The Health Secretary Sajid Javid has announced today that people in England who are fully vaccinated will now only have to self-isolate from seven to just five days from Monday.
Javid said that the data shows around two thirds of cases are no longer infectious and “we want to use the testing capacity that we’ve built up to help these people leave isolation safely.”
Javid said in a Commons statement that data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows that “around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five.”
Javid told MPs, “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.”
In his update Javid warned the virus “is still with us” and there is “still likely to be difficult weeks ahead.”
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that there are “encouraging signs that infections are falling in London and the east of England” and there are “already early signs that the rate of hospitalisation is starting to slow.”
H reminded people that “We must proceed with caution.”
On hospitalisations, Javid said Omicron “still has the potential to lead to significant numbers of people in hospital”, with almost 17,000 patients currently in hospital in England.
“Due to the lag between infections and hospitalisations, the NHS will remain under significant pressure over the next few weeks,” he continued.
“It is encouraging, however, that during this wave we have not seen an increase in COVID-19 intensive care patients, and there are already early signs that the rate of hospitalisation is starting to slow.
“We know that Omicron is less severe.
“But no-one should be under any illusions, it is severe for anyone that ends up in hospital, and that’s far more likely if you have not had the jab.”