Self-isolation rules should be scrapped from EASTER & life return to normal as Covid becomes weaker, expert says

COVID self-isolation rules should be SCRAPPED from Easter onwards because the virus will be just "a common cold" by then, an expert has claimed.

Professor Paul Hunter said that while Covid is "not going away", it is "just one virus" that won't be a cause for concern by April 2022.

His welcome news comes after Boris Johnson saved New Year's Eve by confirming no new lockdown rules will be in place before January 1.

The PM's decision was backed by a string of hugely positive studies which show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

The Sun's Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits' arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions.

And Omicron's less-severe symptoms mean infected Brits will eventually "go about their normal lives" with no quarantine at all, Professor Hunter said.

Self isolation rules have blighted essential services including the NHS, with 18,829 medics off work due to Covid up to December 19.

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Professor Hunter, a professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, told BBC Breakfast: "Covid is only one virus of a family of coronaviruses, and the other coronaviruses throw off new variants typically every year or so, and that's almost certainly what's going to happen with Covid.

"It will become effectively just another cause of the common cold.”

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He added: "Ultimately, we're going to have to let people who are positive with Covid go about their normal lives as they would do with any other cold. And so, at some point, we've got to relax this.

"If the self-isolation rules are what's making the pain associated with Covid, then we need to do that perhaps sooner rather than later."

He suggested Easter as a time to "look at scaling back" restrictive isolation rules – depending on the severity of the Covid spread at that time.

Health minister Gillian Keegan today said the Government did consider a five-day isolation, cut down from the current seven days.

She said: "We did consider that which is why we very recently went from 10 days to seven days.

"So today if you test negative on day six and a seven, then your isolation period will end. So that's what we've done for now."


Ms Keegan – the Minister of State for Care and Mental Health – claimed the Government is "awaiting" further information from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on whether to cut self isolation even further.

Also during her interview with Sky News, the minister urged New Year's Eve revellers to celebrate "cautiously" and "outside" – even though there are NO new lockdown rules.

She told party-ready Brits that Downing Street "won't hesitate to act" if the spread of Omicron causes hospitalisation numbers to soar.

Ms Keegan said Brits should take a Covid test before welcoming in the new year with friends and family, and advised that gatherings be held outdoors or in "well-ventilated areas".

Ms Keegan told Sky News: "We've always said act cautiously since this new variant came amongst us and is highly infectious.

"Many people will know somebody who has caught this over the Christmas period.

"So do be cautious. Take a lateral flow test before you go out. Go to well ventilated areas. I've been to a couple of outdoor parties actually.

"People have moved things to outside so just be cautious. But you know, do try to enjoy yourself as well. But cautiously."

Her warnings echoed that of the Health Secretary, who yesterday announced no legally-binding lockdown measures will be enforced before January 1.

In other Covid-19 news:

  • Revellers danced in the streets and hit pubs and clubs after no new restrictions were announced for New Year’s Eve;
  • Covid restrictions might not be introduced in the new year after the Health Secretary praised the booster jab uptake;
  • New Year’s Eve revellers should take a lateral flow test and celebrate outside, Sajid Javid said;
  • Professor Neil Ferguson has admitted he "oversimplified things" with his doomsday Covid predictions;
  • The days of mass Covid deaths and hospitalisations are OVER thanks to the UK's triumphant jab rollout and careful restrictions, a top doc has claimed;
  • Hospitality bosses praised Boris Johnson for saving New Year’s Eve – their busiest night of the year.

But Sajid Javid stressed Brits should "remain cautious", take a lateral flow and celebrate outside or in a well-ventilated room – as he urged everyone to get their jabs if they can.

Ms Keegan warned that while hospitalisation rates may appear high, many patients are infected without realising.

She added: "Many of those people going into hospital actually going in with COVID. So they actually get tested on the way in, but we do watch very carefully all of the data.

"And we have had some some good news that it does seem to be a bit milder in terms of severity.

"But we do watch the hospitalizations and we do watch the number of people in hospital all the time."

Hugely positive studies found that Omicron is a less-severe variant than Delta.

And one of the UK's top docs has claimed the days of mass Covid deaths and hospitalisations are OVER thanks to the UK's triumphant jab rollout and careful restrictions thus far.

Professor Sir John Bell – the regius professor of medicine at Oxford University – said last year's "horrific scenes" at hospitals where thousands suffered painful deaths from Covid-19 will remain a thing of the of the past.

Sir John said Britain's vaccine drive is responsible for keeping hospitalisation and death rates low – as the latest analysis shows admissions are DOWN more than 50 per cent in a week.

A total of 8,474 people were in hospital with coronavirus on Monday – a huge drop on the massive 19,277 admissions recorded on the same day in 2020.

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