The UK self-isolation period will be changed from 14 to 10 days across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from Monday 14 December. It already applies in Wales.

In statement from the four chief medical officers, they said that self-isolation is essential to reducing the spread of Covid-19 as it breaks the chains of transmission, but after reviewing the evidence, they are now confident that they can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from.

They added that people who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days.

People who test positive should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from onset of symptoms or 10 days from point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic.

Self isolation rule changes

On Monday 14 December, the change to the isolation period for contacts will apply to all those who are currently self-isolating including those who commenced self-isolation before Monday.

Self-isolation periods will begin on the day after exposure, a test or the start of symptoms. The NHS Test and Trace service will tell people to self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days from Monday.

Due to the time taken to test technical changes and release updates through the app store, the NHS Covid-19 app will tell close contacts to isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days from Thursday 17 December.