Cutting isolation period will help impacted businesses - Chamber

14 January 2022

Reducing the isolation period to five days will come as a boost to businesses who have been hit hard by Covid-related absences, business leaders said today.

From Monday 17 January, people will be able to leave isolation after negative lateral flow tests on days five and six.

The self-isolation period was cut from ten to seven days in December to alleviate the pressure businesses were facing.

Data from the UK Health Security Agency suggests that two thirds of people are no longer infectious after five days of isolation.

The decision to cut the isolation period to five days comes after 129,587 tested positive for the virus on 12 January - 2,912 of which were in Birmingham

Erin Henwood (pictured), policy advisor at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “For businesses across the country struggling with high levels of staff absence due to Covid-19, the Health Secretary’s announcement to reduce the isolation period will be much appreciated.

“After a month of economic uncertainty following the introduction of Plan B and worsening case rates, we hope that this measure will enable firms in Greater Birmingham to better mitigate the impact that Covid-related absences are having on their operations.

“To ensure this measure is implemented successfully, it is crucial that the Government guarantees that sufficient lateral flow tests are available as businesses have continued to report difficulties accessing tests over the past several weeks.

“Though this is a step in the right direction for businesses, we urge the Government to take further action – such as reintroducing free testing kits for businesses – to ensure firms remain supported during this challenging period.”

Find out what other action GBCC is calling for in our latest lobbying document Plan B – A Blueprint for Business Support.’

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