Double-jabbed adults and children identified as close contacts of Covid sufferers will not have to self-isolate from Monday, as the Government finally puts an end to the pingdemic.
Sajid Javid said the vaccines had ‘tipped the odds in our favour’ but urged people to remain cautious as he confirmed the move last night.
Both groups will be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
They have been asked to ‘consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and limit contact with other people’.
It comes after months of mayhem with a record 1.2 million told to quarantine in just one week a fortnight ago.
The pingdemic has caused chaos across the country, with restaurants forced to close and empty shelves in some shops.
School absence related to coronavirus hit a new record high in England in the week between July 1 and July 8 – with more than 830,000 children at home.
A total of 75.3% of adults are now fully vaccinated, while 89.1% have a first dose.
People who are double-jabbed will have to wait 14 days after their second dose before they are exempt from isolation.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘Asking the close contacts of people with COVID-19 to self-isolate has played a critical role in helping us get this virus under control, and millions of people across the UK have made enormous sacrifices by doing this.
‘Every single one of these sacrifices has helped us protect the NHS and save lives.
‘Getting two doses of a vaccine has tipped the odds in our favour and allowed us to safely reclaim our lost freedoms, and from Monday we can take another huge step back towards our normal lives by removing self-isolation requirements for double jabbed people who are contacts of people with COVID-19.’
UK Health Security Agency Chief Executive (UKHSA), Dr Jenny Harries has applauded the ‘huge success of the vaccine programme’, which paved the way for self-isolation rules to be lifted.
She added: ‘It is important that close contacts continue to come forward for a PCR test, in order to detect the virus and variants of concern.
‘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.
‘So if you develop symptoms at any time – vaccinated or not – you should get a test and be very careful in your contact with others until you have received a negative test result.’
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