Ministers are reportedly planning to allow people who have had two jabs to avoid 10 days of self isolation after they encounter someone with the virus
People who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will soon no longer need to isolate for 10 days if they come into close contact with someone carrying the virus, according to reports.
Ministers are planning to scrap all legal restrictions for fully vaccinated people who encounter confirmed cases, The Times reports.
The newspaper says that, on Monday, the Covid operations committee are expected to sign off on a plan which states the fully vaccinated will be “advised” to take daily tests after a close contact from next month, but not be required to do so.
It comes as the government looks to move away from enforcement and urge people to take more personal responsibility, as remaining restrictions on social contact are due to be lifted on July 19.
Estimates suggest that cases will increase by up to 26% under the plans, but the government is reportedly prepared to accept the risk and avoid further disruption to schools and businesses.
The British Medical Association (BMA) said that keeping some protective measures in place was “crucial” to stop spiralling case numbers having a “devastating impact” on people’s health, the NHS, the economy and education.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said easing restrictions was not an “all or nothing” decision, and that “sensible, cautious” measures will be vital to minimising the impact of further waves, new variants and lockdowns.
He added: “As case numbers continue to rise at an alarming rate due to the rapid transmission of the Delta variant and an increase in people mixing with one another, it makes no sense to remove restrictions in their entirety in just over two weeks’ time.
“The promise was to make decisions based on data and not dates, and while we were pleased to see the Government react to data in delaying the easing on June 21 last month, ministers must not now simply disregard the most recent, damning, numbers by rushing into meeting their new July 19 deadline.”
Cases numbers continue to rise, due to the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, but public health experts say the vaccine roll out has weakened the link between infections and deaths.
The latest Government figures show 157,675 people in the UK tested positive for the virus over the last seven days – 67,164 more than the previous week – and 123 have died within 28 days of a positive test.
According to the data, 1,825 were admitted to hospital in the week ending June 28 – that’s 259 more than the previous week.
But 85.5% of UK adults (45,013,503) have had one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 63.1% (33,241,2) have been fully vaccinated.