Self-isolation to change from 14 to 10 days

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This change will apply in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 00:01 on Monday 14 December. It already applies in Wales.

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, said:

Self-isolation is essential to reducing the spread of COVID as it breaks the chains of transmission.

After reviewing the evidence, we are now confident that we can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from 14 days to 10 days. People who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days.

People who test positive should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms or 10 days from point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic. We urge everyone to self-isolate when appropriate, it will save lives.

  • On Monday 14 December, the change to the isolation period for contacts will apply to all those who are currently self-isolating including those who commenced self-isolation before Monday.
  • Self-isolation periods will begin on the day after exposure, a test or the start of symptoms.


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