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England to scrap self-isolation


PEOPLE who have been fully vaccinated and children will from August 16 no longer have to self-isolate after close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, health minister Sajid Javid has announced.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out plans on Monday to end social and economic COVID-19 restrictions in England on July 19, a test of whether a rapid vaccine rollout offers enough protection from the more infectious Delta variant.

Javid said the success of the vaccine programme meant it was possible to go further in easing self-isolation rules for those who have received both shots.


“From the 16th of August … anyone who’s a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been fully vaccinated,” Javid told parliament. “In line with the approach for adults, anyone under the age of 18 who is a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate.”

Only those contacts who themselves test positive will be required to self-isolate, he said.

Johnson is betting that the vaccination programme, which has weakened the link between infections and hospital admissions, can prevent the health service being overwhelmed by a new wave of COVID-19.

Javid, appointed late last month after Matt Hancock quit as health minister, has underlined the importance other health issues, economic problems and education challenges that have build up during the pandemic.

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“We can’t live in a world where the only thing that we are thinking about is COVID – and not about all the other health problems, our economic problems, our education challenges,” Javid told Sky News. “We have to make use of a vaccine that is thankfully working.”

Critics say Johnson and Javid have abandoned a pledge to take a cautious approach to lifting restrictions.

Javid said that by the time restrictions are lifted on July 19, there could be 50,000 COVID-19 cases a day — double current rates — and that cases “could go as high as 100,000.”

Britain reported 27,334 new cases on Monday, and 64% of the population have now had both vaccine doses.

By The African Mirror