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Healthcare workers travelling from ‘high-risk’ countries told to self-isolate for 14 days

by Awil Mohamoud
31 July 2020

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Health and care workers in England will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days after travelling back to the UK from ‘high-risk’ countries, the Government has confirmed. 

The measure, coming into force today (31 July), removes the exemption introduced in June to allow health workers to immediately return to work and assist with the urgent Covid-19 response.

This move comes as more people start to holiday abroad following the reopening of travel routes. 

The Government said it has removed the exemption to ‘protect the NHS and social care system from the spread of coronavirus from overseas, as signs of second waves begin to show in other countries’. 

This is designed to reduce the risk of ‘onward chains of transmission’ within the wider workforce, it added. 

Health professionals and the general public may not need to self-isolate after returning from certain countries listed on the Government website. The list is ‘kept under constant review’, with Spain notably removed from the exemption rule on Sunday (26 July) following a spike in Covid-19 cases. 

Other UK countries already require healthcare workers to isolate if travelling from ‘high-risk’ countries. 

Yesterday, the UK Chief Medical Officers announced that those who show coronavirus symptoms or test positive must isolate for 10 days, instead of seven.