New Rules For Self-Isolation
The rules surrounding self-isolation have changed. rradar HR Advisor Kiri Thompson explains what’s new.
From Monday 16th August 2021, the rules for self-isolation for under 18s and those who are deemed to be “double jabbed” will change in England. Essentially, the rule will be that from that date, you will no longer need to self-isolate if you meet all of the following criteria:
You have had both doses of a UK-approved COVID-19 vaccine – with your 2nd dose having been given to you at least 14 days prior
You have no symptoms of coronavirus
You have a negative COVID test result
Where you are below the age of 18 years - you must have no symptoms of COVID-19 and you must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result
This means that if you come into contact with someone who has tested positive, providing you meet the above criteria, after Monday 16th August 2021 you do not need to self-isolate. Instead, you may be “pinged” by NHS Test & Trace who will ask you to take a PCR test instead. The changes to the rules begin on Monday 16th August, so the current rules remain right up to the end of Sunday 15th August.
It also means those travelling from an “amber list” country will no longer have to self-isolate upon returning to England if they meet the above criteria. However, travellers from “red list” countries will still need to quarantine.
According to government regulations, acceptable proof of vaccine status in England is:
NHS COVID Pass App – available on both Apple and Android
NHS COVID Pass letter – ordered online and can take up to 7 working days to arrive
The paper card given at a COVID vaccine appointment is not valid proof of vaccination status.
Employees are allowed to attend work and go about their normal daily activities while they wait for their test result to come back. However, government guidance does recommend proceeding around others with caution until test results are confirmed. This means social distancing, face coverings etc just in case you are asymptomatic or have a positive test result returned.
If the PCR test comes back positive, then the requirement to self-isolate for 10 days remains even for the double jabbed and under 18s.
For those who do not meet these criteria for any reason, even if it is a protected reason for not having their vaccination such as a religious belief, then the 10-day self-isolation rule still applies.
The Statutory Sick Pay entitlement from day 1 still applies, as does the isolation note and all the other self-isolation rules.