Self-isolation guidance from Monday 16 August 2021

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From Stoke-on-Trent City Council:

In July, the Prime Minister announced the plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions in-line with step 4 of the Roadmap. As part of the plan, he confirmed some changes to self-isolation rules.

From Monday 16 August, anyone who has been identified as a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate, providing they have been fully vaccinated and are not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms. This includes if you are identified as a close contact of a work colleague or if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19.

The following groups will still be required to self-isolate, should they be identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 PCR test result:

  • Those who have not received their COVID-19 vaccination
  • Those who have not received both doses of their COVID-19 vaccination
  • Those who have received their second dose within the last 14 days
  • Those who have tested positive following a PCR test
  • Those who have been fully vaccinated and are displaying COVID-19 symptoms (ahead of getting a PCR test)

Anyone under the age of 18 who has been identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case will also no longer be required to self-isolate. Instead, they will be given advice about whether to get tested and depending on their age will need to self-isolate only if they have tested positive.

All close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, are advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to confirm their condition. Anyone who tests positive will still need to self-isolate regardless of their vaccination status or age. 

The testing policy has not changed.Those who are fully vaccinated will only be required to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 following a PCR test. NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.

You should not arrange to have a PCR test if you have previously received a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days, unless you develop any new symptoms of COVID-19, as it is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after COVID-19 infection.

NHS Test and Trace provides you with the information you need to make the best decision for yourself, your loved ones and your community. We have left behind the phase of strict rules and regulations, but we still need you to act responsibly and play your part in preventing transmission of COVID-19 by taking a PCR test. 

Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread. As well as getting a PCR test, you may also consider:

  • limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
  • wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you are unable to maintain social distancing
  • limiting contact with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable
  • taking part in regular LFT testing

If you are a health or social care worker who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these settings.

If you develop symptoms at any time, even if these are mild, self-isolate immediately, arrange to have a COVID-19 PCR test and follow the guidance for people with COVID-19 symptoms.

If you require an urgent test you do have the option of a walk-up (unbooked) test at Fenton Manor Car Park or Synectics Solutions.

PCR tests are available in the city at Stoke City FC, Fenton Manor Car Park and Synectics Solution and can be booked by going to Coronavirus (COVID-19) – NHS https://www.nhs.uk/) or by phoning 119.

You may be asking why this change is being made while cases are still high? Unlike in previous waves, the rise in cases driven by the Delta variant is not translating into a significant increase in hospitalisations and deaths. This is due to the effectiveness of the vaccine at reducing the risk of transmission and severe illness. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at reducing the risk of transmission and severe illness. Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19 is estimated to be between 78%-80% (after both doses, where it is a two-dose vaccine). Although not everyone will be fully vaccinated from 16 August, the risk of onward transmission in the general population will be significantly reduced.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

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