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New rules on self-isolation set to boost Covid-19 vaccination rates

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Hertfordshire's director of public health hopes new Covid-19 self-isolation rules introduced on Monday (August 16) will boost vaccination rates.

The variation of restrictions means those who are double-jabbed or under 18 will no longer have to quarantine for 10 days if they come into close contact with a positive coronavirus case.

Instead, they will be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible. Anyone who tests positive will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age, to detect the virus and new variants and break the onward chain of transmission.

Hertfordshire County Council's director of public health Prof Jim McManus
Hertfordshire County Council's director of public health Prof Jim McManus

Professor Jim McManus said: "I know the upcoming changes to the self-isolation rules will be welcomed by many residents and will be a huge relief to businesses that have been struggling with staff having to self-isolate. The virus is still circulating so it still means we have to take precautions like ventilation, being careful in crowds and wearing masks when asked to.

"I hope this will encourage more people who haven't had their vaccinations yet to book an appointment or drop in to one of our vaccination centres. It's quick and easy, will protect you and the people around you, and will mean you don't have to self-isolate if you've been in contact with someone with Covid-19, or when you get back from a holiday in an amber list country.

"The most important thing right now is for us all to keep doing the things which stop infection. Get vaccinated if you're 18 or over, give people space, wear face coverings in crowded indoor areas, ventilate your workplaces and social spaces, get tested and self-isolate when required. These measures have kept us safe and will keep us safe still."

Walk-in Covid-19 vaccinations are available at centres and pop-up clinics across Hertfordshire with no appointment needed. For details or to book, see www.covid.healthierfuture.org.uk.

To find your nearest testing site or to get a home test, see www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/rapidtest.

Support for people who have to self-isolate is available from HertsHelp. Visit www.hertshelp.net.

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