From Monday, the legal obligation for Britons to quarantine themselves for 10 days if contacted by Test and Trace will be lifted.
More than three-quarters of adults are vaccinated against the virus and the government is banking on the successful deployment of the vaccine to lift the remaining Covid restrictions.
Boris Johnson came under heavy criticism over the so-called pingemia in July, when thousands were forced into self-isolation due to contact with positive cases.
Companies have sounded the alarm bells about staff shortages and empty shelves – prompting the government to turn chaotic about reducing the sensitivity of the NHS Covid app and allowing key workers to be exempted.
Now, the general self-isolation rules for Covid contacts have been removed for all fully vaccinated people and those under 18.
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Here’s what you need to know about the rule changes in England.
You do not have to isolate yourself if one of your contacts contracts the Covid and you are vaccinated
There used to be a general policy that anyone coming into contact with a positive Covid case had to self-isolate for 10 days.
This will no longer be the case from Monday, when double-bitten Britons will no longer be legally required to stay at home if contacted by Test and Trace or cracked by the NHS Covid app.
You must have received your second dose at least 14 days before contact with a positive case to be considered fully vaccinated.
Only jabs approved by the medical regulator and administered by the NHS count – so Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna.
Children under 18 will also be exempt
Children and youth will also be able to avoid being told to self-isolate under the new rules, regardless of their immunization status.
Some under 18 have already been vaccinated because they have certain medical conditions – and injections are underway for healthy 16 and 17 year olds.
But the government has not given the green light to immunizing young children, so all young people are covered by the exemption even if they haven’t had the vaccine.
Ministers are keen to avoid further disruption to education in the fall, which is a factor in this rule change.
School bubbles have also been removed for pupils in England and children are no longer required to wear face covers in class.
Social distancing has also been dropped for students along with staggered start and end times.
The government will revise the testing rules, which stipulate that high school students must take two tests on site and two at home.
It is advisable to be tested by Test and Trace but it is not mandatory
Contact tracers will advise anyone in close contact with a positive case to have a PCR test as soon as possible.
But the new rules say it’s not mandatory.
If you are getting tested, you do not need to isolate yourself while waiting for the result if you are fully immunized.
People can order a home PCR test online or by calling 119, or by going to a testing site.
If your test is positive or you have symptoms of Covid, you should always self-isolate
If you test positive for the virus, you are legally required to stay home for 10 days, regardless of your immunization status or age.
This critical rule has not changed.
Anyone who has developed symptoms of Covid should also take a PCR test and self-isolate while waiting for the result.
So if you are identified as a contact of an infected person and start to develop symptoms of Covid, you should self-isolate even if you are double stung.
People who are vaccinated can still contract the virus – and pass it on to others – although they are less likely to become seriously ill.
You should consider wearing a mask and limiting contact if you’re nuts
Fully vaccinated individuals should consider taking precautions if identified as close contact, as directed.
You should think about wearing a mask and reducing your contact with others, but you don’t have to stay at home.
This is advisory rather than mandatory, as the broader mask rules have already been relaxed.
This is in line with the government’s attempt to move towards letting people make up their own minds about how to protect themselves from Covid.
The NHS Covid app will allow you to declare yourself if they are vaccinated
Updates will be made to the NHS COVID-19 app to align with the new rules.
Users of the app will be able to self-declare whether they are under 18 or fully vaccinated – and will receive guidance on booking a PCR test, although, again, this is not legally required. .
But healthcare and care workers still need to have regular tests
The NHS and fully affected caregivers who are contacted by Test and Trace will be able to return to work, as long as they have a negative PCR test.
They still have to pass daily lateral flow tests for 10 days due to the nature of their job.
Staff working with clinically extremely vulnerable patients will need a risk assessment before returning to work, the advisory says.
Double-bitten Britons can still avoid travel quarantine
Separate rules governing travel quarantine have already been introduced.
Double-bitten Britons and under-18s returning from Orange List countries do not need to self-quarantine upon their return to the UK.
However, they must pass a pre-departure test and a test on the second day of their return to the UK.
People returning from Red List countries must spend 10 days in a government-approved quarantine hotel