Covid self-isolation period to be reduced once again with negative Lateral Flow Tests

Lateral Flow Tests Credit: Martin Hambleton

The length of time people are required to self-isolate due to Covid-19 will be reduced once again from next Monday (January 17).

From that date people with COVID-19 in England can end their self-isolation after five full days, as long as they test negative on day 5 and day 6 and do not have a temperature.

People who are still positive on their lateral flow tests must stay in isolation until they have had two consecutive negative tests taken on separate days

The aim is to support essential public services and keep supply chains running over the winter

The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. If a person is positive on day 5, then a negative test is required on day 6 and day 7 to release from isolation.

The two negative lateral flow tests must betaken on consecutive days and reported before people return to their job or education, if leaving self-isolation earlier than the full 10 day period.

Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 6 are advised to wear face coverings and limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home if they can do so and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19.

The default self-isolation period continues to be 10 days, and you may only leave self-isolation early if you have taken two LFDs and do not have a temperature in line with guidance.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “After reviewing all of the evidence, we’ve made the decision to reduce the minimum self-isolation period to five full days in England.

“These two tests are critical to these balanced and proportionate plans and I’d urge everyone to take advantage of the capacity we’ve built up in tests so we can restore more freedom to this country, whilst we are keeping everyone safe.”

Existing public health measures remain in place, including:

Self-isolation may continue in certain circumstances, such as for those who work with vulnerable people. A full list will be published in guidance in due course.

Under the current testing rules, around 6% of people are still infectious when they are released from isolation on day 7 following two consecutive negative LFDs.

Once the guidance is changed to end isolation on day 6 with two consecutive negative lateral flow results, modelling from the UK Health Security Agency shows this figure will rise to around 7%.

The self-isolation period was previously reduced from ending on day 10 to day 7, with a negative LFD result taken 24 hours apart on day 6 and 7 in December.

The rules for contacts have not changed. Fully vaccinated people who are identified as contacts of someone with COVID-19 should take daily LFDs for 7 days but are not legally required to self-isolate. Unvaccinated contacts are legally required to self-isolate for the full 10 day period.


  1. And where do you get all these LFTs from?
    Local chemist’s have none. Managed to get 1 box by going on line for hours and trying over and over again.

  2. careful you will be accussed of being chineseist , or havent they invented that ist yet ? it seems funny how its been “forgoten” where it all came from ?

      • You do know we know 100% sure it wasn’t from the Chinese wet market don’t you? Mainstream news aren’t covering it but fauci is in court facing Congress currently for causing it. A paper a lawyer found that had to be legally revealed and they showed Fauci had paid the Wuhan lab from 2014 to 2019 to take bat coronaviruses and find ways to make them worse. The only thing he is denying is that it was purposely leaked.

        It’s really a disgrace that bbc, itv and Sky havent even mentioned it

        • I’ve just being reading about this in the Daily Mail and the New York Post. “Ways to make them worse” is perhaps not a very clear way of describing some forms of research.

          • Nice that you looked in to it Marva. I would recommended watching Congresses ongoing case against him if you can find footage on youtube. It shouldn’t be hidden away from us

          • They aren’t covering the matter. It could be the biggest crimes against humanity in our lifetime if their suspicions of misconduct get found to be true and yet they have hidden it away and people just don’t know about it

  3. if it hasnt been forgotten , lets say its been quietly swept under the carpet , like a lot of things with this pandemic that they chose to cover up and keep from us.

  4. Not only did they cause it,but have profited the most from COVID,with the supply of masks,gowns etc and other related needs.
    Unfortunately,they dominate the world trade in goods.It is very difficult to buy something that is not Chinese…even the pizzas!

    • The only reason that China is a major manufacturer is that the Western companies farmed out their manufacturing to China because labour costs were much lower, and profits were much higher.
      We have our selves to blame.
      But I do remember that when Covid struck, the appeal went out from the government for anyone who could manufacture PPE to contact them: there are countless accounts of UK companies rallying to the call. Staff on standby,,, materials and plant just waiting. And emails to the government went unanswered. Unless you were a friend or family to a tory mp.

  5. So this new self isolation idea is just to support essential public services and keep supply chains running over the winter.

    Have heard self LF test kits will be rationed and essential workers will get priority. People not registering their self LF test results wont get any more unless they have symptoms.

    • It’s absolutely crucial that people register their LFT results, positive or negative. If the Powers That Be don’t know what the figures are, they can’t make informed decisions.

      • Andrew, it’s more crucial that people stop this ridiculous testing and get on with their lives and running any businesses still surviving, aside from the soul-less global corporations such as Amazon. And children are allowed to enjoy a proper life again. Choices have rarely been informed. All along there’s been much false positive testing, people picking up covid in hospitals, many ill people with numerous comorbidities, and statistics being shamelessly skewed (until independent statisicians started analysing them).

        • Just how long does it take to self-test?

          Why are people like Democrat so dead-set against covid vaccinations? Why do they like to be in a group with a gloomy and paranoid view of life? Why do they seem to have no trust in science?

        • Democrat, at the end of last November 578 cases of the virus had been recorded for the previous week in Thanet, last week there were 2,653 according to the TDC website! This means probably another 1,000 or more were not recorded because they were asymptomatic, and didn’t know they had it so were spreading it around by not wearing a mask! I was in the new ALDI store in Ramsgate on Wednesday, and my guess is at least half the staff were not wearing a mask, including the checkout staff, and possibly about 30% of the customers! This is what is clogging up the hospitals, people not taking precautions to stop spreading the bug, which although not as lethal, is sufficiently severe enough to require intensive care in hospital! And it is seriously effecting even young, supper fit people, many long after they have proved negative for the virus. I would still like to see it made mandatory to get vaccinated, and wear a mask in public, as this will be the only way to put an end to this killer disease, 540 alone so far in Thanet!

  6. This comes as the co-founder of the Behavioural Insight Team (aka the Nudge Unit) responsible for changing public behaviour via behavioural science and psychology – publishes an extraordinary op-ed slamming the government for abusing his team’s work during the pandemic, and “willingly convey[ing]” fear on the public to such an extent that it verged on “state propaganda”. Fact that fiction. Control by fear. Ruda says: ” In my mind, the most egregious and far-reaching mistake made in responding to the pandemic has been the level of fear willingly conveyed on the public. Initially encouraged to boost public compliance, that fear seems to have subsequently driven policy decisions in a worrying feedback loop”. And note that most politicians of all parties, with a few noble excretions, went along with this game. The point of the Downing St parties was that they knew they were not living in a plague scenario, while scaring the little people into hiding at home. Some are practically signalling ‘wake up’ now to all the trickery.

    • Not only most politicians of all parties in the UK, but most politicians of most parties of most governments of most countries in the world.
      Or perhaps a lethal pandemic sweeping the world required rather draconian actions by governments.
      Personally, I’m not afraid of the pandemic. It has to a greater or lesser extent affected the way I live my daily life, but live it I do.
      I feel sorry for you that your paranoia constrains your lifestyle far more than the pandemic regulations.

      • I didn’t know there were still people out there who believe the earth is flat, did you Marva? Or perhaps they get their information from Q Anon!

  7. No one can enjoy a proper life whilst the pandemic sweeps the world. The amount of restrictions imposed by government depends on the prevalence of covid in the community at a point in time. In order to get a handle on this, our governm has urged people to take (and report) regular tests. Alternatively the government could use proxies, such as the number of people presenting at ICUs, or morgues; but the problem there is that the data is 10-14 days too late to inform useful decision making.

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