Rules on self-isolation are being eased for the fully vaccinated and under-18s, the government has confirmed.
Children and double-jabbed adults who have come into contact with a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus case won’t need to self-isolate for 10 days once the change comes into force on Aug. 16.
They will be advised to take a test, but that will not be compulsory.
Meanwhile, the “bubble” system in schools will be scrapped following concerns about large groups of children being forced to miss out on education if cases were detected.
The announcements follow Johnson’s decision to tear up England’s CCP virus regulations at Step 4 of his road map to end the lockdown, expected on July 19.
From Aug. 16, anyone who is a close contact of a positive case will no longer have to self-isolate if they have received two doses of a vaccine a fortnight before the contact.
As under-18s are not routinely jabbed, a similar exemption from self-isolation rules will be extended to them.
Contacts will be encouraged to take a PCR test, and anyone who is positive for CCP virus will have to self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status.
“This new approach means that we can manage the virus in a way that is proportionate to the pandemic while maintaining the freedoms that are so important to us all,” Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson set out plans to scrap the “bubble” system which has led to classes—or even whole schools—being forced to stay at home.
Around 640,000 state school pupils—8.5 percent of England’s total—missed classes for COVID-related reasons on July 1, according to Department for Education (DfE) statistics.
Williamson said the government recognises that “the system of bubbles and isolation is causing disruption to many children’s education.”
“That is why we’ll be ending bubbles and transferring contact tracing to the NHS Test and Trace system for early years settings, schools, and colleges,” he said.
The chance officially comes into effect on Aug. 16, but Williamson said it would be up to individual schools as to whether they scrap the bubble system before the summer holidays, following the expected move to Step 4 after July 19.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will update MPs later this week on how to remove the need for fully-vaccinated arrivals to isolate when they return from an amber list country.
The announcements follow Johnson’s announcement on trusting vaccines and the common sense of the public, once legal restrictions in England are lifted.
PA contributed to this report.