Changes to self-isolation guidance from Monday 16 August
From Monday 16 August, people who are double jabbed or aged under 18 will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. The Government announced the changes as a result of the success of the UK’s vaccine programme, with over three quarters of UK adults now double jabbed.
What will change?
As of Monday, people who are identified by NHS Test and Trace as close contacts of someone with COVID-19 may not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:
- They are fully vaccinated (currently 2 doses of vaccine for those over 18 years)
- They are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
- They have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- They are not able to be vaccinated for medical reasons.
Fully vaccinated means someone who has been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days has passed since the recommended doses.
Close contacts will still be contacted by NHS Test and Trace who will identify those who do not need to self-isolate. NHS Test and Trace will advise close contacts to take a PCR test as soon as possible to check if they have the virus and for variants of concern. Find out about testing for close contacts here.
People identified as close contacts who are fully vaccinated are still at risk of being infected and are advised to consider other precautions such as:
They will not be required to self-isolate while they wait for the results of the PCR test.
Who still needs to self-isolate?
Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age in order to break onwards chains of transmission.
Meanwhile anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) should self-isolate and get a PCR test, and remain in isolation until the result comes back.