New call for CUT Covid to isolate for up to seven days amid fears current rules will cripple the economy

EXPERTS is advocating a change to self-isolation rules to limit the impact of Covid on the economy.

Applicable law says that you must self-isolation for 10 days after you start to have symptoms or test positive.

It has been warned that the Omicron variant could lead to major staff shortages as well as a decrease in the number of people in cities and towns.


It has been warned that the Omicron variant could lead to major staff shortages as well as reduced numbers of people in cities and towns.Credit: Rex


NINTCHDBPICT000670954223-1Credit: Times Newspaper Ltd

But this could be shortened to just seven days if ministers take advice from one of Britain’s top Covid scientists.

It will relieve pressure on the UK workforce, with a large proportion of staff isolated due to the wave of Omicron Covid.

The British Medical Association has warned as as much as 50,000 staff may be excluded with Covid and forced to self-isolate before Christmas Day.

With a significant shortfall in emergency services, ministers are mainly looking at new plans to bring Britons under new Covid restrictions, such as a ban on social interaction indoors.

Professor Neil Ferguson, senior government adviser on the Sage team, said the study showed it was safe to cut back on self-isolation.

As long as the infected person does lateral flow tests every day and comes back negative on the seventh day, that should give them the green light for freedom.

Asked what he thought about the rule change, the moderator of Imperial College London told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today program on Saturday: “I think there’s always been a balance between the effectiveness of those things. and people’s compliance with them.

“I thought if it could be combined with lateral flow testing – so testing negative for release, and this was looked at a few months ago, even a year ago on these rules – All modeling and analysis would show it would not reduce the effectiveness of those measures much.

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“If it’s just a simple 10 to seven-day change without testing, you’ll have a slightly larger impact on the effectiveness of the measures.”

The self-isolation period was 14 days at the start of the pandemic. But in December 2020, it was reduced to 10 days.

It has been found that people are most contagious around the time they first show symptoms.

Fourteen days is not reasonable because only a small percentage of Covid patients are still capable of transmitting the virus to others in the late stages of infection.

“People are most contagious during the first five days, after which the duration of infection decreases,” said Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia. Online email.

“Some people are no longer contagious after three days and it makes no sense to confine them.

“Isolating people for ten days when they are no longer infectious harms the economy and leaves vital public services, such as the NHS, understaffed.

“People may be able to have a daily lateral flow test and be allowed to leave the isolation area if they test negative for two days in a row.”

It is thought that the time between exposure to the virus and the likelihood of infection is even shorter with Omicron.

As a result, it might make less sense to put people in quarantine for a few days after they were infected.

However, Sage said in its papers this weekend that there is “no evidence” that Omicron has a shorter incubation period or a different duration of infection with Omicron than previous variants.

The government has recently implemented a change to self-isolation rules to prevent a “winter pandemic”, whereby millions are forced to self-isolate on a precautionary basis.

The previous rules stipulate that people who are contacts of someone have a super-fast spread Omicron variant must self-isolate.

But this was scrapped in favor of daily testing for over a week.


Omicron’s pressure is showing with the NHS and hospitality staffing levels are plummeting.

Luke Johnson, a serial entrepreneur and president of The Bread Factory, says some businesses have 10% of their workforce isolated.

“The majority of people who are isolated are not sick, and most have symptoms that say it feels like a cold,” he said.

“Ten days of isolation is too long. Tests are flawed and asymptomatic spread has not been demonstrated.

“This means the economy and indeed the NHS is at risk of shutting down very soon.”

It comes as scientists reporting on Sage say some self-isolation rules should be strengthened.

In a paper published Saturday discussing Covid interventions in the light of Omicron, the scientists said that if just one person receives a positive lateral flow test prior to an event, then the whole family should not go.

They said it was “very likely that others would have been infected” if Omicron had been indoors.

But the move could leave thousands of others isolated without needing to be.

The hotel industry is struggling as towns and cities are nearly empty before Christmas due to Omicron.

Hospitality UK director Kate Nicholls says many businesses may not reopen as she pleads with Government curb other Covid restrictions.

However, new plan is being set up by Whitehall in response to Omicron, with the country facing an abrupt total shutdown as as early as gift day, The Sun revealed.

The plan has yet to be presented to ministers but it could affect plans to celebrate the new year.

A source said: “A series of proposals are being made for people to celebrate Christmas, but then the handbrake will be pulled.”

Three options are being presented to the Prime Minister, according to The Telegraph.

The first involves urging the public to limit the number of people they have in their homes in the UK, the reports claim.

The second option includes the above – as well as mandatory social distancing and an 8pm pub and restaurant curfew.

Option three is a full, nationwide lockdown.

Any new legal restrictions would require the recall of MPs for Parliament to vote on, but Mr Johnson is facing a major rebellion.

It comes after Sage warned ministers that indoor mixing was the “biggest risk factor” for the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Minutes from their meetings showed advice being given to ministers in a somber tone, saying Omicron could not be held back by boosters alone.

It said ramping up the program in recent days would not help the NHS in the near future, given the delay in building immunity.

Experts warn there are likely to be 1,000 and 2,000 hospital admissions a day in the UK by the end of the year, even if transmission is eased soon.

But without interventions beyond Plan B, modeling shows a peak of at least 3,000 hospital admissions a day in the UK.

Around 800 people are being hospitalized in the UK every day.

There have been 37,101 confirmed Omicron cases to date, with another 12,133 infections reported by UKHSA on Sunday.

However, officials say the true number will be larger because not all cases are detected through testing methods.


Brits WILL be a little bit by miserable Xmas lockdown as Sajid Javid warns there’s ‘a lot of uncertainty’ New call for CUT Covid to isolate for up to seven days amid fears current rules will cripple the economy


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