Covid self-isolation period cut from 10 to seven days in Wales by Health Minister
The Covid self-isolation period will be cut from 10 to seven days in Wales, the Health Minister has decided.
The UK Government announced before Christmas that people who test positive for Covid-19 in England will be able to cut their self-isolation period from 10 days to seven if they return negative lateral flow tests.
The Welsh Government decided to retain 10 days at the time but today said that the isolation period could be cut back on the basis of two negative lateral flow tests taken on days six and seven.
The change will be introduced from tomorrow (31 December).
This means people who have tested positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate for seven days. On days six and seven of their self-isolation period they should take lateral flow tests and if these tests – taken 24 hours apart – are positive, they should continue to self-isolate.
The First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The Health Minister published a written statement on 23 December about reducing the self-isolation period from 10 to seven days, on the basis of two negative lateral flow tests taken on days six and seven, from 5 January.
“We are bringing the change forward because the balance of harms has changed and the rising number of cases has begun to have an impact on the number of people, in critical jobs, who are excluded from the workplace because of self-isolation.”
However, he added that the public health situation had “deteriorated in the last week as the omicron wave has arrived”.
“We have seen a marked rise in cases of coronavirus – the majority are likely to be caused by the omicron variant,” he said.
He added that the current restrictions would continue in Wales while they “closely monitor the situation”.
“The Cabinet will continue to review the position in Wales on a weekly basis, as we see the omicron variant take hold across Wales,” he said.
“Given the seriousness of the threat the virus poses, it remains vitally important that each one of us continues to take all those simple precautions which will help to slow down the spread of the virus and the risks it poses to all of us.”
Mark Drakeford had already introduced new rules on hospitality and attendance at sports matches, saying that they were taking pre-emptive action to stop the NHS being overwhelmed in the new year.
Nightclubs have been closed, table service is required in pubs and restaurants, and a maximum of six people can sit together at hospitality venues.