extremely active research showed Omicron to be milder than other strains in the vaccine, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalization as 50 to 70% lower than Delta.

The Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and give the best chance of passing Disease, health officials have repeatedly said.

Sun Jabs Army The campaign is helping to get key additional vaccines in the UK’s arms to avoid the need for any new restrictions.

The Health Secretary said: “UKHSA data shows that around two-thirds of positive cases were no longer infectious by the end of Thursday and we wanted to use the testing capacity we have built to help those who need it. the person safely left the quarantine.

“After reviewing all the evidence, we have made the decision to reduce the minimum period of self-isolation to five full days in the UK.

“From Monday, people can test twice before going – leaving isolation early on Friday.

“These two tests are critical to these balanced and proportional plans, and I urge everyone to leverage the capacity we’ve built in the tests so we can restore the freedom for this country while we keep everyone safe.”

Professor Lorna Harries, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “Deciding on a period of isolation is clearly a delicate balance between minimizing transmission and keeping society functioning. .

“However, this new move underscores the critical need to encourage people to take lateral flow tests and adhere to the results, to help reduce risk. Our government urgently needs to ensure Guarantee offers a full range of lateral flow tests.

“Special care is needed in vulnerable settings such as care homes, as older people with dwindling vaccine immunity may be more at risk.

“A test that can detect a specific active virus like ours could be useful in these special circumstances.”

The isolation rules are explained:

Under the new rules, which will come into effect on Monday (January 17), people in the UK with Covid can be quarantined after a full five days – as long as they test negative in the line tests. side flows on Thursday and Friday.

An example timeline looks like this:

Monday = Day 0 (when developing symptoms or testing positive)

Tuesday = Day 1

Wednesday = Day 2

Thursday = Day 3

Friday = Day 4

Saturday = Day 5 – first lateral flow test

Sunday = Day 6 – second party flow test and if both are negative you can leave in isolation

HAVE SYMPTOMS

Isolation begins the day you first have symptoms.

You must be in quarantine for a full five days and can leave after negative side flow on Thursdays and Fridays.

So, if you notice symptoms on Monday morning, which counts as day 0 – regardless of when you’re positive – then you can have your first lateral flow test done on Saturday (day 0). Thursday). It means you can come out of isolation Sunday morning after a second negative lateral flow test.

But if you continue to test positive, you still have to isolate until you test negative.

NO SYMPTOMS

Isolation begins on the day of your first positive lateral flow test.

You must be in quarantine for a full five days and can leave after negative side flow on Thursdays and Fridays.

For example, if you test positive at 11am on Monday, which counts as day 0, you have to wait until Saturday (Thursday) to take your first test and see if you are negative. It means you can come out of isolation Sunday morning after a second negative lateral flow test.

But if you continue to test positive, you still have to isolate until you test negative.

Omicron is currently the dominant virus strain in the UK and most people who test positive for this variant develop cold-like symptoms.

The Army has been drafted to help the NHS due to a crippling staff shortage, while more than one in 12 teachers quit last week.

The cabinet, including the normally cautious Health Secretary, has backed a move to cut the number of days Britons have to self-isolate after contracting Covid.

Mr. Javid added: “Omicron is less serious, but no one should be under the illusion. It is very serious for anyone who ends up in hospital.

“We started this year as the freest country in Europe, thanks to the decisions we made over the summer.

“The virus is still with us and there are likely to be more difficult weeks.

“According to the ONS data released yesterday, there are encouraging signs.”

Despite the rule change, public health measures remain in place, including:

  • stay home if you feel unwell
  • check if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19
  • Cover your face in a closed, crowded space
  • work from home if possible
  • maintain social distancing and wash your hands often
  • get free COVID-19 vaccine offer

Experts and ministers have repeatedly called for the isolation period to be reduced to five days, saying science backs it up and will put Britons back in vital roles.

Professor Tim Spector of King’s College London and lead author of the Covid Symptom Research App today says the restrictions have had a bigger impact on colds and flu than the Omicron variant.

He added: “People are having symptoms for a shorter period of time, especially during that first week.

“It shows that the one-week quarantine period can be reduced to five days.

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“If people test negative for ltfs at the end of those five days because of that whole stage of infection and getting over it seems quicker.

“Unmanned hospitals are at a much worse risk than the occasional Covid slip through.”

Schools minister Robin Walker also weighed in during the debate, saying he would support reducing the coronavirus quarantine period from seven days to five days if the science backs it up.

Speaking yesterday, Boris Johnson said a decision would be made “as quickly as possible”.

Government scientists told Boris Johnson he will have to accept the slightly increased risk of people being quarantined while still being contagious if he wants people back to work sooner.

Under current rules, on the sixth and seventh days of quarantine, Brits must have a negative Covid test to come out of isolation.

If you continue to test positive, you must continue to isolate until there are two negative tests or until the 10th day of isolation.

The US changed its policy in five days, which encouraged many calls for the UK to follow suit.

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Professor says Britain could be the first country out of the pandemic after deploying boosters

https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/17309318/covid-isolation-period-slashed-five-days-brits/ Covid self-isolates CUT to 5 full days to get more Britons back to work amid staffing crisis

Bobby Allyn

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