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We need to carry on protecting ourselves says Sefton’s Health Chief as changes to self-isolation rules come in

Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health in Sefton
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health is reminding people across the Borough of changes to the COVID-19 self-isolation rules that have come into effect.

From today (Monday 16th August), anyone who has been fully vaccinated no longer needs to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive case. This means people who have had their second COVID vaccination dose at least 14 days ago and who are not showing any coronavirus symptoms.

Under 18s

Under 18s identified as a close contact of a positive case will not need to isolate either.

But, if they are identified as a close contact, they should still get a PCR test, unless they have had Covid-19 in the last 90 days, in which case they should get a rapid test instead.

Significant

Margaret Jones said: “This is a significant easing of the self-isolation rules, which means it’s important we all keep on making sure we protect ourselves, our families, our friends, our colleagues and the wider Sefton community.

“This means continuing to limit contact with people – particularly those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and where possible, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you cannot maintain social distancing.

“And we should continue taking free Lateral Flow Tests, which are available free from a wide range of local outlets including all Sefton pharmacies.

Both doses

Margaret continued: “The best way to protect ourselves is to make sure we get both doses of the vaccine, which is now also available to 16 and 17-year-olds, who will soon be invited for their vaccination appointments.

“Plus, it’s vital that anyone who starts to show COVID symptoms of a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell, should book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

“People who test positive will still need to self-isolate no matter what their vaccination status or age.”

Employers

Mrs Jones also reminded employers across Sefton that they need to follow the general duties outlined in the The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

She said: “Many employers will already be carrying out risk assessments and putting suitable controls in place to maintain the safety and wellbeing of staff and the public and they need to continue doing this.  There is more information for business on our website at www.sefton.gov.uk/covid-and-business.

Links to further information about COVID testing, vaccination and self-isolating can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/covid19

Government guidance can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#keeping-yourself-and-others-safe