Guidance re Changes in Self Isolation Exemptions - 20th August 2021 at Staffordshire Local Optical Committee

Guidance re Changes in Self Isolation Exemptions - 20th August 2021

Guidance re self-isolation exemptions has changed as of the 16th August in line with a wider relaxation nationally of COVID measures. 

You will note that whilst fully vaccinated staff and students who are identified as a contact of a positive COVID-19 case will no longer be expected to isolate and will be expected to return to work.

there are still some restrictions relating to staff self-isolation exemptions including:

  • staff are required to have a negative PCR test prior to returning to work
  • a requirement for daily testing for 10 days
  • staff must be (and remain) asymptomatic
  • staff who are returning to work on a self-isolation exemption should not routinely be involved in the care of immunocompromised patients and should instead be redeployed
  • direct household contacts of positive cases are not eligible to be exempted from isolation in healthcare settings even if doubly vaccinated (please note that this is the NHS position and has been decided as part of a risk based review, this is different to the guidance from PHE)

We have previously shared a tool for staff that will help them to determine whether or not they are eligible to return to work and this is still valid under the new NHS and PHE guidance – the link is here: Staff Self Isolation Exemption Eligibility Tool

Following the guidance update, there is no longer a requirement for contract holders to undertake the online risk assessment that was shared previously.

You will still need to be following the SOP around Management of COVID cases in Primary care Settings and notify 2 or more cases amongst staff (even where you suspect this may be community acquired) together with any instances where staff absence is significantly impacting services (even for a short period).

The SOP can be read by clicking here and the link to notify is below: Link to notify Service Disruption or Outbreaks   

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