The self-isolation period for people testing positive for COVID-19 in England has decreased to five days from seven, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed.
Those who have tested positive will have the option to reduce their isolation period to five full days if they produce a negative lateral flow test on days five and six of their isolation.
Multiple businesses in the UK have suffered from staff shortages in recent months due to the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases, heightened by the new Omicron variant.
Ahmed Nased, who is the General Manager of Simsim restaurant in Charminster spoke to BUzz news before the change was confirmed and said: “The availability of people coming back to work will be highly beneficial.”
With the change being put into action as of today, Ahmed welcomes this as he says it will not only get staff back sooner, but his customers too.
“Now that people will be isolating for half the duration that we started out in, that means people can come here and enjoy their food.”
However, Ahmed stressed they do have some concerns. “We question whether the government’s decision is backed up by science or by business. I don’t want to have my employee isolate for 5 days but come back still feeling ill or unwell.”
Despite this, the decision has been made after careful consideration from the UK Health Security Agency to support essential public services and help ease staff shortages across the country.
Meanwhile, 16 and 17-year-olds are now eligible to book their booster jabs or are able to enter a walk-in centre.