By Emma Grossmith, Senior Solicitor.
The UK Government confirmed last week that those in England who are ‘double jabbed’ with the coronavirus vaccine (and those under 18 years old) will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Instead, close contacts will be advised to undergo a PCR test as soon as possible. More information on these arrangements can be found here and here.
These changes to the English rules follow similar changes which came into force in Scotland on 9 August 2021. Unlike the English rules, the Scottish rules do require individuals to self-isolate pending the outcome of their PCR test. More information on the Scottish rules can be found here.
Anyone who tests positive following a PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age, and anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms is also still required to self-isolate, get a PCR test, and to self-isolate until the result comes back. More information on these arrangements can be found here and here.
The ‘Pingdemic’ in recent months has caused considerable disruption to many businesses and for employers, these changes will hopefully mean less staff will be absent due to self-isolation. Of course, it is important to ensure that your staff know that if they develop any symptoms of the coronavirus, they should isolate and immediately book a test.
Please note also that different rules on self-isolation apply to the health and care sectors, and to those who are not able to be vaccinated due to medical reasons.
If you would like to discuss these changes or any other employment law matters further, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0141 331 5150.