Lockdown rule changes: When does isolation stop? When does track and trace stop?

Boris Johnson discusses Stage 4 of roadmap out of lockdown

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Step four of the lockdown roadmap will come into place from next Monday in England. A number of the remaining lockdown restrictions, such as the limits on social gatherings and requirements to wear face coverings, will come to an end. But some restrictions will remain in place for the time being, such as the requirement to self-isolate after a positive Covid test or if told to by NHS Test and Trace.

When does self-isolation stop?

After July 19, the requirement to self-isolate will remain for anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or anyone who tests positive for the virus.

People will also still be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

There is a legal requirement for people to self-isolate if they are told to by NHS Test and Trace and people could face significant fines if they do not do so.

From August 16, anyone in England who has had both Covid vaccinations will not be required to self-isolate if a close contact tests positive for the virus.

When someone is notified after this date, NHS Test and Trace will ask if they are fully vaccinated and if so, they will be advised to take one PCR test to check if they have the virus.

People will need to have passed two weeks since their second vaccine was administered to avoid self-isolating if they are identified as a contact.

However, from August 16, anyone who tests positive or develops symptoms of COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate.

This will be the case regardless of someone’s vaccination status.

From this date, children will also not have to self-isolate if a close contact tests positive.

The move will hopefully bring some stability back to classrooms when schools return in September.

Over the last few months, the bubble system has meant entire classes have had to self-isolate at home at times.

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When does track and trace stop?

NHS Test and Trace will continue after lockdown eases in England on July 19.

Currently, the NHS COVID-19 app is facing criticism for the number of people urged to self-isolate over coronavirus contacts.

More than half a million people in England were pinged by the NHS app in the week leading up to July 7, the highest weekly figure since data was first published in January.

The number of people self-isolating has led to staff shortages, with many calling on changes to be implemented to the way the app operates.

Punch Taverns founder Hugh Osmond called for those pinged on the NHS COVID-19 app to be allowed to go back to work if they get a PCR test that returns negative.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “It is absolutely chaos, and clearly the app really isn’t fit for purpose because people are getting pinged all over the place and the vast majority do not ever test positive, let alone be ill.”

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told LBC radio: “It is important that we have the app, that we take it seriously, that when we do get those messages, we act accordingly.”

But Mr Jenrick added the Government is “concerned” about the number of people taking time off work to self-isolate.

He added: “We are concerned about absences as a result of being pinged, for example.

“That is one of the reasons why we do need to move to a more proportionate approach.”

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