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Covid Isolation Period Reduced From Ten Days To Seven With Negative Test

Written by on December 22, 2021

A message to self-isolate on the NHS coronavirus contact tracing app.

People infected with coronavirus can now take two lateral flow tests to reduce the self-isolation period from 10 to seven days.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said those infected with the virus can take two lateral flow tests 24 hours apart on day six and seven of their isolation period, which if negative means they can stop quarantining.

The UKHSA said people who leave self-isolation on day seven are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, and to continue working from home.

This comes after analysis by the UKHSA suggested that a seven-day isolation period alongside two negative lateral flow test results had nearly the same protective effect as a 10-day isolation period without testing.

Studies have also demonstrated that lateral flow device (LFD) tests are just as sensitive at detecting the Omicron variant as they are for Delta.

UKHSA chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said anyone with coronavirus symptoms should still get a PCR test as soon as possible.

She said: “Covid-19 is spreading quickly among the population and the pace at which Omicron is transmitting may pose a risk to running our critical public services during winter.

“This new guidance will help break chains of transmission and minimise the impact on lives and livelihoods.

“It is crucial that people carry out their LFD tests as the new guidance states and continue to follow public health advice.”

Health secretary Sajid Javid said the new advice should help reduce the disruption to people’s everyday lives, and urged everyone to get the booster jab.

He said: “We want to reduce the disruption from Covid-19 to people’s everyday lives.

“Following advice from our clinical experts, we are reducing the self-isolation period from 10 days to seven if you test negative on an LFD test for two days running.

“It’s vital people keep playing their part by testing regularly and isolating if they test positive.

“And I urge you to get boosted now to protect yourself and those around you.”

The UKHSA added that unvaccinated adults who have come into contact with someone infected with coronavirus must still self-isolate until 10 days after their estimated date of exposure to the virus.


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