'It got me': The agony of having Christmas Day ruined already from self-isolation

15 December 2021, 13:54 | Updated: 15 December 2021, 14:23

Anyone testing positive from December 15 faces isolating over Christmas
Anyone testing positive from December 15 faces isolating over Christmas. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Brits who test positive for Covid from today face seeing their festive plans ruined with the misery of being unable to meet friends and family for Christmas.

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Self isolation requirements mean anyone beginning a 10-day quarantine today will not get out before December 25.

The pain was all too clear in one Twitter user's post, who said she had received positive lateral flows and would have to shut away over the festive period.

"Trying to get to Christmas without having to isolate and… it got me," said a Year Three teacher in the North East, along with a pained emoji.

She showed pictures of her test cassettes each containing a line next to the "T".

Read more: Lateral flow tests unavailable on Government website for second day

Read more: Covid expert warns public not to do a lateral flow test in cold weather

The risk appears all the more greater as experts believe Omicron is capable of higher levels of transmission. Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs that "no variant of Covid-19 has spread this fast".

Covid rules say people must self-isolate from either the day their symptoms started or the day they carried out a test, if they do not have symptoms.

Effectively, anyone who develops a new continuous cough, has a high temperature or a loss or change in their sense of smell faces having to quarantine for Christmas, assuming they later test positive.

Read more: MPs approve mandatory Covid passes despite huge Tory rebellion of nearly 100

Anyone using a lateral flow that comes back positive will take a PCR test to confirm if they have been infected.

However, getting tests has been easier said than done this week.

The Government announced vaccinated adults, children or exempt people don't have to isolate if they come into contact with a case or live with someone who gets Covid.

However, they have been advised to take lateral flow tests every day for a week – which appears to have triggered a big rush for the devices, with the NHS website unable to send any out on Monday and Tuesday for most people.

Things did not improve much more on Wednesday, as the vaccine booking service – the route by which people can secure a booster jab – kept people waiting while it cleared queues of more than 10,000.