The major Covid rules set to change from NEXT WEEK

MAJOR Covid rule changes are coming next week for Brits.

In a boost for struggling businesses and the NHS, people in England can leave isolation after five full days from Monday.

Anyone who tests positive on a lateral flow without symptoms will not need to do a PCR follow up
A major Covid rule change is coming in with isolation cuts from Monday

The rule change was confirmed by the Health Secretary yesterday – after experts had called for isolation to be slashed, while the NHS struggles with mass staff absences.

Until January 17 people still need to isolate for seven days, and are only able to emerge after a negative test on day six and seven.

But fresh research suggested slashing isolation to five days would only result in an extra two in 100 people leaving quarantine while still infectious.

Key UK Health Security Agency modelling probed the risk of a positive case spreading the virus after two negative lateral flow tests.

It found eight per cent would still be infectious on day five, compared to 6.2 per cent on day seven – which led ministers to change their minds.

It comes as a string of hugely positive studies show Omicron is milder than other strains in the vaccinated, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.

What is changing?

From Monday isolation rules are changing, going down to five full days.

But the confusing detail of the new rules means anyone isolating will actually have to do so for six, not five, days.

This is because the first full day of isolation is NOT the day you test positive or noticed symptoms – although you must still isolate following either of these events.

That day is now known as “day zero”, with the next day counting as day one, the UK Health Security Agency confirmed.

Covid patients must then test negative on lateral flow tests on day five and six in order to be released from isolation.

An example timeline is as follows:

Monday = Day 0 (when you develop symptoms or get a positive test)

Tuesday = Day 1

Wednesday = Day 2

Thursday = Day 3 

Friday = Day 4  

Saturday = Day 5 – first lateral flow test

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

New rules from Monday:

RULES FOR PEOPLE WITH SYMPTOMS

Isolation starts from the day of your first symptoms.

You must remain in isolation for five full days, and can leave after negative lateral flows on days five and six.

So, if you noticed symptoms on Monday morning, which counts as day zero – regardless of when you then tested positive – you can take your first lateral flow test on Saturday (day five). It means you could be free from isolation on Sunday morning after a second negative lateral flow test.

But if you continue to test positive, you must still remain in isolation until you have a negative test.

RULES FOR PEOPLE WITH NO SYMPTOMS

Isolation starts from the day of your first positive lateral flow test.

You must remain in isolation for five full days, and can leave after negative lateral flows on days five and six.

For example, if you test positive on Monday morning at 11am, which counts as day zero, you must wait until Saturday (day five) to do your first test and see if you are negative. It means you could be free from isolation on Sunday morning after a second negative lateral flow test.

But if you continue to test positive, you must still remain in isolation until you have a negative test.

Omicron is now the dominant strain in the UK and most people testing positive with the variant suffer with cold like symptoms.

People in England no longer have to do a follow up PCR if they don’t have symptoms and test positive on a lateral flow.

Anyone who tests positive on a lateral flow must log their results and isolate for the appropriate amount of days.

If they do have symptoms they still must take a PCR follow-up, regardless of the LTF result.



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