The Secretary of Education supports reducing the isolation period from seven to five days

The Secretary of Education supports reducing the isolation period from seven to five days

Nadhim Zahawi is the first government minister to officially support reducing the Covid isolation period from seven to five days.

the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said they want to evaluate it, so we will keep to seven days.

"The virus is transitioning from pandemic to endemic," Mr Zahawi told the paper.

But, he said, it was up to the UKHSA to decide whether it was "the correct thing to do".
“But I would undoubtedly be motivated by advice from the professionals, the scientists,” he told Sky's Trevor Philips on Sunday. “You don't want to increase infection levels and cause problems.”

A pandemic becomes endemic, and then we deal with it for five, six, seven, or ten years, he added.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said Scotland is not considering shortening quarantine.

Mr Yousaf told BBC Breakfast that reducing Scotland's isolation time from 10 to 7 days was hazardous.
Because it is not a risk-free alternative, we have chosen it, he said.

“Going from 10 days to seven days is not without risk. We merely needed time to assess the risk of accelerating virus transmission by shortening the isolation period.”
Mr Yousaf said his government was “intentionally keeping that matter under review, but we're not contemplating going from seven days to five”.

“We simply went from 10 days to 7 days. I think it'd be prudent to assess the ramifications. But clearly, we follow the science,” he added.
In addition, universal free lateral flow tests may be reduced. As stated by The Sunday Times, they may be restricted to high-risk areas and to those with symptoms.

The NHS Test and Trace system could be scaled back in the coming weeks, the publication stated.

Mr Zahawi denied the accusations, calling them "puzzling" given that there are no plans to charge for lateral flow tests.

They were made available to all English citizens in April, including those without symptoms.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, called the action "utterly wrongheaded", while Labour said it was the "wrong decision at the wrong moment".
"I am concerned that the government is looking to abolish free lateral flow tests now when cases are still high," said Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves.

This is the wrong policy at the wrong moment, and if the government pursues it as proposed today, we will vote against it.
Mr Zahawi's comments on self-isolation come after parents were urged to get their kids vaccinated after the UK reached 150,000 Covid deaths.

A senior doctor said roughly half a million vaccine appointments for 12-15-year-olds will be made accessible online in January, with slots available at around 500 walk-in sites and 300 centres.

The UK has now passed the 150,057 Covid death mark, joining the US, Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and Peru.