18 Jan 2022

Self-isolation in England for people who test positive for Covid-19 has now been cut to five full days.

From Monday 17 January, people are able to leave isolation after negative lateral flow tests on days five and six.

The self-isolation period was cut from 10 to seven days with negative tests on days six and seven back in December 2021.

UK Health Security Agency data showed that two-thirds of positive cases were no longer infectious by day five.

Mr Javid said that "the self-isolation period was aimed at maximising activity in the economy while minimising the risk of people leaving isolation and with a second negative test people will be able to leave isolation at the start of day six."

It is hoped that this change will be a way to reduce staffing pressures in some sectors, including the NHS.


What does self-isolation mean?

Self-isolation means staying at home and not going out.

Adults shouldn't go into work and children shouldn't go to school, you should order online groceries, or ask friends or family to deliver supplies.

No-one from outside your household should come inside, unless to deliver essential care.

If you have symptoms or test positive, you should:

  • Keep your distance from other members of your household
  • Leave windows open to improve ventilation
  • If possible, sleep and eat in a different room, and use a separate bathroom
  • If you share a bathroom, use it after everyone else and clean it thoroughly

If you do not follow the rules on self-isolation, you can be fined. In England, penalties start at £1,000 and rise to £10,000.

More information is available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/ 

Please note that this will not be updated to reflect the change to five days until Monday 17 January.