The 10-day self-isolation requirement for people who come into contact with someone infected with Covid-19 is to be scrapped for those who are fully vaccinated.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the plan is currently being piloted and will be introduced as soon as possible, once the data has been assessed by clinicians.
We want to hear from you: let us know what you think about this story and be part of the debate in our comments section below
At a glance: 5 key points
- The 10-day quarantine period could be axed in favour of daily lateral flow Covid-19 tests.
- The government is currently piloting the approach to check if it will be effective, with Mr Hancock confirming “it is something that we’re working on”.
- The remaining lockdown restrictions in England are to be reviewed by health experts ‘shortly’, but as yet measures are not expected to be lifted before the planned date of 19 July.
- More than one million second Covid-19 jabs have been administered to people over the age of 50 in just 10 days.
- Over the weekend, a total of 1,008,472 Covid-19 vaccine appointments were booked through the NHS England booking service after the programme was extended to all remaining adults. This amounts to an average of more than 21,000 every hour, or six every second.
What’s been said
Mr Hancock has said the government is not ready to scrap the quarantine requirement just yet, but is planning to introduce the new approach “as soon as it’s reasonable to do so”.
The Health Secretary also dismissed suggestions that remaining restrictions in England are likely to be lifted before the new date of 19 July, but added that experts will examine the figures shortly.
He said: “We are looking at the data, and we’ve said that we’ll take a specific look two weeks into the four-week delay that we had to put in place to get more people vaccinated, so we’ll do that.
“But I have every confidence that the more people get vaccinated, the easier it is (and) the safer it is to lift restrictions.
“We had to have the delay in order to get more people vaccinated, especially those second vaccines to protect people, we’re being careful, we’re being cautious.
“But I have a high degree of confidence that this vaccine is going to get us out of this, and the more people who come forward, the easier that will be.”
“So we are getting there. We’re not quite there yet but we’re getting there and you can see it in the data, you can see the protection that people are getting.”
Key numbers and dates
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set 19 July as the new so-called ‘Freedom Day’ in England, when all legal coronavirus restrictions will be lifted.
- Mr Johnson is facing pressure from backbench Conservative MPs to ease border restrictions as the Times reported that fewer than one in 200 travellers from amber list countries are testing positive.
- More than one million Covid-19 jabs were booked in just two days on Friday and Saturday (18 - 19 June) in England, as the vaccine rollout extended to everyone aged 18 and over
- Four in five adults have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with three in five now fully vaccinated, according to NHS England
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.