People who have had two Covid-19 shots and coming into contact with a person infected with the virus could soon be spared 10 days of self-isolation.
Authorities are reportedly considering removing the 10-day quarantine period as part of plans to use daily testing instead.
The Times reported that the Secretary of Health Matt Hancock reportedly keen to replace quarantine with daily testing, but that the policy will not be approved until after Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, is satisfied with the results of a study of 40,000 people.
Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, told Times Radio that this is already happening in the United States.
“The Center for Disease Control changed its guidelines some time ago to say that people who had received both doses of the vaccine and about 10 to 14 days after the second dose did not have to self-isolate, so I think we are moving forward. this direction, ”she said.
“As we have heard repeatedly from Chris Whitty and others, this virus is not going to go away.
“We’re going to have to live by his side, which means we’re going to have infections in the future, so being in contact with an infected person will always be a possibility,” Prof Bauld added.
She said there would be talks about keeping large numbers of children who self-isolate away and having regular testing done.
She had been asked if she thought that any 10-day postponement of self-isolation for those doubly vaccinated could be the way for the government to not properly support those who self-isolate.
Professor Bauld told the station: “I hadn’t really thought of it that way to be perfectly frank, is that some sort of reason not to support self-isolation, that may be part of it.
“I think as we move forward and learn to live alongside this virus, we have to recognize, not just for adults actually around self-isolation, but there will also be a debate, I think, on school children and if we could offer regular testing as an alternative to large groups of children who have to stay home and not have face-to-face education, which of course happens quite often as we go. that infection rates are increasing and that is really unfortunate and should be preventable. “
Prof Bauld said countries need to come to an agreement on rules for the entry of vaccinated people.
She said having both doses of the vaccine is “not a free pass for everything,” adding: “We have to make these changes because to get back to some kind of normal – or more normal than life than life. we have it now – vaccines are gonna be that protection, and that means showing, especially for international travel actually, proof of a vaccine, and I think you know that’s not controversial by Compared to, remember, these talks about vaccine passports to go to the pub, which is just not a runner, but to travel, I think all countries have to agree on that.
“We need to have a common standard like we do with yellow fever and that will really help international travel in the future. “
Professor Adam Finn, who advises the government on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), described the idea of removing 10-day self-isolation for people with a double bite who come in contact with people infected with the virus as an “interesting” proposition.
He told Times Radio: “We know that the vaccine, especially after two doses, is very effective in preventing you from getting seriously ill, 20 times less likely to end up in the hospital.
“We also know that it will lower your chances of getting a milder disease and infecting other people, but it’s probably less good for it to keep you from getting seriously ill, so it’s kind of balance of risks. “
When asked if it would be safer to properly support people while they self-isolate rather than reduce the quarantine time, he replied, “Yes, hard math because I think in practice for some reason this does not happen reliably, so people are penalized by self-isolation and it probably results in some people not self-isolating and others suffer financial hardship as a result.
“It’s a way to avoid that, and probably at a bit lower risk than just letting everyone go around when they have potentially been exposed. “