What are England and Northern Ireland’s new rules on self-isolation?

England and Northern Ireland have, from Monday, followed Scotland and Wales in relaxing rules so that people who are fully vaccinated no longer have to self-isolate if they are close contacts of people testing positive for Covid-19.

They are advised to get a PCR test – the more reliable method of determining whether they have Covid-19. It will not be compulsory and they will not have to self-isolate while they wait for the result.

しかしながら, they are advised to consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and limiting contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

ザ・ new guidance will apply to people who had their final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before coming into contact with a positive case.

Anyone aged under 18 years and six months or anyone who has not been able to get vaccinated for medical reasons are also not required to self-isolate if they are in contact with a positive case.

In this case they are still legally required to self-isolate. People who develop symptoms should self-isolate and get a PCR test, staying in isolation until the result comes back, 当局は言う.

Those who are fully vaccinated – as well as those below the age of 18 years and six months – won’t be required to self-isolate even if they live with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

For the vaccinated person, 少なくとも 14 days must have passed since they received the recommended doses of an approved vaccine.

They are also advised to get a PCR test as soon as possible and consider additional measures including limiting close contact with other people outside their household, especially in enclosed spaces.

As well as this, they are advised to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and, where possible, maintain social distancing by limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.

はい. One expert on a panel advising the government expressed concern that some people would not go for a PCR test if they feared that they would miss out on work.

“The problem is that if you now make it a choice for people as to whether to take a test, and therefore have to self-isolate if you’re positive, people aren’t going to take that test if they can’t afford to be positive,” said Prof Stephen Reicher, from the University of St Andrews and a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B).

“So we need to give people more support so they can self-isolate,” added Reicher, who told Sky News that the tests should have been made compulsory.

The change in guidance also comes at a time when daily case numbers are hovering above 25,000 . Scientists are wary that the move will increase infection levels, given that Delta variant has the potential to infect the fully vaccinated.

“It is very likely that this change will fuel increased levels of infection and that this will lead to further hospitalisations and deaths. It will add to the current sense of complacency and the view that we are over the pandemic,” said Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at the University of Warwick.

“While accepting that the disruption caused by the ‘pingdemic’ is not sustainable, it is important to recognise that the virus is still circulating in the population and that the more infectious Delta variant has changed the equation.”

Lifting measures such as legally obliging people to self-isolate if they come into contact with a positive case will “slightly reduce” the effectiveness of contact tracing, according to Prof Neil Ferguson, a disease modeller and epidemiologist at Imperial College London.

But he added that it very much depended on the extent to which people followed the advice to get tested and then isolate if they test positive themselves, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

“If people don’t get tested then we will see transmission pick up, a little, because of this measure," 彼が追加した.

Asked if he agreed with Reicher’s view that that testing should be compulsory, he said that the population had, 全体, been quite cautious coming out of the latest lockdown.

It was a political judgment as to whether testing should be mandatory, but he said it was notable that contact rates were lower now than at this time last summer.

ザ・ change came into effect in Wales on 7 8月, when instead of instructing fully vaccinated adults to isolate, contact tracers and advisers started providing people with advice and guidance about how to protect themselves and stay safe.

Everyone identified as a contact of a positive case in Wales will continue to be advised to have a PCR test on day two and day eight, whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

In Scotland, it is also already the case that double-vaccinated adults and all children can avoid self-isolation as a close contact so long as they are symptomless and have received a negative PCR test result.