DOUBLE-JABBED Brits will finally be free from the ‘pingdemic’ from TOMORROW.
Self-isolation rules are being scrapped for people alerted by the NHS Covid app when they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
Adults and children will be free to return to work, attend school, and meet friends and family as the protection from vaccines replaces the need for contact isolation.
Instead, people are advised to get a free PCR test as soon as possible, but this will not be a legal requirement.
People can order a home test online or by calling 119, or going to a test site.
Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age.
And even after a negative test, people will be encouraged to wear a face mask in enclosed spaces and limited their contact with others.
But there will be no need to remain cooped up indoors for up to 10 days – or hang around for negative test results.
More than 75 per cent of adults have had both doses of the vaccine, meaning the majority of Brits can take advantage of the new rules.
However, the changes won’t apply to the unvaccinated, those who have had only one dose, and double-jabbed people who received their second vaccine fewer than 14 days prior to contact with a positive case.
The vaccine must be a Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency-approved one – which is Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna in the UK.
Anyone who has virus symptoms should still self-isolate and get a test as normal — and anyone who tests positive will be legally bound to stay inside.
It means after 18 months of disruption, pupils can return to school and college next month without worrying about constant self-isolation.
Social distancing, staggered start and finish times, face coverings and bubbles have all come to an end as ministers vow to get education back on track.
Secondary school students are currently required to take two onsite tests and two at home, but the government will be reviewing this at the end of September.
From August 16, most double vaccinated health and social care staff who are close contacts of cases will be able to routinely return to work, provided they have had a negative PCR test.
Daily lateral flow tests will need to be taken for 10 days as a precaution.
Staff working with clinically extremely vulnerable patients or service users will need a risk assessment to be carried out by a designated person in the workplace before they return to work.
If you develop symptoms at any time — vaccinated or not — you should get a test
Dr Jenny Harries
And the Workplace Daily Contact Testing scheme will continue for those who are not double jabbed.
There are more than 700 testing sites offering daily testing as an alternative for self-isolation.
The NHS app is to be updated to fit in with the new regulations.
If someone receives a call from NHS Test and Trace to be told they are a contact, they will be asked their age and vaccination status.
If using the app, Brits will be asked to self-declare if they are under 18 or double vaccinated.
Dr Jenny Harries, of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Although two doses of vaccine will greatly reduce your own risk of becoming unwell with Covid, 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.”
From Monday we can take another huge step back towards our normal lives
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Asking the close contacts of people with Covid-19 to isolate has played a critical role in helping us get this virus under control.
“Millions of people across the UK have made enormous sacrifices by doing this.
“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.”
Over 87million Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the UK, including 47,254,399 first doses and 40,372,981 second.