Close contacts of Covid cases could be released from self-isolation five days early, under a scheme being drawn up by Government scientists. Papers submitted to SAGE on March 3 suggest the 10-day mandatory quarantine period could be cut in half if people are tested daily with lateral flow kits. They would need to get a negative result on every occasion to be released early, with the papers noting this could be ‘as effective’ as the present scheme. Government guidelines currently require anyone who has been in close contact with a Covid case – within two metres up to two days before they test positive – to isolate at home for 10 days. They cannot quit isolation if they test negative for Covid before this period ends, but must get a swab that doesn’t have the virus on it to be released back into society. A senior SAGE source said the testing regime was ‘plausible’ but claimed it was not something No10 was currently looking at. They added the study made big assumptions, namely that people would be less likely to break isolation rules if they were given the five-day testing option. And warned people actually might be less inclined to… Read full this story
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