Healthcare workers in England to skip self-isolation orders

Frontline health and social care workers in England will be allowed to carry on working even if they are exposed to someone with Covid-19, the government said on Monday as it seeks safe way to ease pressure on the health service caused by rising infections, news wires reported.

Covid cases in Britain are on the rise once again, causing hundreds of thousands of workers to be told they need to spend 10 days at home because they have been identified as a close contact of someone with the disease. But that has caused staff shortages in schools, businesses and the healthcare system, according to Reuters.

To ease the burden on the healthcare system, the government announced an exemption for fully-vaccinated staff in exceptional circumstances. The new rules will apply to staff whose absence would cause a significant risk of harm. Those considered eligible will need to test negative for the virus, and take daily tests throughout the period they would have been required to isolate for.

"As we learn to live with this virus, it's important that we ensure frontline staff can keep providing the best possible care and support to people up and down the country," Health Minister Sajid Javid, who is himself in isolation after testing positive on Saturday, said.

England was due to lift almost all coronavirus restrictions on Monday to help restart the economy, but has warned that while vaccines have reduced death and hospitalisation rates, new infections could rise to record levels.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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