People infected with the coronavirus can now perform two lateral flow tests to reduce the self-isolation time from 10 to seven days.
The UK Health Authority (UKHSA) said those infected with the virus can take two lateral flow tests every 24 hours on the sixth and seventh days of their isolation time.
The UKHSA said people who leave self-isolation on the seventh day are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated rooms and continue to work from home.
This comes after an analysis by the UKHSA, which suggests that a seven-day period of isolation, along with two negative lateral flow test results, had almost the same protective effect as a 10-day period of isolation without a test.
Studies have also shown that Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests are just as sensitive in detecting the Omicron variant as they are with Delta.
UKHSA Managing Director Dr. Jenny Harries said anyone with coronavirus symptoms should get a PCR test as soon as possible.
She said, “Covid-19 is spreading rapidly among the population and the speed at which Omicron transmits can pose a risk to the operation of our critical public services over the winter.
“These new instructions will help break chains of transmission and minimize the impact on lives and livelihoods.
“It is critical that people do their LFD testing according to the new guidelines and continue to follow public health advice.”
Health Minister Sajid Javid said the new council should help reduce the disruption to people’s daily lives and urged everyone to get the booster.
He said: “We want to reduce the disruption caused by Covid-19 to people’s everyday lives.
“Following the advice of our clinical experts, we will reduce the self-isolation time from 10 to seven days if you test negative for an LFD test two days in a row.
“It’s important that people keep doing their part by testing regularly and isolating if they test positive.
“And I urge you to strengthen yourself now to protect yourself and those around you.”
The UKHSA added that unvaccinated adults who have come into contact with a person infected with the coronavirus must self-isolate for up to 10 days after the estimated date of exposure to the virus.