A message from Julie Webster, Wirral's Director of Public Health.
As you may have heard, on Monday 16 August, the rules regarding self-isolation will change.
From that date, the following people will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a person with COVID-19:
- Those aged 18 years and 6 months or under.
- Those who have been double vaccinated with their second COVID-19 vaccination at least two weeks before coming into close contact with the positive case.
- Those who are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
If you fall into these groups and are identified as a close contact you will not automatically be required to isolate but you are advised take a PCR test at one of our testing centres in Birkenhead, Bebington, Liscard and Heswall to see if you have the virus and help identify any variants of concern.
There are several things you can and should do to protect yourself and others.
- Limit your contact with clinically extremely vulnerable people, including elderly or sick friends and loved ones.
- Take part in regular symptom-free (lateral flow) testing – you can order tests, for free, from www.wirral.gov.uk/mobiletesting.
- Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces – as others are encouraged to do by central government already.
- Practice social distancing – if possible, for the period of time you would have been required to self-isolate.
While these actions are advice only, they could help to massively reduce the spread of the virus to those who are more vulnerable than yourself.
Even if you’re in one of the exempt groups, you will become legally required to self-isolate if you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, with or without symptoms.
Although two doses of vaccine will greatly reduce your own risk of becoming unwell with COVID-19, it is still possible to contract the virus and pass it to others.
Support is available
Anyone who does still need to self-isolate may be eligible for financial support.
Further details can be found at www.wirral.gov.uk/covidpayment.
If you’ve not had your vaccine(s) yet, please do. Not only will two vaccines mean that you’re less likely to become seriously ill with the virus, it will also mean that you are less likely to be required to self-isolate, which I’m sure will be a welcome relief.
More information on the changes to isolation is available via the Government website at self-isolation removed for double jabbed close contacts from 16 August - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Thanks for reading,