Last week the Government confirmed the self-isolation periods in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were to be shortened to 10 days from Monday 14 December.
This came following an earlier decision to reduce the Coronavirus self-isolation periods in Wales from Thursday 10 December.
This change means that those who have come into ‘close contact’ with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus will now need to self-isolate for a period of 10 days instead of 14.
It also includes those who are quarantining after returning from a high-risk country. The current self-isolation period for those who test positive is 10 days, and this is to remain the same.
Anyone who is currently self-isolating will be able to end their quarantine if they hit this 10-day mark from Monday 14th December and will therefore not need to complete the full 14 days. However, if they do start to show symptoms in this time, or test positive for coronavirus, they will need to isolate for a further 10 days from this date as usual.
In a joint statement, the four UK chief medical officers have outlined that this decision came following a review of the evidence, saying that they are ‘confident’ self-isolation periods can be reduced in these circumstances.
Organisations will now be able to ask staff to return to work after 10 days instead of 14, which will certainly help to reduce the impact of them not being able to come into the workplace for this period of self-isolation. Employees who are unable to work from home will continue to be eligible to receive statutory sick pay (SSP) for periods of self-isolation.
It should be noted that this will now apply across the UK, regardless of local restrictions.
By Louise Turner Dip Mgmt (Open) Assoc CIPD – HR Business Partner