Boris says self isolation for double-jabbed must stay for now

Boris says self isolation for double-jabbed must stay for now

July 5, 2021

Boris says self isolation for double-jabbed crippling firms, pubs and restaurants must stay for now amid signs they will go beyond July 19

The nature of the NHS Covid app – which tells people to self-isolate if they have come within a certain distance of someone who later tests positive – means hospitality staff walking around busy venues are particularly likely to receive notifications

People who are pinged by the test and trace app will continue to have to self isolate even if they have been fully vaccinated, Boris Johnson confirmed tonight. 

In a blow to businesses, especially pubs and restaurants, the Prime Minister said that while he intends to lift the requirement for those who’ve received both jabs, it will not happen on July 19.

Business leaders have called for the rule to be axed, with many hospitality venues being crippled by a shortage of staff because when one is forced to isolate many others are who worked in close proximity with them.

Speaking to the nation tonight Mr Johnson said: ‘We will continue from Step Four to manage the virus with a test trace and isolate system that is proportionate to the pandemic.

‘You will have to self isolate if you test positive or are told to do so by NHS test and trace. But we are looking to move to a different regime for fully vaccinated contacts of those testing positive and also for children.’  

Pubs and restaurants already hit by severe labour shortages are being forced to close and thousands of staff sent home due to the NHS Covid app repeatedly telling them to self-isolate amid soaring case numbers – with bosses demanding a ‘test and release’ scheme instead. 

In a blow to businesses, especially pubs and restaurants, the Prime Minister said that while he intends to lift the requirement for those who’ve received both jabs, it will not happen on July 19.

Employees must stay at home for up to ten days after coming into contact with a positive case even if they test negative for Covid. Hospitality chiefs want this changed so that anyone who receives a negative result can go back to work.

A single Wetherspoons in Weston-super-Mare this week had 75 members of staff forced to stay at home after coming into contact with positive cases, while Hawksmoor steakhouse in London received 25 test and trace notifications within four weeks of reopening.

The one-metre plus decree and advice to work from home where possible will be dropped, with mask wearing no longer mandatory – while pubs and other venues will not have to collect customer details and will again be able to serve drinks at the bar. 

Even if plans to free the double-jabbed has been revealed tonight, a testing regime to replace self-isolation for the double-vaccinated was very unlikely to be ready for July 19. 

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said that ministers intended to maintain a ‘proportionate test, trace and isolate system’, saying it would be ‘vital for continuing to manage the virus’. 

‘It will remain a legal requirement to self isolate if you test positive or are asked to do so by NHS test and trace,’ he said.

‘The Prime Minister will also signal his intention to allow double-vaccinated individuals identified as contacts to be exempt from isolation requirements. Further details will follow in due course.’

Mr Johnson said the pandemic is ‘far from over’ and will not be over by July 19, with a potential 50,000 cases detected a day by that date.

He told the Downing Street press conference: ‘We’re seeing rising hospital admissions and we must reconcile ourselves sadly to more deaths from Covid.

‘In these circumstances we must take a careful and a balanced decision. And there’s only one reason why we can contemplate going ahead to step four in circumstances where we’d normally be locking down further, and that’s because of the continuing effectiveness of the vaccine rollout.’

He said the expectation remains that by July 19 every adult in the UK will have had the offer of a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and two-thirds will have had a second dose.

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