Changes to Covid-19 Self-Isolation Rules

From 16th August, anyone who has been identified as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case will no longer have to self-isolate, providing they have been fully vaccinated and are not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms.

What is meant by ‘fully vaccinated’?
Individuals are fully vaccinated when they are two weeks post-completion of a full course of an authorised vaccine administered in the UK. This is to allow for an antibody response to develop. You need both doses of a two-dose vaccine for maximum protection against COVID-19. You must have been fully vaccinated at the time of the contact with the positive case. All close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, are advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to confirm their condition.

The testing policy has not changed. Those who are fully vaccinated will only be required to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 following a PCR test. You may wish to limit social contact whilst waiting for the results of your PCR test, but you are not required to self-isolate. If your PCR test result is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days to avoid spreading the infection to other people. This will continue to be a legal requirement. Those you live with – and any close contacts outside your household – will either be required to self-isolate or advised to get a PCR test, depending on their age and vaccination status.

Anyone under the age of 18 who has been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case will also no longer be required to self-isolate. Instead, they will be given advice about whether to get tested and depending on their age will need to self-isolate only if they have tested positive.

The following groups will be required to self-isolate, should they be identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 PCR test result:

  • Those who have not received their COVID-19 vaccination;
  • Those who have not received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccination;
  • Those who have received their second dose within the last 14 days;
  • Those who have tested positive following a PCR test;
  • Those who have been fully vaccinated and are displaying COVID-19 symptoms (ahead of getting a PCR test).