Changes announced to self-isolation guidance

The Government have announced from Monday 17 January 2022, the self-isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19 will change.

This means people can leave isolation on the sixth day, providing they test negative on the fifth and sixth day with a lateral flow device (LFD) and do not have a high temperature. However, if the day 5 test is positive, they must continue to isolate, it is law.

People can take further tests on subsequent days – day 6, 7, 8 or 9 until day 10.  If two LFD tests taken 24 hours apart on consecutive days are negative, they can leave self-isolation.

Self-isolation may continue in certain circumstances, such as for those who work with vulnerable people. The government will publish further guidance in due course.

Stephen Gunther, Director of Public Health said: “The levels of COVID-19 in Walsall have increased significantly in recent weeks and continue to rise. Self-isolation is effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 to other people.

“We are starting to hear from local employers who are having business continuity issues due to the number of employees self-isolating. Data from the UK Health Security Agency suggests two-thirds of people are no longer infectious after five days of isolation. The change to guidance should help ease some of the pressures they are facing but we all still need to be cautious.

“I would like to remind people that the self-isolation period continues to be 10 days for people who test positive for COVID-19. You can only leave self-isolation early when you have received two negative LFD tests on two consecutive days and do not have a temperature. This will reduce the chance of people still being infectious and passing the virus on to others.

Lateral flow tests can be obtained by calling 119 or by visiting If you are self-isolating, you cannot leave your home to collect a LFD test kit.

If you stop self-isolating on or after day 6, it is important that you follow some key public health guidance to reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 on to others. This includes:
– wearing a face covering in indoor spaces and crowded areas
– working from home if possible
– maintaining social distancing
– regular hand washing
– reduce your contact with who might be at a higher risk of severe illness if they got COVID-19.

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