Covid self-isolation rules to be considered as NI Executive meets: reports

A reduction in self-isolation rules from seven days to five days for those who are infected by Covid-19 is one of the proposals expected to be considered by ministers at Stormont on Thursday.

ccording to reports, the issue was discussed during a meeting between all the devolved nations of the UK and the Government held on Wednesday.

Rules around self-isolation for positive tests were changed in Northern Ireland last month, with people able to stop self-isolating on day seven providing they receive negative lateral flow results on day six and day seven.

Coronavirus Data Graphs

Requirements for testing also changed recently in the region, with people who get a positive lateral flow test no longer needing a PCR test to confirm that result.

A similar policy around self-isolation is already in place in the rest of the UK, while earlier this week it was reported a potential reduction in the period is being considered by Boris Johnson and his Cabinet for those who have been double-jabbed.

“There’s a similar argument to be had about the quarantine period – whether to come down from seven days to five days,” Mr Johnson said on Monday during a visit to a vaccination centre in his home constituency of Uxbridge.

“The thing to do is to look at the science. We are looking at that and we will act according to the science.”

The Department of Health at Stormont would be in charge of changing the policy in Northern Ireland if a decision was taken by ministers.

During the Executive meeting it is not expected any further restrictions will be introduced.

Tweeting on Wednesday, First Minister Paul Givan said: “Tomorrow the Northern Ireland Executive will consider latest data with increased confidence that severity is considerably less than delta.

“Modelling following an optimistic scenario in hospitalisation pressures from Covid.

“The delivery of the vaccination programme has been very successful in building our defences to Omicron and the public following the health advice.

“We continue to face pressures across the public and private sector in staff absences. Thank you for the efforts everyone is making.”

The Department of Health has been approached for comment.

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