The self-isolation period for those with Covid has been cut (Picture: Getty Images)
The self-isolation period for those who test positive for Covid has been reduced from 10 days down to seven.
Under new rules, people in England can take two lateral flow tests 24 hours apart on day six and seven of their quarantine – and leave their self-isolation early if these are negative.
Self-isolating in the event of testing positive is of course one of the best ways to prevent spreading the virus – but the shortening of the 10-day quarantine has left some asking whether or not they might still be infectious after a week.
Just when are you are your most infectious with Covid?
When are you most infectious with Covid?
Official Government guidance states that people who have Covid can be infectious for up to two days before they develop symptoms – and potentially for 10 days after testing positive.
However, a study in the journal The Lancet Microbe published last November revealed Covid is at its most infectious at least two days before and for the first five days after the onset of symptoms.
That study also suggested people can remain infectious for nine days after first becoming ill.
A more recent study from JAMA Internal Medicine suggested people are at their most infectious from two days before they develop symptoms until three days after.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), has said those with mild to moderate Covid will remain infectious for no longer than 10 days after their symptoms started, regardless of which variant they have.
They have also stated that adults who are severely immunosuppressed or are critically ill with Covid may remain infectious for up to 20 days.
How long are you infectious with the Omicron variant?
The Omicron variant has caused cases to surge across the UK (Picture: Getty Images)
There’s no suggestion as yet that those who have the Omicron variant are infectious for a shorter, or longer, period of time – despite early data suggesting the variant causes less severe disease.
If you are Covid positive, you should continue to follow the self-isolation rules as stated above, even if you feel better after a shorter period of time.
Those who leave self-isolation on day seven are still strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces – and are advised to continue working from home if they can.
Unvaccinated adults who have come into contact with someone infected must still self-isolate until 10 days after their estimated date of exposure to the virus.
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