I was pleased to see my colleague the Health Secretary announce that, from next Monday (January 17th), people with COVID-19 in England can end their self-isolation after 5 full days, as long as they test negative on day 5 and day 6.
The decision has been made after careful consideration of modelling from the UK Health Security Agency and to support essential public services and workforces over the winter. I hope this will be a real boost to businesses and employees across Mid Sussex, enabling constituents to get back to work swiftly after a positive Covid test. I also know this will be a real boost for our public services, particularly for our NHS and our schools.
The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day.
It is essential that 2 negative rapid lateral flow tests are taken on consecutive days and reported before individuals return to their job or education, if leaving self-isolation earlier than the full 10-day period.
Existing public health measures remain in place, including:
- staying at home if you feel unwell
- getting a test if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms
- wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces
- working from home if possible
- maintaining social distancing and regular hand washing
- taking up the offer of the free COVID-19 vaccine
The Health Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, said:
"After reviewing all of the evidence, we’ve made the decision to reduce the minimum self-isolation period to 5 full days in England.
"These 2 tests are critical to these balanced and proportionate plans and I’d urge everyone to take advantage of the capacity we’ve built up in tests so we can restore more freedom to this country, whilst we are keeping everyone safe."