14 January 2022

Clarification on self-isolation period following Covid exposure in England

The Secretary for Health has announced that the isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 will be cut to five full days in England from Monday 17 January.

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. 

The College is seeking clarification on the details of this policy change for health professionals. We will be updating our COVID-19 guidance and FAQs in the coming days once the UKHSA has published the supporting policy documents. 

Read the full government statement on self-isolation periods following COVID exposure.

Related further reading

This paper describes the common visual problems associated with learning disability in adult patients.

This study reports on an audit carried out in the emergency eye care (EEC) service at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Kathy Oxtoby asks how optometrists can communicate effectively with patients who cannot verbally communicate.