Health Secretary Edward Argar said the government has no plans to cut the isolation period to five days for people who test positive for the coronavirus.
In a speech on Times Radio, Mr Argar was asked if the government was planning to change its self-isolation policy for those who tested positive for Covid-19.
Under the current rules, people who test positive for the coronavirus must self-isolate for seven days. The requirement was recently reduced from 10 days.
However, Mr Argar was asked if the public could expect the self-isolation period to be cut even further after two countries – Greece and the United States – cut their periods to just five days.
The Health Minister said there are no plans to change the rules at the moment, but said the government would not rule it out if it received scientific advice that suggests it is safe to do so.
Mr. Argar said, “We have seen this in Greece and the United States, the clinical advice and scientific advice we have is that it should be postponed from 10 days that we did to seven days.
“We have received no indication that it should be moved below and we will follow the scientific advice.
“I fully understand that trusts want to use all possible levers to manage and reduce staff absenteeism, but in this time of self-isolation it is right that we follow scientific advice and we have no scientific advice to suggest it . “
Mr Argar has also been criticized for the lack of testing available to the public. He urged people to keep checking the website as more would become available regularly.
“On the front lines for the last week so come through.
“Over Christmas there were of course challenges with sales, but also with the large number of people who wanted to do cross-flow tests before the festivities, and again last week before New Year’s Eve, and that is the responsible task and we have increased the supply” because of that . “