Covid-19: The NI self-isolation guidance has been reduced to just five days

Adults who have tested positive for Covid-19 should be advised to stop self-isolation within five days.

Covid-19: The NI self-isolation guidance has been reduced to just five days

Adults who have tested positive for Covid-19 should be advised to stop self-isolation within five days. However, they may still be infected.

The Department of Health has updated its guidance to state that leaving isolation is not recommended.

Children can be released after three days if they are "less infectious".

According to the Department of Health, the updated advice sought a balance between transmission and disruption.

It was previously recommended that people who have been positive for a Lateral Flow Test should isolate themselves for up to 10 consecutive days. This is either the date of the test, or the time when the symptoms began, whichever comes first.

This period could have ended sooner if there were two negative LFT results within 24 hours of each other, the first being taken not earlier than day 5.

Dr Joanne McClean, Northern Ireland's deputy chief medical officer, advised people to "still remain cautious" on Friday.

Dr McClean said that although we no longer require you to undergo a test before you are allowed to leave your isolation, it is still important to remain vigilant in the days between day 5 and 10, when you could still be infected.

"It's about finding the right balance between controlling the transmission of the virus, and its impact on society and people in general."

Despite the decrease in self-isolation, it is recommended that people avoid contact with anyone who may be at higher risk for Covid-19 for the entire 10 days.

It is also recommended that they avoid visiting hospitals, care homes, and other settings for health or social care.

This new guidance is based on the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which show that 1 in 25 Northern Irish people tested positive for the virus. Covid infections are increasing again across the UK.

One month ago, Northern Ireland was 1 in 75.

Dr McClean stated that although numbers have been increasing in Northern Ireland, there were "early signs" from data about hospitalisations and testing. Also, data from waste water testing suggests that we may be at or very close to the peak of this wave.

She said, "We hope that it will begin to turn around soon."

Dr McClean stated that Covid is being used in a lower number of patients than in previous waves.

The Department of Health announced that Covid-19 lateral flow tests would be available in Northern Ireland up to the end of July.

For those suffering from coronavirus symptoms, the tests are available at this time.

The tests can be performed without symptoms for health care workers, social workers, and people who visit health and care facilities.

Robin Swann, Health Minister, stated: "As you move forward together and continue learning how to live a life Covid-aware lifestyle, I urge people to exercise personal judgment and take responsible actions to stop the spread Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases."

"This will in turn help to protect the most vulnerable."

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