Wales will allow self-isolation to end a week earlier that originally planned. This is to follow England’s lead, and reduce the Covid-19 quarantine from 10 days down to 7.
The Welsh Government originally planned to change the date from January 5, but it has announced that the change will now be made tomorrow.
Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Canada, stated that the decision was made due to a ‘change in the balance of harms’. Rising case numbers means more workers needing care are staying at home.
Northern Ireland announced that they are easing self-isolation rules starting tomorrow. Quarantine residents will be able to leave the quarantine without negative screening on day six or seven.
This means that Scotland remains the UK’s only nation to adhere to the 10 day rule.
Yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon was criticised for failing to reduce quarantine. She said that the matter remains under review.
Mark Drakeford, the First Minister, said that this decision was taken because “the balance of risks has changed” and increasing case numbers have meant more critical workers staying at home.
The Welsh Government originally planned to implement the changes starting January 5. However, it has announced that they will be moving the transition forward until tomorrow.
Just before Christmas, England altered its self-isolation policy and Wales and Northern Ireland now follow suit.
Mr Drakeford said in a statement issued this afternoon: ‘The Health Minister published a written statement on 23 December about reducing the self-isolation period from 10 to seven days, on the basis of two negative lateral flow tests taken on days six and seven, from 5 January.
“We will make this change tomorrow, 31 December. This means that people with positive results for Covid-19 should self-isolate for seven consecutive days.
‘On days six and seven of their self-isolation period they should take lateral flow tests and if these tests – taken 24 hours apart – are positive, they should continue to self-isolate.
“We are making the changes because the balance between harms has changed”
Drakeford indicated that the Welsh Cabinet will “continue to examine the position in Wales every week, as we observe the omicron variation take root” across the country.
He stated that the virus is a serious threat and it was vital to everyone taking all precautions possible to reduce its spread.
Paul Givan, First Minister of Northern Ireland, announced today that the self-isolation rules for Northern Ireland will be relaxed starting tomorrow
Paul Givan, First Minister of Northern Ireland, convened today a virtual Stormont Executive meeting and resolved that no additional Covid restrictions would be placed at this time.
However, the self-isolation requirements for tomorrow will be modified in accordance to England.
He tweeted: ‘The self isolation period for positive cases will reduce from 10 days to 7 days subject to negative lateral flow tests on day 6 & 7.
“This policy applies retrospectively, and will take effect tomorrow.”