COVID-19: Double jabbed in Wales won’t have to self-isolate from 7 August – nine days earlier than in England
Fully vaccinated adults in Wales will no longer have to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone with coronavirus from 7 August.
The Welsh government intends to ease self-isolation rules for those who are double jabbed on the same day the country is expected to move to COVID alert level zero.
This is when almost all restrictions will be lifted across Wales.
By removing the need to self-isolate for fully vaccinated adults who are a close contact of an infected person on 7 August, Wales will ease rules faster than other parts of the UK.
In England, such a rule change won’t come into force until 16 August.
And, in Scotland, double-jabbed adults will be exempt from quarantine if a close contact of someone with COVID from 9 August.
The Welsh government said that under-18s will also be exempt from the need to self-isolate if they are also identified as close contacts of a positive case.
But everyone who tests positive for coronavirus or has symptoms must continue to isolate for 10 days, whether they have been vaccinated or not.
Everyone identified as a contact of a positive case will continue to be advised to have a PCR test on day two and day eight, whether they are fully vaccinated or not.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Self-isolation on symptoms or a positive test result continues to be a powerful measure in helping to break the chains of transmission and stop the spread of the virus.
“It is important we retain this, even for people who have been fully vaccinated.
“But we know a full course of the vaccine offers people protection against the virus and they are far less likely to contract it when they are identified as close contacts. This means they no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days.
“We can remove the need for self-isolation for the two million adults who have completed their vaccine course, helping to keep Wales safe and working.”
In England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced growing calls to no longer wait until 16 August to ditch the self-isolation requirement for the double jabbed amid concerns a “pingdemic” will cause businesses and transport networks to grind to a halt.
A record 689,313 alerts were sent to users of the NHS COVID-19 app in England and Wales in the week up to 21 July, latest figures show.
Ping alerts tell people they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
But Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Thursday ruled out bringing forward the planned change to self-isolation rules in England.
“I completely appreciate people’s frustration with all of this,” he said.
“But I think it’s the right approach, as we exit the restrictions, to do so in a cautious way that protects us and that’s what this does.”
He added: “What I’d say to people is, look, I know it’s frustrating but please stick with it, it’s just a few more weeks and then we can all look forward, hopefully, to a very good summer.”
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