UK Chief Medical Officers’ Announcement on the Self-Isolation Period Change From 14 Days to 10 Days From Today Monday 14 December 2020:
Last Friday a change to the self-isolation period from 14 to 10 days was announced by the UK’s 4 Chief Medical Officers.
This change will apply in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from today, Monday 14 December. It already applies in Wales.
Self-isolation is essential for reducing the spread of COVID-19 as it breaks the chains of transmission. After reviewing the evidence, the Chief Medical Officers are now confident that the UK can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate for 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. The passenger locator form for UK arrivals will be updated from today.
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 they were asymptomatic. This will also apply to contacts and 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.
The NHS Test and Trace service will tell people to self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days from today.
Due to the time taken to make and test technical IT changes and release updates through the App Store, the NHS COVID-19 App will tell close contacts to isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days from Thursday 17 December.
In England, people receiving a notification from the NHS COVID-19 App before 17 December to isolate because they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive:
- Must follow isolation guidance provided by contact tracers if contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
- Can leave isolation when the isolation countdown timer says 3 days, if they were advised to isolate by the App (and not by NHS Test and Trace).
The Chief Medical Officers, UK Governments and Department of Health and Social Care are urging everyone to self-isolate when appropriate as it will save lives.
The Announcement was made jointly by:
Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty
Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr. Michael McBride
Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr. Gregor Smith
Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr. Frank Atherton
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer