Double-vaccinated adults in England will not be forced to isolate at home after coming into contact with someone with Covid from August 16, Sajid Javid has confirmed.
The health secretary also announced anyone under the age of 18 will not have to isolate after coming into contact with a positive case from the same date.
Anyone who tests positive will still have to isolate whether they have had the jab or not.
Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, Javid said: “This new approach means that we can manage the virus in a way that’s proportionate to the pandemic while maintaining the freedoms that are so important to us all.”
Under the plan, if someone gets their second dose “just before or just after” August 16, they will need to wait two weeks for the jab to take effect to avoid having to isolate.
Javid told MPs: “I understand that some people are cautious about their idea of easing restrictions.
“But we must balance the risks – the risks of a virus that has diminished but not defeated, against the risks of keeping these restrictions and the health, social and economic hardship that we know they bring.”
Transport secretary Grant Shapps will update MPs later this week on how to “remove the need for fully-vaccinated arrivals to isolate when they return from an amber list country”.
The announcement came after Boris Johnson promised the wholesale lifting of coronavirus rules in England from July 19, including an end to social distancing rules and the requirement to wear face masks.