Wales breaks with England on self-isolation times for unvaccinated, sticking to 10 day rule
The Welsh Government has broken with the UK Government over the time required for unvaccinated people to self-isolate, saying that they will stick to the 10-day rule.
From today 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.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced the move yesterday in a bid to “reduce the disruption to people’s everyday lives”.
But new guidance published by Wales’ Minister for Health and Social today reinterates the 10 day rule, but only for the unvaccinated. Fully vaccinated people will be able to switch to daily testing instead of self-isolation.
“Members may be aware that in England from Wednesday 22 December, new guidance for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 sets out that those who receive negative LFD results on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period – with tests taken 24 hours apart – no longer have to self-isolate for the full 10 days,” Eluned Morgan said.
“At this time, there is no change to the 10 day self-isolation rule for positive cases in Wales.”
However, she added that she has asked her officials to put the systems in place to enable a change from the 5th January should the balance of harms change and a rise in the number of cases risk our ability to deliver critical services.
“Advice for unvaccinated close contacts remains the same – they are required to self-isolate for 10 days and advised to take PCR tests on day 2 and day 8 following their exposure to a positive case,” Eluned Morgan said.
“Fully vaccinated adults, children aged 5-18 and vaccine clinical trial participants identified as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19 will not need to isolate. Instead, they should take lateral flow tests for 7 days as a precautionary measure.
“Advice for children under 5 is unchanged – they will not need to isolate and are not required to take a PCR test or do lateral flow tests.
“Over the past few weeks, we have taken swift action against the new Omicron variant through a series of measures to help keep Wales – and people in Wales safe.”