People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to self-isolate from today in the event of them being identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for the virus.
Everyone under the age of 18 will also be exempted from the close-contact quarantine rules, even if they haven’t been vaccinated.
Previously, those that were identified as close contacts to someone that had tested positive for the virus had to isolate for 10 days. Close contacts will instead be advised to take a PCR test, though this will be optional and not compulsory.
People who themselves test positive for the virus will still have to isolate, regardless of their vaccination status.
The change to the rules comes after weeks of disruption from the so-called ‘pingdemic’, in which hundreds of thousands of people have been instructed by the NHS COVID-19 app to self-isolate. The disruption has had a significant impact on businesses across the country, and saw some key services such as public transport reduced and cancelled – though disruption has eased recently.
Today‘s change in England was made in Wales earlier this month on 7 August.
Both the number of coronavirus cases and deaths have risen slightly in the UK in the last 7 day period, though daily figures remain significantly lower than those recorded during a peak in mid-July.