Coronavirus self-isolation and quarantine to be cut to ten days in Wales

The self-isolation period will be reduced to 10 days. Credit: PA

The time people have to self-isolate for coronavirus will be reduced in Wales, the Welsh Government have announced.

From Thursday December 10, people will only have to self-isolate for 10 days, rather than the current 14 days - bringing Wales in line with England's isolation period.

The decision is based on the current available evidence around likelihood of being infectious as a contact after ten days.

Travellers returning from non-exempt countries will also now only have to quarantine for ten days instead of 14.

Those who are contacts of people who have coronavirus and returning travellers from non-exempt countries, are currently required by law to self-isolate for two weeks, unless they subsequently test positive and are then required to isolate for a period of 10 days from the date of the positive test.

Who do the new rules apply to?

  • Anyone who has a positive test result for COVID-19

  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 who are waiting for a test result, or who have not been tested and do not require hospital treatment, who must remain at home for the appropriate self-isolation period.

  • Anyine living in households with someone who shows symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19 or who has received a positive test result for COVID-19

  • Close contacts of positive cases of COVID-19

  • Travellers returning from non-exempt country

The Health Minister Vaughan Gething acknowledged the difficulty in self-isolating for people but said it still plays a ''key role'' in stopping the spread of the virus.

“We know that self-isolating is hard for people and we believe families, communities and business will welcome the announcement today to safely reduce the days in which people have to isolate.

“Self-isolation and quarantine play a key role in stopping the spread of the coronavirus and I want to thank everyone who continues to follow the rules and play their role in Keeping Wales Safe.”

The new guidelines have been endorsed by the The Chief Medical Officer for Wales Officer, Dr Frank Atherton.

90-year-old Margaret Keenan from Northern Ireland became the first person to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Credit: ITV News

It comes as coronavirus cases in Wales continue to rise and has highest ever number of coronavirus-related patients in hospitals - 1,800 in total.

It also has the worst infection rate in the UK, just four weeks after the end of the country's 17-day firebreak lockdown. Wales was also the only UK nation not to see falling Covid rates in the final week of November.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said this was due to the fact England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were placed under tighter restrictions at the time.

On Tuesday, rollout of the vaccine began across Wales and the rest of the UK - with every health board in Wales administering the vaccine.

The vaccine has been shown to be 95 per cent effective against the virus, and works across all age groups, including the elderly.

Among the first people to receive it in the UK will be the over-80s, care home staff and health workers, with the eventual aim of vaccinating millions of people against coronavirus.