Ministers will say that the current system of requiring people to stay at home for 14 days will be dismantled nationwide in January, if pilot schemes succeed, according to the newspaper.
London: The UK government will announce on Monday that self-isolation will no longer be required for those who have come into contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19, the Telegraph reported.
Contacts of those who test positive will be asked to undergo daily tests for seven days, and will be allowed to go about their business in the meantime, the newspaper said.
Ministers will say that the current system – which was criticised by the Government’s own advisers as “massively ineffective and hated” – will be dismantled nationwide in January, if pilot schemes succeed.
As well as ending the self-isolation system, it could form part of an exit strategy from tiered restrictions. Poor adherence to the current system of isolation – requiring people to stay home for 14 days – is one of the key drivers of infection rates, which has pushed areas into higher tiers. Officials hope that people will be more likely to comply with quick tests that free them from restrictions, than to adhere to two-week quarantines.
The plan to end self-isolation is part of a wider mass testing strategy which could also see care home residents allowed to receive frequent visits from their loved ones.
Tests will be rolled out for visitors to care homes, allowing family members to hug and hold hands. If that pilot scheme in 20 homes is successful, from next month every care home resident in the country will be allowed to have up to two visitors who can be tested twice a week.
The Prime Minister will say the new system of repeat testing for contacts of positive cases, which will begin being piloted in Liverpool on Monday, would help the country to “get the virus back under control”.
Under the current system, those with a positive result are required to stay home for 10 days, while their “close contacts” must stay home for 14 days. There is no limit for the number of times people can be asked to self-isolate, meaning that individuals can be repeatedly told to spend two weeks in isolation.
There are also no exclusions for those who have already had the illness, including Boris Johnson, who is in currently self-isolation which is due to end this Thursday.
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Last Updated Nov 23, 2020, 12:12 PM IST