Covid: Major change for self-isolation rules comes into force in England - here's how long you have to isolate and when rules change

A MAJOR change to the self-isolation rules for people who test positive for Covid comes into force today.

Monday, 17th January 2022, 8:50 am

People who test positive for Covid previously had to isolate for seven days – with negative lateral flows on day six and seven.

Prior to that the isolation period was ten days, but that was cut at the end of 2021.

However the rules have once again changed for people who test positive for Covid.

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A Covid lateral flow test. Picture: BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

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Here’s all you need to know:

Is the self-isolation period changing?

Sajid Javid announced in the House of Commons on Thursday that the self-isolation period is set to be cut to five days.

He told MPs that UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) data showed ‘that around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five’.

He added: ‘After reviewing all of the evidence, we’ve made the decision to reduce the minimum self-isolation period to five full days in England.’

Will you need negative tests?

To leave isolation you will need two negative tests – one on day five and then on day six, letting you leave isolation.

Mr Javid said: ‘These two tests are critical to these balanced and proportionate plans, and I’d urge everyone to take advantage of the capacity we have built up in tests so we can restore the freedoms to this country while we’re keeping everyone safe.’

When will the self-isolation rules change?

Mr Javid announced that the change to self-isolation period will come into effect from today (January 17).

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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