Pingdemic: Fully-jabbed adults in Wales can avoid isolation from 7 August

29 July 2021, 22:01

First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed that fully-vaccinated adults in Wales will not need to isolate if identified as a Covid contact
First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed that fully-vaccinated adults in Wales will not need to isolate if identified as a Covid contact. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Adults in Wales who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone with Covid.

The change will come into effect on 7 August – the same day as Wales is currently set to move to alert level zero – and will also allow under-18s to be exempt from self-isolation if they are identified as close contacts of a positive case.

“Self-isolation on symptoms or a positive test result continues to be a powerful measure in helping to break the chains of transmission and stop the spread of the virus,” First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Thursday.

“It is important we retain this, even for people who have been fully vaccinated.

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“But we know a full course of the vaccine offers people protection against the virus and they are far less likely to contract it when they are identified as close contacts… We can remove the need for self-isolation for the two million adults who have completed their vaccine course, helping to keep Wales safe and working.”

“We are also removing the need for children and young people under 18 to self-isolate, recognising the impact long periods out of school and college is having on their well-being and education.”

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The Test Trace Protect (TTP) service will use the Welsh Immunisation Service to identify adults who are fully-vaccinated, meaning they have had their second jab more than 14 days ago.

From 7 August, instead of instructing fully-vaccinated adults to isolate, contact tracers and advisers will provide them with a “warn and inform” service, giving advice and guidance about how to protect themselves and stay safe.

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The Welsh Government has said there will be extra safeguards in place for those working with vulnerable people, particularly health and social care staff, including a risk assessment and daily lateral flow tests.

Members of the public identified as contacts will be strongly advised not to visit hospitals and care homes for 10 days.

Everyone identified as a contact of a positive case will continue to be advised to have a PCR test on day two and day eight, whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

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The Welsh Government has said the changes will help ease the pressure on vital services caused by the recent rapid rise in Covid cases, driven by the delta variant over the last two months.

“Unfortunately, as the last couple of months have shown, the pandemic is still with us,” Health Minister Eluned Morgan said.

“We need everyone’s help to control the spread of coronavirus – everything we do has an impact on this awful virus.

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“Removing self-isolation for people who have had a full course of the vaccine is a really positive step forward but it doesn’t mean the end of isolation for all of us.

"If we want to see the back of coronavirus, we all need to take this virus seriously and isolate on symptoms and get tested.”

She also urged people to get the jab if they have not already done so, saying: “It’s never too late to get vaccinated in Wales.”