England’s double jabbed and under-18s will be advised to take PCR test instead of isolating
Further changes to the coronavirus rules have taken effect in England from today (16 August) – as a result of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign which has allowed the lifting of more restrictions.
With over 75 per cent of adults in the UK now vaccinated – Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Getting two doses of a vaccine has tipped the odds in our favour and allowed us to safely reclaim our lost freedoms…”
What has changed from Monday 16 August?
Some self-isolation rules are being lifted for the fully vaccinated and under 18s
- From 16 August, fully-vaccinated people will no longer have to self-isolate if a contact tests positive for Covid.
Anyone told by NHS contact tracers or the app to self-isolate will not need to do so, as long as they have received their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine more than 14 days prior to their contact with a positive case.
These people are advised to take a Covid-19 PCR test “as soon as possible to check if they have the virus and for variants of concern”.
Those contacted will not need to self-isolate while they await the results of their test.
- People who develop Covid-19 symptoms should self-isolate, get a PCR test, and remain in quarantine until the result comes back. Anyone who tests positive will still be legally required to self-isolate for ten days.
- Anyone who was told before 16 August to go into isolation – with their isolation period due to end after 16 August – will instead be able to leave isolation from Monday.
- Self isolation rules are also lifting for all under-18s – regardless of their vaccination status.
You can get a PCR test via an order for home delivery, by calling 119 or by going to a test site.
Health and Care Workers
Double vaccinated health and social care workers who are close contacts of a positive case will be allowed to return to work after a negative PCR test.
But they will have to take daily lateral flow tests for 10 days afterwards as a precaution.
Staff working with clinically extremely vulnerable patients or service users will need a risk assessment to be carried out before they return to work.
School bubbles will end
- With the government anxious to avoid any more disruption to education – the requirement to segregate younger children into bubbles to avoid school-wide outbreaks will lift.
- Social distancing will also no longer be necessary – and schools will not need to stagger start and finish times.
- Secondary school and college students will still be required to take coronavirus tests at home twice a week, along with two onsite tests when they return. Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate for 10 days.
- Those turning 18 will be treated in the same way as children until the age of 18 years and six months, to allow them time to get vaccinated.
- Testing rules for schools will be reviewed at the end of September.
‘Consider other precautions’ to reduce risk of infection
People who can skip self-isolation are being advised to “consider other precautions” to reduce the risk of infecting those around them.
Even if someone is fully vaccinated it does not mean they are fully protected from being infected with Covid-19 – which means they can still pass on the virus.
The government says people should consider wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and limit contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.
What about the unvaccinated?
There is no change to coronavirus rules for those who have not had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.