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COVID-19 Close Contact Self Isolation Rule Changes

No. 333/21



For the attention of: Postal Branches


Dear Colleague,


COVID-19 ‘CLOSE-CONTACT’ SELF-ISOLATION RULE CHANGES


Introduction


The UK Government for England and devolved administrations of Scotland and Wales have announced changes to the rules and regulations regarding self-isolation when individuals are identified by NHS Test and Trace as being a “close contact” of a positive Covid-19 case.


The changes take place from the following dates:

  • Wales from 7 August 2021

  • Scotland from 9 August 2021

  • England from 16 August 2021

Royal Mail Group have today issued a communication on the rule changes and self-isolation flow charts for England, Wales and Scotland.


An announcement from Northern Ireland is awaited.


A copy of the communication and flow charts are attached.


In short – as long as an individual has no symptoms, is a fully vaccinated adult (having had the two vaccinations – ‘double-jabbed’) or is under-18, they will no longer have to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19. Instead, PCR tests will be used to test if someone is positive although the guidance is slightly different across the UK nations.


Information on accessing a PCR test is available at this Gov.UK Link:


Summary of changes (See Attached Flowcharts for England, Wales & Scotland)

Wales from 7 August 2021 and England from 16 August 2021


You do not need to self-isolate as a close contact of a confirmed case if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • you are fully vaccinated and 14 days have passed since your second vaccination. Young people under 18 and are exempt under the new rules.

  • you take a PCR test as soon as possible (you can remain in work while awaiting the result of the PCR test).

  • you do not develop Covid-19 symptoms. If symptoms develop at any stage, you must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test, in line with existing arrangements.

Scotland from 9 August 2021


You do not need to self-isolate as a close contact if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • you are fully vaccinated and 14 days have passed since your second dose of vaccination. Young people under the age of 17 will also be able to end self-isolation if they test negative, while those under five years old will be “encouraged” but not required to take a test.

  • you have had a negative PCR test since being advised to isolate as a close contact. (You must remain in self-isolation while awaiting the result of the PCR test).

  • you do not develop Covid-19 symptoms. If symptoms develop at any stage, you must self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test, in line with existing arrangements.

Northern Ireland


We await the outcome of the review on 12 August 2021.


FAQs

  • What if I have had one or no vaccinations?

You should continue to self-isolate for 10 days and request a test if you get symptoms.

  • What if I have symptoms of Covid-19?

You should self-isolate and request a PCR test as usual.

  • What if I test positive for Covid-19?

You should self-isolate for at least 10 days and can return to work if you feel well enough after 10 days.

  • What if I am already self-isolating?

If you are already within the 10-day self-isolation period, then you should continue to self-isolate for the full 10 days.


Attachments:

  • RMG Communication on new Self-Isolation Rules.

  • Self-Isolation Flow Charts for England, Wales and Scotland.

Yours Sincerely


Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer




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