Monty Panesar calls for self-isolation rules to be scrapped
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Under the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, July 19 sees all legal rules on social distancing and face masks end. But the new Health Secretary told the Commons on Tuesday self-isolation rules will still be enforced for those who have received both jabs until August 16.
Currently, if a person comes into contact with someone with Covid, they must isolate for ten days.
NHS Test and Trace will continue to alert those who have come into contact with Covid to self-isolate after July 19.
But Mr Javid told the Commons Brits with both vaccine doses will eventually be able to take an an optional PCR test instead of undergoing quarantine.
However, new rules for fully-vaccinated Brits will not come into effect until August 16, nearly a month after July 19’s end to lockdown.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, accused the Government of “splitting the message”.
He added that delaying changes to the self-isolation regime until August “makes a mockery” of an end to lockdown.
Speaking to The Times, Sir Iain said: “Why would you even go to a pub [after step four of the lifting of lockdown]? This makes it worse.
“I wouldn’t go to a pub that wasn’t still having six around a table and social distancing, otherwise you run the risk of everyone in the pub being pinged and locked down.”
Business leaders also warned the delayed end to self-isolation could force them to close down.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, told The Times she thinks as many as a third of workers in the industry may either be isolating or off work because of the present system.
She claimed it is causing “carnage”, and suggested the delay in moving to a test-to-release system could harm the sector’s recovery.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Pub and Beer Association, also called for the rules to change on July 19, warning of “great confusion among our customers and staff”.
Department of Education figures also show more than 640,000 pupils in England not in school due to Covid in the week ending July 2.
Mr Javid told the Commons Covid cases could hit 100,000 a day by the start of August.
He told MPs waiting until August 16 to end self-isolation would mean “even more people will have the protection of both doses”, adding “modelling suggests the risk from the virus will be even lower”.
A Government source also told The Times: “July 19 is a pretty huge step in terms of all legal restrictions falling away.”
Children will also be exempt from isolation periods on August 16, with Education Secretary Gavin Williamson telling MPs “bubbles” in schools will end from July 19.
July 5 saw 28,773 cases, 37 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test and a further 406 people admitted to hospital with the virus.
As of Sunday, 2,140 patients are currently in hospital and as of Monday 369 are on ventilation.
In total, the UK has seen 4,958,868 cases and 128,268 deaths from the virus.
Another 76,962 first doses and 147,814 second doses of coronavirus vaccine were administered on Thursday.
In total, 45,428,681 first doses and 33,874,176 second doses have been administered, equalling 86.2 percent and 64.3 percent of the population respectively.
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