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COVID-19 – changes to self-isolation and testing

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

From 24 February

  • Removal of the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. In its place, those testing positive will be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least 5 full days and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received 2 negative test results on consecutive days. The Government’s strategy document states that employers and workers should follow this guidance for those with COVID-19.
  • Removal of the guidance for vaccinated close contacts to take daily tests for 7 days and removal of the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate, with new guidance in place detailing precautions close contacts should take.

 From 24 March

  • Removal of the COVID-19 specific provisions relating to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), following the closure of the SSP rebate scheme on 17 March.

From 1 April

  • Updated guidance on minimising contact with others to be issued for those who test positive.
  • The end of free universal testing. Some free testing will continue to be available to certain at-risk groups and social care staff.
  • The existing set of ‘Working Safely’ guidance to be replaced with new public health guidance.
  • Removal of the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments (although this change will not apply to employers who specifically work with COVID-19, such as laboratories).

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