Cutting isolation to 5 full days ‘very helpful for sector’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

New measures: the rules mean those who test positive for Covid-19 can leave isolation on day six if they have had two consecutive negative lateral flow tests on days five and six (image: Getty/TraceyAPhotos)
New measures: the rules mean those who test positive for Covid-19 can leave isolation on day six if they have had two consecutive negative lateral flow tests on days five and six (image: Getty/TraceyAPhotos)

Related tags: Health and safety, Legislation, ukhospitality, British beer & pub association

The Government’s announcement about self-isolation for those with Covid-19 being able to end after five full days following two negative lateral flow tests has been welcomed by the trade as it could help ease staffing pressures.

The new rules, which are set to come into force from next Monday (17 January) means people self-isolating with Covid-19 will be able to reduce their quarantine period if they test negative on days five and six and do not have a temperature.

However, those who still test positive on lateral flow tests must stay in isolation until they have had two consecutive negative tests on separate days.

Alleviating pressure

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “The change in self-isolation rules announced, which will allow positive Covid-19 cases to end quarantine on day six, following two negative lateral flows on days five and six is very helpful for the pub and brewing sector.

“The new guidance will go some way to alleviating the pressure on staff numbers that our members have been experiencing throughout the pandemic. For the new measures to truly have an impact, it is important availability of lateral flow tests remains consistent throughout the country.

“There remains however, uncertainty around Plan B measures and guidance in place, which is due to expire on 26 January. We urge the Government to provide clarity of next steps, which will enable pubs and the brewers that supply them to plan for the future.”

Trade body for the late-night sector the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) had previously called for the self-isolation period to be cut, in a bid to help address staff shortage issues.

Further consideration needed

CEO Michael Kill said: “This is a step in the right direction and will without a doubt, stem some of the issues, but will need further consideration as we move towards busier periods.

“Businesses are still suffering from the legacy of a devastating festive trading period. The Government must consider further reductions in mitigations, particularly Covid passports, over the coming weeks.

“The Chancellor must also consider an extension of VAT and business rates relief, factoring in the current extended recovery period following the festive trade losses.”

Furthermore, UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls also welcomed the move from the Government and tweeted her thoughts.

She said: “Positive and pragmatic move to allow people to return to work when safe to do so and the economy and public services to keep moving.

“Should also allow a safe lifting of work form home guidance, which is having major economic impact.”

Related topics: Health & safety

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