People who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus and come into contact with someone who tests positive will be advised to wear a mask and reduce their contact with others but will not have to isolate, under new guidance.
From Monday, August 16, people in England who have had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine will no longer have to spend 10 days in quarantine if they are a contact of a positive case.
Those identified as a close contact are advised to take a PCR test but that will not be compulsory and they will not have to self-isolate while they wait for the result.
The new guidance will apply to people who had their final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before coming into contact with a positive case, but those who test positive will still be legally required to self-isolate.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Monday will be “another huge step back towards our normal lives”.
He said: “Getting two doses of a vaccine has tipped the odds in our favour and allowed us to safely reclaim our lost freedoms, and from Monday we can take another huge step back towards our normal lives by removing self-isolation requirements for double-jabbed people who are contacts of people with Covid-19.”
The Government said people will also continue to be encouraged to do rapid lateral flow testing twice a week in an effort to find asymptomatic cases of the virus.
Health and social care staff will have to provide a negative PCR test to return to work if they are a contact of a positive case, and also take daily lateral flow tests for 10 days as a precaution.
The latest Government figures show that 317,132 alerts were sent to app users in England and Wales in the week to August 4, telling them they had been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus – down 20% on the previous week.