Isolation period in England could be cut to five days, says minister

Nadhim Zahawi was the first government minister to publicly speak out in favor of shortening the Covid isolation time from seven to five days, which in his opinion would be “more helpful”.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, the Minister of Education said: “The UK Health Authority (UKHSA) has announced that it is going to review it, which is even better for me, it is even more helpful.”

Mr Zahawi also told the newspaper that he believes the UK is “witnessing the transition of the virus from a pandemic to an endemic threat”.

Any proposed introduction of a five day isolation rule would apply to England only, but Wales followed England in reducing the ten day period to seven and will likely follow any new guidelines.

His comments come after parents were urged to book vaccinations for their children when official Covid deaths in the UK topped 150,000.

In January, around half a million vaccination appointments for 12 to 15 year olds will be made available online in England, said a senior doctor – with places at around 500 walk-in locations and 300 centers.

With an official total of 150,057 Covid deaths, the UK is the seventh country to cross the milestone – after the US, Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and Peru.

Reports also follow that universal free lateral flow tests can be scaled back. The Sunday Times reported that they could be limited to high-risk environments – such as nursing homes, hospitals, and schools – and to people with symptoms.

An announcement could come in a matter of weeks and include a downsizing of the NHS test and trace system, the newspaper said.

The report has been challenged by government sources who say it is too early to say what will happen to free side streams.

The rapid tests were made available to everyone in England in April, especially those with no symptoms.

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