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13th Jan 2022

Covid isolation period cut to five days, Sajid Javid announces

Kieran Galpin


It’s fine, you can still make banana bread in five days

Just like the US, the UK’s covid isolation period has been cut to five days amid surging Omicron cases, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has announced.

The new isolation time frame was revealed by the health secretary on January 13 – meaning that you no longer have to isolate over five days if testing negative on day five and day six.

“These two tests are critical to these balanced and proportionate plans, and I’d urge everyone to take advantage of the capacity we have built up in tests so we can restore the freedoms to this country while we’re keeping everyone safe,” Javid said.

The move will come into effect on Monday (January 17), with ministers stating that it should relieve pressure from transport services and the NHS, according to reports from the BBC. Data from the UK Health Security Agency suggests that two-thirds of infected people are no longer infectious after five days of isolation, hence the change.

Javid says the change aims to “maximise activity in the economy and education” while minimising the risk of reinfection.

While the health secretary said there are still “likely to be difficult weeks ahead”, he noted that falling cases in London and East England are promising.

“We must proceed with caution,” he said, also mentioning that cases are still rising in other places across the UK.

In his announcement, Javid said that 79 per cent of eligible adults have now received their booster, with the number increasing to 91 per cent of over 50’s.

Concluding his speech, Javid claimed the country is “better protected than ever before” against covid, but “this virus is not going away” any time soon.

“There will be more variants and no one can be sure what threat they might pose.”

While the future is looking up for the UK, Javid still urged us that vaccines are “the best way to protect our health and freedoms as we learn to live with Covid.”

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