Here's everything you need to know.
In news this week, the amount of time you are required to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid-19 in England has been reduced once more to five days.
Previously, you were required to quarantine for seven days, regardless of whether you were testing positive or negative.
This was reduced from the initial ten day isolation period last month, but was only permitted if you tested negative on days six and seven.
Similarly, you can only reduce your isolation period this time on the same – slightly altered – condition: you must take lateral flow tests that show a negative result on days five and six of your isolation.
Yesterday, 70,924 positive Covid cases were recorded in the UK. This marks the lowest daily figure since early December – 14th, to be precise. 88 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were also recorded.
The change in rules is an attempt to ease staff shortages. Last summer, the so-called ‘ping-demic’ saw millions across the UK having to self-isolate and many supermarkets, stores and hospitals becoming critically under-staffed.
At one point, a staggering 1.2 million people were pinged by the NHS app to quarantine in a single week.
This comes after a thorough scientific review of the current existing evidence, government officials say.
You must also not have Covid-19 symptoms, such as a temperature, to end your isolation early. (Read up on the Omicron symptoms, here).
Health Secretary Sajid Javid says this change in rules will “restore extra freedoms and reduce the pressure on essential public services.”
However, don’t skip the lateral flow tests on the fifth and sixth days, he warns, calling them a “crucial” part of the government’s carefully “balanced and proportionate” plans.
If you do test positive, you are required to stay in isolation until you test negative two days in a row, or after ten days in total.
While you can leave isolation, you are still encouraged to wear a face mask and social distance where possible.
Javid said previously: “Asking the close contacts of people with COVID-19 to self-isolate has played a critical role in helping us get this virus under control, and millions of people across the UK have made enormous sacrifices by doing this.”
“Every single one of these sacrifices has helped us protect the NHS and save lives.”
What do you think about the rule change?