The self-isolation period for contacts of a positive coronavirus case has been reduced to 10 days.
Here, the PA news agency looks at what has changed over quarantine requirements.
– What are the new rules on isolating?
The self-isolation period for contacts of a positive coronavirus case has been reduced from 14 days to 10 days, the UK’s four chief medical officers have announced.
This change already applies in Wales following an announcement by the Welsh government earlier this week, while it will take effect in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from Monday.
– Does this apply to international travel too?
Yes. Travellers arriving into the UK from countries not included on the travel corridor list will be required to quarantine for 10 days, rather than 14 days.
Self-isolation for contacts of people with coronavirus shortened from 14 to 10 days across UK from Mon
Change also applies to people instructed to quarantine after returning from non-exempt countries. And 'Test to Release' available after 5 days for non-Travel Corridor returns
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) December 11, 2020
– Why have the rules now changed?
Health chiefs said that after reviewing the evidence, they were “confident” that the self-isolation period could be reduced.
England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said the decision was based on a “continuous accumulation of evidence” during the pandemic.
– What does this mean if I am already self-isolating?
The new rules will apply to all those who are currently self-isolating, including those who began doing so before Monday.
So anyone who has been isolating for 10 days or more by Monday will be able to end their quarantine.
– Have the rules changed if I test positive?
No. Those with Covid-19 symptoms or a positive test result should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, or from the date of the test if asymptomatic.
– Do these changes apply to the NHS Covid-19 app?
Due to the time taken to develop and test technical changes, the NHS Covid-19 app will tell close contacts to isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days from Thursday.
For those who receive a notification before then, if they also contacted by NHS Test and Trace, that person should follow isolation guidance provided by contact tracers.
But if they are advised to isolate by the app and not a contact tracer, then they can leave quarantine when the isolation countdown says three days.