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Government expects to lift Covid self-isolation requirement entirely by March

self-isolation Covid

Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not expect to renew the legal requirement for people to self-isolate upon testing positive for Covid when this expires in March.

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons today, Mr Johnson said that ‘as Covid becomes endemic we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others’.

He also announced the lifting of ‘plan B’ measures effective this month – including advice to work from home, legal requirements for Covid passes to attend events and legal mandates to wear face coverings in crowded places.

Mr Johnson said: ‘The self-isolation regulations expire on 24 March, at which point I very much expect not to renew them.

‘Indeed were the data to allow, I would like to seek a vote in this House to bring that date forwards.’

He said that ‘in advance’ of that the Government ‘will set out our long-term strategy for living with Covid-19’ which will explain ‘how we hope and intend to protect our liberty and avoid restrictions in future by relying instead on medical advances – especially the vaccines which have already saved so many lives’.

‘But to make that possible, we must all remain cautious during these last weeks of winter,’ he added.

As it stands, GPs and practice staff can return to work on day six of their Covid isolation in line with the public but with some additional mitigations.

An NHS England letter sent to GP practices on Friday last week confirmed that the general guidance applies to healthcare staff but that in order to return to work from day six, they must be ‘medically fit’ and test negative daily until day 10.

Those who continue to test positive from day 10 and have no Covid symptoms can return to work following a risk assessment, NHS England reiterated.

Last week, it was reported that Covid pressures are forcing GPs to provide ‘urgent-only’ services in two areas, while a BMA survey revealed that almost 70% of GPs have seen staff shortages affect patient care.

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Patrufini Duffy 20 January, 2022 2:23 pm

Great narrative. The lead up to winter 2022/23 starts now. With nothing.