Fully vaccinated NHS staff may be exempt from isolation rules

July 13th, 2021
Fully vaccinated NHS staff may be exempt from isolation rules

Members of NHS staff who have had both Covid-19 jabs may be exempt from isolation rules as part of new guidelines under consideration by ministers.

Health bosses have urged the government to consider altering the current rules to try and reduce the risk of staff shortages at a time when case numbers are rising.

Sources close to the government have confirmed that no decision has been taken yet but it is thought that ministers are considering replacing self-isolation with regular testing for NHS workers who have been fully vaccinated.

The number of daily cases in the UK is rising rapidly as a result of restrictions easing and the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant of the virus.

With more staff being contacted via test and trace via the app, there is real concern about shortages linked to high numbers of staff isolating at home.

It is hoped that bringing in new measures to replace isolation with testing would enable many more staff to go to work as normal.

The idea is similar to new measures announced by the new health secretary Sajid Javid, which will allow people who are fully vaccinated to avoid self-isolation from the 16th August, provided that they test negative after being contacted through test and trace.

Deputy chief executive at NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said that staff who have been fully vaccinated should be able to work as normal even if they get pinged via the NHS Covid-19 app.

Ms Cordery urged the government to bring in new guidelines as soon as possible to bolster numbers and reduce pressure on workforces.

As numbers of patients in hospitals rise steadily, and more people test positive, NHS hospitals and care facilities need access to a full complement of staff.

News of the proposed move has been welcomed by the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, who told Radio 4’s Today presenter that she was “delighted” with the step, which she described as “sensible.”

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