From Monday 16 August, people who are double jabbed* or aged under 18 will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.
Instead, as of Monday, people who are double jabbed or under 18s and who have been identified as close contacts by NHS Test and Trace, will be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to check if they have the virus and for variants of concern.
They will not be required to self-isolate while they wait for the results of the PCR test.
However, anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age.
People can order a PCR home test online or by calling 119, or by going to a test site, which in Halton are located at:
- The Heath Business Park, Runcorn;
- The Brindley car park (behind St Paul’s Heath Centre), Runcorn and;
- Kingsway, Widnes.
As double jabbed people identified as close contacts are still at risk of being infected, people are advised to consider precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and limiting contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.
Meanwhile anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and get a PCR test, and remain in isolation until the result comes back.
Regular testing remains critical to controlling the virus as restrictions ease. Anyone with symptoms should take a PCR test to find out if they have the virus and to allow new variants to be detected.
People are also encouraged to continue with twice weekly lateral flow testing, even if they have no symptoms, to find additional cases and reduce the spread in the community.
Rapid home test kits can be ordered online, collected from local pharmacies or from Halton’s local rapid test sites at Grangeway Community Centre or Ditton Community Centre – where people can also choose to do the test onsite. For all the latest information on rapid lateral flow testing visit www.halton.gov.uk/smart
*Double vaccinated adults will no longer be required to self-isolate from 16 August, as long as they 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.