How long do I need to isolate for? Covid self isolation period cut to five full days from Monday

The isolation period for people who test positive has been cut to five full days in England, Sajid Javid announced.

By Abi Whistance
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 3:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th January 2022, 3:14 pm

From Monday 17 January people will be able leave isolation after two negative tests and five full days of isolation.

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Where can I get a lateral flow test in Leeds? Walk in test centres near me - and...

Previously, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) guidance was for positive cases to isolate for at least six full days from the point at which they had symptoms or got a positive test.

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The health secretary told MPs that UKHSA data showed “that around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five”.

A person would then be allowed to leave self-isolation after two negative lateral flow test results on days six and seven.

The health secretary told MPs that UKHSA data showed “that around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five”.

Javid also added: “After reviewing all of the evidence, we’ve made the decision to reduce the minimum self-isolation period to five full days in England.

“From Monday, people can test twice before they go – leaving isolation at the start of day six.

“These two tests are critical to these balanced and proportionate plans, and I’d urge everyone to take advantage of the capacity we have built up in tests so we can restore the freedoms to this country while we’re keeping everyone safe.”

What should I do if I think I have Covid?

If you are displaying symptoms of Covid it is advised you stay at home and do a lateral flow test.If this test is positive you must isolate for five full days from when you started displaying symptoms.

Where can I get a lateral flow test kit?

Pick up tests from a pharmacy

Picking up tests from a pharmacy is the quickest way to get a rapid test for most people.

If you give the pharmacy a 'collect code' when you pick up the tests, it helps the NHS match your details to the tests.

Find out about collect codes and how to get a collect code on GOV.UK.

Find your nearest pharmacy with lateral flow tests through the NHS website.

Pick up tests from a community collection point

You can get up to 2 packs of 7 rapid tests from some community places, like libraries.

Collect a home test kit at a local community hub:

City Centre Community Hub, Woodhouse Lane, LS2 8LX

Armley Community Hub & Library, 2 Stocks Hill, Armley, LS12 1UQ

Deacon House Centre, Seacroft Avenue, Leeds, LS14 6JD

Dewsbury Road Community Hub & Library, 190 Dewsbury Road, LS11 6PF

Halton Library, 273 Selby Road, LS15 7JR

The Compton Centre Community Hub & Library, Harehills Lane, Harehills, LS9 7BG

The Reginald Centre, Chapeltown Road, Leeds, LS7 3EX

Opening hours are 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays (except City Centre Community Hub which doesn’t open Saturdays).

School, college and nursery testing

If you attend or work at a school, college or nursery you can get rapid tests through your school, college or nursery.

You're advised to do a test twice a week.

Employee and university testing

Some employers and universities offer rapid tests.

Ask your employer or university if they provide rapid tests.

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