Under-18s will no longer have to self-isolate if they come into close contact with someone who has Covid-19 from August 16, the Health Secretary has said.
Sajid Javid also told the Commons today that the same exemption will apply to people who’ve had both doses of the vaccine.
It comes as the Government prepares to announce an end to the school ‘bubbles’ system, which mean that whole classes have to be sent home if a pupil contracts coronavirus.
The current system has meant parents have struggled to juggle childcare and work, putting pressure on ministers to find an alternative.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is due to make an announcement on the issue at 1.30pm this afternoon.
But beforehand, Javid told MPs: ‘In line with the approach for adults, anyone under the age of 18 who is a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate.
Current self-isolation rules for schools have seen whole classes sent home (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)
‘Instead they’ll be given advice about whether they should get tested, dependent on their age and will need to self-isolate only if they test positive.
‘These measures will also come into force on August 16 ahead of the autumn school term.’
On the double-vaccinated, he added: ‘We will soon be able to take a risk-based approach that recognises the huge benefits that the vaccines provide both to people who get the jab and their loved ones too.
‘So from 16 August when even more people will have the protection of both doses, and when modelling suggests the risks from the virus will be even lower, anyone who’s a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been fully vaccinated.
‘If someone gets their second dose just before or just after 16 August, they’ll need to wait two weeks, after which their second jab can take effect and give them these new freedoms.
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