COVID-19 self-isolation period cut to 10 days by UK CMOs

People who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus will now be asked to self-isolate for 10 days - not 14 - starting from Monday 14 December.

The NHS COVID-19 app (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The NHS COVID-19 app (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The self-isolation period for people returning from countries not on the travel corridor has also been cut to 10 days, according to a statement by the four UK chief medical officers.

There has been no change to the isolation period for those with a confirmed case of COVID-19 who will still need to self isolate for 10 days from when symptoms first began or 10 days from a positive test if they are asymptomatic.

Earlier this week the CMO of Wales announced that it would reduce the period that people had to quarantine, but changes to guidance today will now brings the rest of the UK in line with these measures.

The previous period for self-isolation was 14 days, but this has been changed following a review of the latest available evidence by the chief medical officers in England, Scotland Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Self-isolation period

The changes also mean that anyone who has been self-isolating for 10 days or more will be able to come out of self-isolation on Monday.

In a joint statement the CMOs of the four nations urged people to self-isolate when appropriate as they laid out the new rules. ‘Self-isolation is essential to reducing the spread of COVID as it breaks the chains of transmission,’ they said.

‘After reviewing the evidence, we are now confident that we can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from 14 days to 10 days. People who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days.

‘People who test positive should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms or 10 days from the point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic.'

NHS Test and Trace will tell people to self-isolate for 10 days from Monday, but due to the time taken to develop technical changes, the NHS COVID-19 app will only be able to do the same from Thursday.

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