The government has further updated the guidance on self-isolation.
From 16 August 2021 those in England who are fully vaccinated do not have to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case. However, they should get a PCR test as soon as is possible albeit they do not have to self-isolate while waiting for the results of that test. If they test negative then it remains the case that they do not have to self-isolate, but if the result is positive then they will have to self-isolate.
Health and Social Care Staff
The guidance for health and social care staff is different. In such cases the following conditions apply before the fully vaccinated individual can return to work:
- the staff member should not have any COVID-19 symptoms
- the staff member should immediately arrange for a PCR test, either through their workplace arrangements or via the NHS Test and Trace service, and the result of this PCR test should be negative prior to returning to work
- following the negative PCR result, the staff member should undertake an LFD antigen test every day for the 10 days following their last contact with the case (even on days they are not at work)
- if a staff member has had a SARS-CoV-2 infection in the past 90 days, they should not have a PCR test and should only undertake daily LFD antigen tests
- on days the staff member is working, the LFD antigen test should be taken before starting their shift, and the result should be negative
- the staff member should comply with all relevant infection control precautions and PPE should be worn properly throughout the day
- if the staff member works with patients or residents who are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 (as determined by the organisation), a risk assessment should be undertaken, and consideration given to redeployment during their 10 day self-isolation period.