From today, those who’ve had two Covid vaccinations no longer need to self-isolate if they get ‘pinged’ or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace notifying them they’ve come into contact with someone who’s tested positive. The BBC has more.
People in England and Northern Ireland who have had two Covid vaccine doses will no longer have to isolate if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
Instead of having to quarantine for 10 days, they are now advised to take a PCR test – but this is not compulsory.
They are also advised to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and to limit contact with others, especially the clinically vulnerable.
The guidance applies to under-18s too.
The changes to self-isolation rules have already been implemented in Scotland and Wales.
The relaxed rules in England and Northern Ireland are expected to significantly reduce the number of people being compelled to stay at home.
At its peak in July, the number of self-isolation alerts sent in England and Wales in a week was just under 700,000.
This is welcome news, obviously, but, like so much of the Government’s decision making about the coronavirus crisis, it’s completely illogical. After all, people who’ve been double jabbed are not significantly less likely to catch COVID-19 or infect others than the unvaccinated. This rule change, which was announced last month, seems to have been made before the evidence about just how ineffective the vaccines are when it comes to protecting people from infection had been digested by the Government. Or maybe the Government had digested it, but decided to press ahead with the relaxation of self-isolation rules anyway because of the havoc the ‘pingdemic’ was wreaking.
Can we now abandon the stupid contact-tracing rules for the unvaccinated, too?