From Monday 16 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 have been 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 Monday, 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.