Posted: Fri 14th Jan 2022

First minister “yet to see that evidence” for further reducing coronavirus self isolation  for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

Wales’ first minister has said “we are yet to see that evidence” to justify any further reductions to the self isolation period.

People who test positive for covid-19 in England will be able to stop self-isolating after five days if they have two negative lateral flow test results.

From Monday, people in England will be able to leave isolation after negative lateral flow tests on days five and six.

Sajid Javid told MPs in the House of Commons that UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) data showed “that around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five”.

The change is intended to maximise activity in the economy and education while minimising the risk of people passing on the virus, he said.

The move follows a similar policy change in the US.

In Wales people with Covid have to self-isolate for a minimum of seven days.

Asked if the Welsh Government will follow the changes made in England, during a press conference today, Mark Drakeford said:

“What we will be doing is looking at whatever evidence the UK Government has used to come to a conclusion (to reduce isolation time from 7 to 5 days).”

“As I understand it (The UK Government decision) moves the removal of self-isolation by just 24 hours.”

“I know (the UK Government) is saying seven days to five days but when you look at the small print, it’s actually 24 hours.”

He said that when the Welsh Government was given all the evidence in December prior to the decision to move the self-isolation period from 10 days to seven days in Wales, “it showed that at day five, more than three out of 10 people are still infectious.”

“That did not seem sensible to us to have that number of people with Covid out and about spreading it to others.”

“We will study whatever evidence is now available if we think it is safe and our chief medical officer and scientific advisers say to us that we can now move down the days in a way that doesn’t cause risk to others, of course, that’s what we will do.”

“But we’re yet to see that evidence or to get that advice.”

Current self-isolation rules in Wales.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate and take a PCR test as soon as possible. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 you must self-isolate and follow the guidance below.

You can leave self-isolation after 7 full days (on day 8 of your self-isolation period).

You should take a lateral flow test (LFT) on day 6 of your self-isolation period and another lateral flow test 24 hours later. This is to check if you remain infectious and could pass COVID-19 on to others.

You should not take a LFT before the sixth day of your self-isolation period because the risks of remaining infectious and the chances of passing it on to others before this period is significantly higher.

If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should follow this guidance. If you are not fully vaccinated, you are legally required to self-isolate as a close contact for 10 days.

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