Adults and children will be free to return to work, attend school, and meet friends and family as the protection from vaccines replaces the need for contact isolation from 16th August 2021.
- Instead of self-isolating, those who are double jabbed and under 18s identified as close contacts of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are advised to get a free polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as soon as possible
- Protection from remarkable vaccine roll-out allows more freedoms, with over three quarters of adults now double jabbed
From Monday 16th August, people who are double jabbed or aged under 18 will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. The change was announced last month, as part of step 4 of the government’s COVID-19 roadmap. With 75% of people having received both doses of the vaccine, the majority of adults will no longer need to self-isolate if they are contacts.
These changes can be made as a result of the remarkable success of the UK’s vaccine programme, with over three quarters of UK adults now double jabbed. The latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University shows that around 60,000 deaths, 22 million infections and 66,900 hospitalisations have been prevented by the vaccines.
As of 16th August 2021, double-jabbed individuals and under 18s who are identified as close contacts by NHS Test and Trace will be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to check if they have the virus and for variants of concern. People can order a PCR home test online or by calling 119, or going to a test site.
As double-jabbed people identified as close contacts are still at risk of being infected, people are advised to consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and limit contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. They will not be required to self-isolate while they wait for the results of the PCR test.
Double-vaccinated adults will no longer be required to self-isolate from 16th August 2021, as long as they received their final dose of an MHRA-approved vaccine in the UK vaccination programme at least 14 days prior to contact with a positive case.
Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age in order to break onward chains of transmission. Meanwhile anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and get a PCR test, and remain in isolation until the result comes back.