People who have had two Covid-19 jabs may be spared 10 days of self-isolating if they come into contact with someone with the virus, reports suggest.
A trial has been launched to see whether the 10 day quarantine can be dropped for people who are double jabbed, with daily tests to be used instead.
The Times reported that Health Secretary Matt Hancock is said to be keen to replace quarantine with daily testing, but that the policy will only be approved after Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, is satisfied with the results of a study involving 40,000 people.
Linda Bauld professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, told Times Radio it is already happening in the US.
“The Centre for Disease Control changed their guidance a while ago to say that people who had had both doses of the vaccine and about 10-14 days after the second dose didn’t have to self-isolate, so I think we are moving in that direction,” she said.
“As we’ve heard repeatedly from Chris Whitty and others, this virus isn’t going to disappear.
“We’re going to have to live alongside it, means we are going to have infections in future, so being a contact of someone infected will always be a possibility,” Prof Bauld added.
She said there will be discussions on moving away from large numbers of children self-isolating and instead carrying out regular testing.
She had been asked if she thinks any move away from 10 days of self-isolation for people who are double vaccinated could be the Government’s way of getting out of properly supporting those who are self-isolating.
Prof Bauld told the station: “I hadn’t actually thought of it that way to be perfectly frank, is this a sort of a reason not to support self-isolation, that may be part of it.
“I think it’s more that as we move ahead and learn to live alongside this virus we have to recognise, not just for adults actually around self-isolation, but there will also be a debate, I think, about school pupils and whether we could offer regular testing as an alternative to large groups of children having to stay at home and not have face-to-face education, which of course has been happening quite a bit as infection rates rise and it’s really unfortunate and should be avoidable.”
Additional reporting by PA.