Government changes self isolation rules for GPs returning from abroad

GPs and other healthcare professionals in England will now be required to self isolate for 14 days if they are returning from any country deemed high-risk for COVID-19, the government has said.

(Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images)
(Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images)

The decision reverses an exemption to the rules for registered healthcare professionals that was put in place at the start of June to help the NHS cope with the pandemic.

However, the government has said that following the reopening of travel routes and more people going on holidays abroad, healthcare professionals were also now required to follow the self isolation rules when returning to England from a high-risk country.

A government statement said that the step had been taken 'to minimise the risk of onward chains of transmission that might infect the wider workforce'.

Travel exemption list

GPs and other staff will not be required to self isolate if they are returning from any of the countries on the government's exemption list. However, the government warned that the list was kept under constant review and countries could be added and removed.

The decision brings England into line with Scotland and Wales, which already required healthcare professionals to self isolate for 14 days if they were returning from a country deemed to be high risk.

It comes amid concern about rising infection rates in parts of Europe. Spain was removed from the government's exemption list at the weekend, while Luxembourg was removed from the list on Friday following an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

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