New rules were issued this week regarding a reduction in self-isolation periods from Monday 17th January 2022.
In line with the announcement of changes to the self-isolation guidance for those who have received a positive COVID-19 test result. Staff who test positive will be able to leave self-isolation and return to work if they test negative on days 5 and 6 after the date of their initial positive test, 24 hours apart, and providing they are medically fit.
This means if you test negative on the morning of day 6 and you were negative 24 hours earlier, you can return to work on day 6.
To mitigate any potential increased risk of transmission, NHS England and NHS Improvement require that all NHS staff continue to test daily to day 10 after their initial positive test and stop at day 10 unless they remain or test positive.
For those staff that continue to test positive, if at day ten they still test positive they must continue to isolate and continue to daily lateral flow device (LFD) test until a negative result or until day 14. If still positive at that point it is considered unlikely that they are infectious so they can return to work providing they are medically fit.
There is no change to testing of staff who are contacts of someone confirmed COVID-19 positive; you must:
- stay at home and self-isolate if not fully vaccinated
- if fully vaccinated (ie have received two vaccine doses and at least 14 days have passed since the second vaccination) arrange a PCR You can return to work if it is confirmed negative (if positive, isolate as above). If negative, the person should complete daily lateral flow tests before attending work each day for 10 days and immediately isolate in the event of a positive LFD test or similar.