Fully vaccinated and under-18s no longer need to isolate if in contact with Covid case

16 August 2021, 05:11 | Updated: 16 August 2021, 05:54

Fully jabbed and under 18s can avoid self isolating if they come into contact with a positive Covid case
Fully jabbed and under 18s can avoid self isolating if they come into contact with a positive Covid case. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Fully-vaccinated people will no longer have to isolate if they are a close contact of a Covid case from Monday.

The move frees anyone in England who had their second jab at least 14 days ago from the need to shut themselves off in a major response to the "pingdemic".

Companies raised fears of staff shortages affecting their business and police response times were affected as staff isolated for up to 10 days when getting "pinged" by the NHS's test and trace system - even if they never caught Covid.

Now, anyone who is fully-vaccinated can avoid it – but they are asked to take tests if they are a close contact of a case, and must self-isolate if they test positive.

Under 18s are also exempt from self-isolating under the same rules.

Read more: Police response times affected by 'pingdemic' as staff told to self-isolate

Read more: 'Pingdemic' alerts telling app users to self-isolate drop 43% in a week

Boris Johnson tells LBC the 'pingdemic' will end on 16 August

Speaking on August 11, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said vaccines "will bring this pandemic to an end".

"Asking the close contacts of people with Covid-19 to self-isolate has played a critical role in helping us get this virus under control, and millions of people across the UK have made enormous sacrifices by doing this," he said.

"Every single one of these sacrifices has helped us protect the NHS and save lives.

"Getting two doses of a vaccine has tipped the odds in our favour and allowed us to safely reclaim our lost freedoms, and from Monday we can take another huge step back towards our normal lives by removing self-isolation requirements for double jabbed people who are contacts of people with Covid-19. Double jabbed people who test positive will still need to self-isolate.

"Vaccines are what will bring this pandemic to an end – the wall of defence provided by the rollout is allowing us to get even closer to normal life.

"If you haven’t already, please make sure you come forward for your jab at the earliest opportunity."

Data on Sunday afternoon showed 47,302,445 people across the UK have had their first dose and 40,577,198 have received their second.

The Government has also started a drive to get 16 and 17 year olds to book an appointment.

Public Health England data suggests up to 23.8 million coronavirus infections and 87,800 deaths have been prevented by vaccines in England.