What are the new Covid insulation rules? How long should you isolate yourself after positive sidestream testing


That rules on Covid self-isolation has undergone several changes recently, with the emergence of the Omicron variant causes widespread staff shortages.

You know have the opportunity to cut back a bit on your quarantine If you stop testing positive for coronavirus, and there is calls for this period to be further reduced.

New rules on confirmatory PCR testing also mean the start date of the self-isolation period switches to asymptomatic Covid patients – here’s how it all works.

What are the new rules for self-insulation?

From Tuesday, January 11th, anyone which gets a positive result from a lateral flow test no longer need to get a follow-up PCR result if they have no symptoms.

People who test positive using an LFT will still be asked to upload their result to the NHS system, so Test and Tracking can find contacts and advise them to test.

It remains the case that if you experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, then you must order a PCR test. The three main symptoms listed by the NHS are:

  • High temperature: This means that you feel warm by touching your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
  • New, persistent cough: This is defined as coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you normally have a cough, it may be worse than normal).
  • Loss or change of your sense of smell or taste: This means that you have noticed that you can not smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different than normal (anosmia).

Exceptions to the temporary rule change include persons entitled to £ 500 Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP), who will still be asked to take a confirmatory PCR if they receive a positive LFD result, in order to give them access to financial support.

More about Covid-19

The changes introduced after the high frequency of Omicron Covid cases caused test deficiencies were originally announced for England but has been adopted by all four British nations.

It means that the self-isolation period now begins from the day of the positive sidestream if you are asymptomatic.

If you show Covid symptoms, your isolation period starts from when they first appeared.

Previously, the mandatory quarantine lasted for 10 days. However, under measures introduced in December, You can now leave self-isolation after seven days as long as you receive two negative LFT results at 24 hour intervals on days six and seven.

However, if you continue to test positive, you will remain in quarantine for the entire ten-day period.

Then you can return to normal as long as you do not still have a high temperature. The government advises that a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks, so you do not need to extend your isolation period if these are your only persistent symptoms.

Omicron staff shortages have triggered widespread disruption (Photo: PA)

Can self-isolation be reduced to five days?

On Monday, Boris Johnson indicated that ministers are considering cutting Covid isolation period further to five days.

The prime minister said the government was “looking at” shortening the quarantine period following reports that Rishi Sunak and other senior figures were in favor of the move to help the economy.

Asked if ministers were discussing cutting back on isolation, Mr Johnson told TV stations: “We are looking at it. And we will act in accordance with science, as we have always done.”

Last week, Minister of Health Sajid Javid said ministers did not plan to cut the period down to five days, but there appeared to be some movement on the issue over the weekend.

New rules on PCR testing were introduced to combat a test deficiency (Photo: Reuters)

In an interview with Sunday Times, Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said they want to review it so we will stick to seven days but if they review it and say they will bring it down to five days it is even better for me, it’s even more useful. “

However, he seemed to be going back little when he appeared on Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday program with a warning about the risk of a further two-day cut.

Zahawi said: “We have to be careful if we move, as what we could end up with is actually a perverted incentive where the increase is higher because people are coming out of isolation prematurely.

“What you do not want is to create a negative result at higher levels of infection.”

UKHSA has warned that cutting self-isolation periods to five days could lead to more infections and “exacerbate staff shortages”.

In a announcement released earlier this month, it said: “Our current assessment is that it would be counterproductive to shorten the isolation period beyond the current seven days (including completion of isolation insurance testing).

“In some environments, such as hospitals, it could actually exacerbate staff shortages if it led to more people becoming infected.” The UKHSA said this position would be kept “under review”.

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