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Rule changes to end pingdemic ‘nailed on’ for August 16, PM tells LBC

28 July 2021, 11:15 | Updated: 28 July 2021, 11:23

By Sophie Barnett

Self-isolation rules for anyone double jabbed are "nailed on" to lift on August 16 following "encouraging" data on coronavirus infections, Boris Johnson has told LBC.

In an exclusive interview with Nick Ferrari, the Prime Minister vowed the rule change will go ahead next month, putting an end to the "pingdemic" which has seen thousands forced to stay at home after coming into contact with a positive case.

Mr Johnson hailed the seven-day run of cases falling in the UK, but stressed it is "far too early to draw any general conclusions".

He said: "We have opened up in the way that we said we would and I’m very pleased that this is a country that now has the highest proportion of vaccinated adults of any country in the world.

"That is enabling us to make the economic progress that we are and so you’re seeing the job numbers increasing and I think the rest of this year, I hope, there will still be bumps on the road, but I think you’ll see a story of steady economic recovery and perhaps quite fast economic recovery as well."

People who are fully vaccinated and under 18s will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days if they are a close contact of a coronavirus case from August 16 onwards.

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This means anyone who is "pinged" via the NHS Test and Trace app and has had both jabs will not need to stay at home.

Double jabbed people who are contacted by the app to say they've been close to someone who has coronavirus will be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible. Anyone that tests positive will have to self-isolate whether they have had the jab or not.

It comes amid several sectors warning of staff shortages caused by a "pingdemic" of people told to go into self-isolation.

READ MORE: More emergency workers to avoid self-isolation as testing in England expanded

The government said on Monday that a further 1,200 workplace testing sites will enable bin collectors, prison staff and those working in defence to take daily tests rather than self-isolating if they have been notified by the NHS Covid-19 app or Test and Trace as a contact with someone who has coronavirus.

The new sites brings the total to 2,000, with them also being made available for eligible key workers in the food industry, transport workers, Border Force staff and frontline police and fire services.