This change came into effect in England on Monday 17 January and applies to all positive cases, regardless of vaccination status.
People who are self-isolating with COVID-19 have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with an LFD test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6.
The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace.
If the result of either test is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest.
The new rules also apply to people who are already isolating – so if someone was already isolating before Monday 17 January, they can take LFD tests on day 5 and 6 and if they are both negative and they have no temperature they can end their isolation.
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10-day period of self-isolation.