We are following the Government's plans to relax some COVID-19 restrictions but it's still important to follow the rules to keep your family and friends safe.
Changes from 16 August
Fully-vaccinated adults will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. (Fully vaccinated means you have had both doses of the vaccine and that two weeks have passed since the second dose, which is when we say that the vaccine is able to give the most protection).
If identified as a close contact they will be advised to book a PCR test to see if they have the virus, too. Legally, they must self-isolate if their PCR test result comes back positive.
The NHS COVID-19 app will be updated to reflect this change and will now ask users to confirm their age and vaccination status in order to update the advice provided by the app.
Adults who are unvaccinated, or not yet fully vaccinated (2 doses)
The rules will not change for adults who:
- Are unvaccinated,
- have only had their first dose, or,
- Have had two doses – BUT not had the two-week period since their second jab (the two weeks is the time to build up the full protection the vaccine can offer).
Legally, they must self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. They will also need to have a PCR test to see if they have the virus, too. Even if the result is negative they will still need to finish their isolation period and stay at home.
From Aug 16 all under 18s (whether they have had the vaccine or not) will not have to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19. But, they will be asked to have a PCR test (this is for chidren over the age of 5) to see if they have the virus. If it comes back positive they will have to self-isolate.
Children under the age of 5 who are identified as close contacts would only be asked to have a PCR test if the person who tested positive lives with them.
To book a PCR swab test, you can register for one online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus and tick the box that says your local authority asked you to take a test. Or ring 119 and say the same thing to book a test.
There is a lot of help and support if you do test positive for COVID-19, including money to help people. if you need help and support with food, medical supplies or other COVID-related support call 0800 234 6123 (MON-FRI 9am5pm) You can also text 07860 022 876 and we will respond by the next working day.
Manchester after 19 July
We are asking the whole city to adopt this code from 19 July:
- Meet outside. It is safer as fresh air blows the COVID-19 germs away. If you do meet inside, open the windows where possible to let in fresh air.
- Take the vaccine when you are offered it. Vaccines reduce (but do not eliminate) the chances of catching COVID-19 and passing it on and of severe illness. Consider whether you and your loved ones are vaccinated and whether there has been time for the vaccine to take effect before being in close contact.
- Make sure you get both doses of the vaccine. It is absolutely vital to get both doses as soon as they are offered to you, to gain maximum protection against all existing and emerging variants. Someone who is fully vaccinated is also 70-75% less likely to infect someone else.
- Remember that some people are more at risk than others. The risks from COVID-19 and close contact are greater for some people. For example, you might choose not to have close contact with an older person or someone with a health condition at this point, particularly if one or both of you are not vaccinated.
- Please also consider other people and wear a mask to protect you and them in indoor settings when it is busy or where other people may feel uncomfortable if you don't. Wearing a mask is not just about protecting you from Covid-19. It also helps to stop you from giving it to other people who are more at risk or not vaccinated. We strongly encourage you to wear a mask on public transport.
- Minimise how many people you're in close contact with, and for how long. The more people you are in close contact with the higher the chances of you catching or passing on COVID-19. Longer periods of close contact increase the risk of transmission but remember that even brief contact can spread COVID-19.
- If you have the classic 3 symptoms of Covid, take a PCR test immediately. The classic signs are high temperature, new and continuous cough and a change in sense of taste or smell. In Manchester we have found that sometimes the Delta variant means you don't always get the 'classic signs'. So, if you feel unwell with diarrhoea, sore throat, muscle or full body aches, feel very tired, have headaches that last a long time; blocked or runny nose, or sickness or vomiting, please also take a PCR test. If in doubt, take a test.
- Continue to take a symptom-free COVID-19 lateral flow test twice a week as a precaution. If you do have symptoms, however mild, self-isolate and book an NHS (PCR) test immediately.
- Continue to wash your hands regularly.
- Make space for other people to maintain social distance if they want to.
- You must self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (however mild) or test positive, and do not meet up with others during this time. This is essential to stop any transmission. If people don’t self-isolate, we will continue to see outbreaks in settings and in communities and won’t be able to contain the virus. And if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive you will need to take a test.
- There is no shame in getting the virus, so please take all the help on offer - as this will help you during those days.
- Parents – to help keep COVID-19 out of our schools it is crucial that families continue testing twice a week for secondary-age children and older. Testing remains an important part of our overall strategy to get our lives back to normal. Everyone’s efforts together can ensure we keep going.
Thank you - this will help us all get to where we need to be.