Those BRITS who catch Covid may only have to self-isolate for five days in the future, Michael Gove announced today.
The senior Cabinet minister said the quarantine period “should” be shortened if scientists say it is “safe”.
And he insisted the Prime Minister was keeping the current system in the UK “under review” with Britain now “ready to live with” the virus.
An extremely positive series of studies shows that Omicron IS is milder than other strains, with the first official UK report showing a 50 to 70 per cent lower risk of hospitalization compared to Delta.
Health officials have repeatedly said the Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of weathering the pandemic.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping to get key additional vaccines in British arms to avoid the need for any new restrictions.
The US has cut self-isolation to five days, causing calling on Britain to follow.
Asked about a possible change to the rules today, Mr Gove said: “We look at these all the time.
“We have reduced the period of self-isolation from 10 to seven days. If it is safe to reduce further then we should.
“The most important thing is to make sure that who we are, we are in a position to protect the NHS and protect public services.
“You have to strike a balance between wanting to make sure that the people on the front lines are doing the jobs they need to do, but also not being in a situation where they’re spreading the infection further, leading to even more people being laid off.”
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all set their own self-isolation rules.
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Vaccinated people in the UK are now required to quarantine for up to 10 days if they contract the virus.
People who perform two negative lateral flow tests on days 6 and 7 after a positive sample may end up in isolation early.
Mutant cases caused by the Omicron variant have forced millions of Britons to self-isolate and caused mass absenteeism at work.
Public services including the NHS are currently struggling with staffing shortages as too many people are out of work.
Rishi Sunak reported in private self-isolation for five days to help resolve the crisis.
Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi yesterday because the first senior minister to publicly suggest the change was on the card.
And a government source told the Telegraph that 60% of Boris Johnson’s cabinet supported the move.
They include transport secretary Grant Shapps, commerce secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
‘Better times ahead’
Mr Gove said there were “better times ahead” and that Britain was about to learn to live with Covid.
But he warned that the country is not yet “coming in” and there will be “tough weeks ahead” for Omicron.
The top Cabinet minister also ruled out canceling the free-flow side checks until the current wave is under control.
He said the kits will be free to use “for as long as we need them” to limit the spread of the virus.
Mr Gove said: “We are moving into a situation where we can say we can live with Covid, and the pressure on the NHS and vital public services is easing.
“But it’s important to realize that we’re not there yet and there’s going to be some tough weeks ahead.
“And that’s why we all need to keep testing, continue if we’re aggressive to isolate, and continue to support the NHS broadly as it goes through a challenging period.”
He also defended the somber predictions that there would be 75,000 deaths from Omicron, which scientists now admit to be false.
The minister said that “no one is posing to scare” and it would be “irresponsible” if the Government did not prepare for the worst-case scenario.
His comments come after Britain recorded a fifth daily drop in new cases and scientists said there were signs Omicron was now peaking across the country.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/4430102/covid-self-isolation-5-days-scientists-michael-gove/ Covid isolation may finally be reduced to 5 days as Michael Gove puts pressure on PM