The CDC in the United States has cut self isolation after a positive coronavirus test to just five days, a move the British government has rejected – saying it has ‘no plans’ for such a move
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Coronavirus isolations rules have changed in some parts of the UK and some depend on whether you have been double jabbed or not.
The USA has this week gone one step further, with the CDC (Center for Disease Control) cutting isolation to just five days, a move the British government has rejected saying it has no current plans to slash isolation time again.
People in England who test positive for Covid can now reduce the mandatory 10 days self isolation to just seven if they take a lateral flow test on days six and seven and both are negative.
The government says the tests must be taken at least 24 hours apart and if you are still testing positive you must complete the 10 days originally stipulated.
The government’s official advice reads: “Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 7 are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with Covid-19.”
If you live with someone who test positive, are over 18 years and six months and are not double jabbed you are legally required to stay at home and self-isolate.
If you live with someone who test positive, are over 18 years and six months and are double jabbed you are not legally required to stay at home and self-isolate.
However, you are strongly advised to take a lateral flow test every day for 7 days, and to self-isolate if any of these test results are positive.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have all kept the self isolation time for those who test positive and close contacts to 10 days.
Scientist and virologist are not able to say confidently how long people are infectious for however experts agree the government’s current rules seem proportionate.
Prof Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick Medical School, said the Omicron variant appeared to mean infectious time was shorter.
He told the Guardian: “This infectious period can occur before the onset of symptoms and last for between two to three days after you become symptomatic.
“The approach adopted in the UK is sensible based on seven days and two consecutive negative lateral flow tests.
“These tests are a great way to determine if you are infectious.”
The UK Health Security Agency says the approach for England “reflects latest evidence on how long cases transmit the virus for, and supports essential public services and supply chains over the winter, while still limiting the spread of the virus”.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.