17 January 2022

New guidance on self-isolation period following COVID-19 exposure in England

Following the announcement by the Secretary for Health that the isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 will be cut to five full days in England, NHSE has confirmed this will apply in primary care settings.

An asymptomatic person who records two negative LFD tests on days five and six may return to work on day six, following five full days of isolation. If an individual tests positive on day five, a negative test is required on day six and day seven for release from isolation.

Those who leave self-isolation on or after day six are strongly advised to wear face coverings and limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home if they can do so and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19. Maintaining high standards of infection protection controls in healthcare settings and private staff areas will still be crucial. 

In light of the confirmation by NHSE, the College has updated the two following FAQs:

Read the full stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection here.

This article was correct at time of publication. 

Related further reading

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It is rare for respiratory viruses to cause eye infections, writes Kim Thomas, but they may use the eye as a portal of entry. And what is the mechanism behind their travel to the respiratory system?

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