‘Double-prick contacts in the UK will no longer need to be isolated from 16 August’

The UK’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will not have to self-isolate if they are in close contact with an infected person starting from August 16 onwards.Javid told lawmakers in Parliament on Tuesday that the same policy would also apply to anyone under the age of 18 from that date, reports Xinhua news agency.

Adults will need to have had their second vaccination at least 10 days beforehand, the health secretary told MPs on Tuesday.

“We will soon be able to take a risk-based approach that recognizes the huge benefits that the vaccines provide both to people who get the jab and their loved ones too,” Javid said.

People will, however, still be obliged to self-isolate as before if they test positive for Covid.

The end to self-isolation for those under 18, comes after figures showed the number of children missing school in England because of Covid last week shot up by 66 percent with 641,000 out of the classroom.

The government would give more details later this week on self-isolation rules for international travelers, he added.

“We will have a more proportionate system of test, trace, and isolate, and it is absolutely right that those that have been double jabbed, we can take a different approach than the one we take today,” he told the BBC.

More than 45.4 million people in Britain have received the first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine and over 33.8 million people have received two doses, the latest official figures showed.

In another indication of his more bullish approach to reopening, Javid began his announcement by telling MPs that “freedom is in our sights once again” and it was time to end top-down rules and rely more on “personal responsibility and common sense”.

The health secretary said the pace of vaccination had weakened the link between case numbers and hospitalizations and deaths. “That protective wall means that the odds have shifted in our favor and we can look afresh at many of the measures that we have had to put in place,” he said.

The statement came a day after Boris Johnson announced the expected move towards almost no formal rules to combat Covid in England from 19 July, including the end of mandatory mask use and social distancing, or any restrictions in hospitality and entertainment venues.

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