Health and care staff able to test rather than isolate when 'pinged'
Health and care staff working on the frontline during the pandemic will be permitted to attend work rather than self-isolate with testing mitigations in exceptional circumstances under newly updated guidance. From this week., double vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff will be allowed to work only after having a negative PCR test and also taking daily negative lateral flow tests for a minimum of seven days, and up to 10 days or completion of the identified self-isolation period.
This measure is being introduced to alleviate pressure on NHS and social care services and will be contingent on staff members only working after having a negative PCR test and daily negative lateral flow tests. “The government has backed healthcare services at every turn through this global pandemic and these new rules will fortify our collective defences against this awful virus, by allowing fully vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff to continue to work when needed”, said Health and Care Secretary Sajid Javid.
Staff who are permitted to attend work will remain under a legal duty to self-isolate as a close contact when not at work, but will be considered to have a ‘reasonable excuse’ under the ‘Self-Isolation regulations’ to leave self-isolation to attend work where their absence could result in harm.
Staff members should undertake daily LFD tests prior to starting work each day, with test results to be reported to NHS Test and Trace via the web portal and to their duty manager. Current guidance has been updated by Public Health England as of Monday 19th July, and shared with NHS trusts and relevant social care organisations across England.