This article has been brought to you by Slough Borough Council's COVID Schools Programme Officer, Heather Cook, for the attention of all schools.
From 16th August 2021, individuals will be exempt from the legal duty to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 by NHS Test and Trace and they meet one of four exemption criteria:
- Fully Vaccinated Adults | Those who received their final dose of an MHRA approved vaccine in the UK vaccination programme, at least 14 days prior to contact with a positive case
- Children and Young People | Those under the age of 18 years and 6 months
- Clinical Trial Participants | Those who have taken part in – or are currently taking part in – an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial
- Medical Exemptions | Those who can evidence that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons
Individuals who are self-isolating on 16th August who were fully vaccinated at the point of their contact with the positive case will also be free from the legal duty to self-isolate from 16th August.
Fully vaccinated people identified as close contacts should consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and limit contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. They will not be required to self-isolate while they wait for the results of the PCR test.
All individuals identified as contacts of a positive case will continue to be contact traced and the vaccination status of a contact will be verified by NHS Test and Trace.
Individuals who are exempt from self-isolation will be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible, unless they have received a positive PCR test result in the previous 90 days.
Children aged 4 and under who are identified as a contact will not be advised to take a PCR test unless the positive case was someone in their own household.
Positive cases will remain under a legal duty to self-isolate regardless of vaccination status or age.
People with symptoms will continue to be advised to self-isolate and take a PCR test.
Detailed guidance can be found here.