Changes to self-isolation rules

From 16th August 2021, individuals in England no longer need to self-isolate if they are notified by NHS Test and Trace that they’ve had close contact with someone with Covid-19 and any of the following apply:

  • They have been vaccinated with an approved Covid-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since they received the recommended doses of that vaccine.
  • They are below the age of 18 years and six months.
  • They have been or are currently part of an approved Covid-19 vaccine trial.
  • They are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

These exemptions still apply even if the employee lives in the same household as the infected person.

The exempt employee will be advised by NHS Test and Trace to take a PCR test as soon as possible and to take precautions while they wait for the result, but they will not be told to self-isolate.

Unvaccinated or part-vaccinated employees are still required to self-isolate if contacted by NHS Test and Trace because they are a close contact of someone with Covid-19, unless they fall within another exemption or they are participating in an approved daily contact testing scheme.

The exempt employee should nevertheless still self-isolate immediately if they show any symptoms of Covid-19 and they should book a PCR test as soon as possible. If they are then notified by NHS Test and Trace of a positive Covid-19 test result, they must complete their full self-isolation period.

You are not required to check whether your employees fall within any of the exemptions.