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Changes to self-isolation guidance



From Monday 16 August, the rules in England change so that you are not legally required to self-isolate if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace or via the NHS COVID-19 app, following close contact with someone who has COVID-19 if:


  • you have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved in the UK at least two weeks prior to contact
  • you are not displaying any symptoms.


Under 18s also do not need to self-isolate if they are free of symptoms. You must still self-isolate if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or you receive a positive PCR or LFT result, regardless of your vaccination status.

Previously, the NHS would contact close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases through the Test and Trace system, and individuals would be legally obligated to self-isolate, whether they were showing symptoms or not.

Now, close contacts will still be contacted but will be asked for their vaccination status and advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to check if they have the virus, although this will not be mandatory and there is no requirement to self-isolate while awaiting the result. Close contacts are advised to take precautions like wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and limiting contact with other people.

The change was announced in July as part of the step 4 of the government’s COVID-19 roadmap.

UK Health Security Agency Chief Executive (UKHSA) Dr Jenny Harries said:

“Thanks to the huge success of the vaccine programme, we are able to ease self-isolation requirements for double-jabbed people and under 18s. It is important that close contacts continue to come forward for a PCR test, in order to detect the virus and variants of concern.

“Although two doses of vaccine will greatly reduce your own risk of becoming unwell with COVID-19, it is still possible to contract the virus and pass it to others. So if you develop symptoms at any time – vaccinated or not – you should get a test and be very careful in your contact with others until you have received a negative test result.”

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you must take a PCR test as soon as possible, and self-isolate until you receive the result.

For more information on the changes to self-isolation guidance, visit

The University’s COVID-19 advice and FAQs are being updated to reflect this new guidance.


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