From 17 January the self-isolation period for people coronavirus will reduce to five days for people with a negative Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test on day five and day six. Self-isolation may continue in certain circumstances, such as for those who work with vulnerable people. Government has said that a full list will be published in guidance in due course.
The advice for health and social care staff on testing has also changed. From 11 January, staff who have a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result are no longer required to have a follow-up PCR test, and they should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. The advice for health and social care staff returning to England from another country has also changed. Staff entering from any country not on the red list are no longer required to take a daily LFD test after they return from travel. Previously, they had been expected to take a daily LFD test until ten days after their return.
Updated guidance also advises that managers can undertake a risk assessment of health and social care staff who test positive after isolating between 10 and 14 days. Scheme based testing for extra care and supported living settings remains in place. Please note, housing, health and social care staff will not be part of the new daily testing regime for key workers which started on the 10 January. We are aware that demand for testing is high; if your staff or organisation is experiencing problems accessing tests or is having issues with isolation rules than please get in touch with our team.
Many NHF members are reporting difficulties due to high levels of staff absence due to sickness and isolation as well as longer term problems with the recruitment and retention of staff. We have raised the urgency and scale of these problems with the government. We also plan member events in February to look at workforce issues.