The Care Minister Gillian Keegan has confirmed on Wednesday that around one million Brits are self-isolating and Covid testing rules could be relaxed to end the chaos as tens of thousands of key workers in are self-isolating.
Keegan told Sky News: “We don’t actually collect that data on a daily basis but it’s obvious if you look at how many people tested positive yesterday, it’s about 215,000, that they’ll all be self isolating and obviously from the previous days, so it’s about a million people probably are self-isolating right now.”
Speaking to LBC radio Keegan hinted that PCR confirmation of lateral flow test could be dropped as the government are “looking at what makes sense” and a decision is expected “in the next day or so.”
Dr Mike Tildesley, from the University of Warwick and a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (Spi-M), told BBC Breakfast that lateral flows were very accurate.
He said, “Of course, with a PCR test what happens is a number of those can get sent away for sequencing and then you get more information regarding the virus itself.
“So, that sort of information may potentially be lost, but only a subset of those PCR tests are sent away for sequencing anyway, so, hopefully, we won’t be losing the levels of information that we already have in this country that enables us to identify variants and so forth.”