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GPs who are close contacts of Omicron cases no longer need to isolate

GPs to continue LFTs until day 10 as Covid isolation reduced to five days

Fully vaccinated GPs and practice staff no longer need to isolate for 10 days if they are a close contact of an Omicron Covid case, the Government has said.

The requirement has been replaced with a negative PCR and then daily LFT antigen tests for ten days – with isolation only on testing positive or developing symptoms – for those who are fully vaccinated.

Those who are not fully vaccinated must stay at home and self-isolate.

In an update to its guidance for healthcare professionals yesterday, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it had ‘removed’ the self-isolation requirements for ‘contacts of a case infected with the Omicron variant’.

It comes after Pulse revealed that the guidance was stricter for GPs than for the general public, following the relaxation of the same measure for the public earlier this week.

Since 30 November, GPs and practice staff had been required to self-isolate for 10 days if they were a close contact of a ‘suspected or confirmed’ Omicron Covid case – although they are not considered a close contact if wearing PPE correctly.

This had been in line with rules for the public but when public guidance was updated to relax the requirement, UKHSA told Pulse that this did not apply to GPs and other health and care staff.

However, a spokesperson said at the time that the guidance is kept under constant review.

Updating its guidance yesterday, UKHSA said: ‘Self-isolation requirements [have been] removed for contacts of a case infected with the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.’

Instead of isolating, fully vaccinated healthcare workers must take a negative PCR and then daily LFT antigen tests for ten days – isolating only if they test positive or develop symptoms – it said.

DHSC guidance for the public requires the same of the public, but only lateral flow tests and for seven days.

It comes as the Government has announced that it will ‘double’ capacity for Covid testing after days of problems.

UKHSA guidance for healthcare workers including GPs and practice staff

‘Staff members notified that they are a contact of a Covid-19 case are not required to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated. 

‘[However,] they should inform their line manager or employer immediately if they are required to work in the 10 days following their last contact with a Covid-19 case.’

They must ‘immediately’ arrange to have a PCR and test negative before returning to work, then take daily LFT antigen tests for 10 days ‘following their last contact with the case, even on days they are not at work’.

Those who have had a Covid infection in the past 90 days ‘should not have a PCR test and should only undertake daily LFD antigen tests’.

If they develop Covid symptoms or have a positive LFD result during this period, they should stay at home or return home and arrange to have a PCR test ‘as soon as possible’.

‘If any of the above cannot be met, the staff member should not come to work and should follow the stay at home guidance for the full 10-day period.’

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated healthcare workers identified as a contact of a case must self-isolate unless exempt due to being under 18, medically unable to be vaccinated or part of a Covid vaccine clinical trial. 

Those who are unvaccinated and exempt from self-isolation in the community ‘should not attend work or should be redeployed for the period of time they would be required to self-isolate’.

If they develop symptoms of Covid-19 during this period, they should stay at home or return home and arrange to have a PCR test ‘as soon as possible’.

Click to complete relevant Covid-19 CPD modules on Pulse Learning. 

READERS' COMMENTS [9]

Patrufini Duffy 16 December, 2021 1:55 pm

They going to have guidelines for postmen, cauliflower pickers and hospital porter’s too. What about the AE nurse and air conditioning fitter.
Dry. Keep working. Keep following their fake guidelines.

Dr N 16 December, 2021 4:17 pm

This make it up as you go along in a shitstorm is just brilliant.

Rogue 1 16 December, 2021 4:23 pm

Just last week they were saying GPs had to isolate?
They’ve just realised that if the numbers keep going up like they are, the amount of GP exposure could well mean there are no GPs left to manage primary care!
So what do they do, simples – no need to isolate. It really is made up on the back of a fag-packet

Iain Chalmers 16 December, 2021 5:30 pm

Who would have guessed this!!

As said earlier just make it up in this shit-fest as you go along; don’t do as I do, do as I say!!

David Farmer 16 December, 2021 7:44 pm

Commodities really aren’t we. I can’t think that medicine changes with such rapidity.

Turn out The Lights 16 December, 2021 9:31 pm

Tommy poem yet again.The attitude of the ruling elite to the front expendable.

C P 16 December, 2021 11:39 pm

Here as a little classical education and non offensive poem.
With no agenda, no reward, enjoy this on your phone .
Happy Christmas folks.

I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

Nigel Dickson 17 December, 2021 2:18 pm

Are the UKHSA complete morons – so you are in intimate contact with family member who caught comicon down the pub or in a restaurant – day 1 (you are probably already infected) your lateral flow test is falsely negative (that’s pretty normal early on) and off you go to work to spread the comicon to fellow workers. Day 2 lateral flow test still negative, so back into work to infect folk you didn’t yesterday, Day 3 lateral flow test +ve but even a monkey knows its almost pointless now self isolating – but of course there might be some folk you haven’t already spread the covid to so of course its sensible to stop off. Just in case the government pretends next week that they couldn’t possibly have known they should have imposed a proper lockdown this week “to save christmas” even a lying amoral scoundrel knows this week that of course its obvious – you read it here in Pulse

Verdades 18 December, 2021 8:40 pm

That Poem has made my Christmas. Thank you.