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Self-isolation in England to be cut to five full days, government confirms

By Rachel Lawlerwoman wearing face mask covid-19 self isolation day five

Those who have tested positive for Covid-19 will be able to end their self-isolation after five days under new rules coming into force on Monday 17 January, the government has confirmed.

People self-isolating with Covid-19 will have the option to end their isolation period at the start of day six of isolation if they receive negative lateral flow test results on days five and six, and do not have a temperature.

The government says that the changes have been made "after careful consideration of modelling from the UK Health Security Agency and to support essential public services and workforces over the winter".

The first lateral flow test must be taken no earlier than day five of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. 

If an individual is positive on day five, then a negative test is required on day six and day seven to release an individual from isolation.

The government has said that "it is essential that two negative lateral flow tests are taken on consecutive days and reported before individuals return to their job or education, if leaving self-isolation earlier than the full 10 day period".

Guidance for those who are close contacts of people testing positive for Covid-19 remains unchanged.

More information is available here.