Until 16 August, critical workers who are asymptomatic (without symptoms) close contacts of someone who tested positive for coronavirus may be exempt from self-isolation for the purposes of attending work. This will enable individuals to attend work where not doing so would lead to major detrimental impact on the availability, integrity or delivery of essential services.
Can I apply for exemption?
Your employer will:
- Be aware if the self-isolation exemption applies to your organisation or your role
- Know how to apply for the exemption on your behalf if appropriate and the situation meets the self-isolation exemption for critical workers criteria.
Who does the exemption apply to?
This only applies to critical workers who are fully vaccinated – which means you must have had your second Covid-19 vaccination at least 14 days prior to using the exemption to attend work.
The exemption rules apply to asymptomatic contacts only and not individuals who have tested positive or who have Covid-19 symptoms.
How does it work?
The exemption only allows critical workers to leave self-isolation to attend work, at all other times the self-isolation rules apply as directed by NHS Test and Trace.
Critical workers who are allowed to attend work in these exceptional circumstances will need to:
- Have a negative PCR test result before being approved for this isolation exemption
- Take daily rapid lateral flow tests before attending work each day of their self-isolation period.
Your workplace will also follow other safeguards, including ensuring social distancing is maintained and face coverings are worn at all times.
If you test positive or start to show symptoms you must immediately self-isolate and will no longer be able to attend work.
You can find our more online at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/essential-workers-prioritised-for-covid-19-testing