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Some nurses will not have to self-isolate if pinged by NHS app

Staff can carry on working in exceptional circumstances if absence could lead to risk of harm
Picture of a smart phone screen showing a message to self-isolate

Some NHS staff in England can carry on working in exceptional circumstances if their absence could lead to risk of harm

Fully vaccinated nursing staff in England will be allowed to carry on working in exceptional circumstances if they are contacted by the COVID-19 app, the government says.

The move was announced in response to concerns that rising staff absences due to self-isolation were putting unsustainable pressure on health and social care services.

Daily tests will still be needed

The Department of Health and Social Care said the exemption would only apply in cases where the absence of staff could lead to a significant risk of harm.

Health and social care staff pinged by the

Some NHS staff in England can carry on working in exceptional circumstances if their absence could lead to risk of harm

Picture of a smartphone screen showing a message to self-isolate
Picture: Alamy

Fully vaccinated nursing staff in England will be allowed to carry on working in exceptional circumstances if they are contacted by the COVID-19 app, the government says.

The move was announced in response to concerns that rising staff absences due to self-isolation were putting unsustainable pressure on health and social care services.

Daily tests will still be needed

The Department of Health and Social Care said the exemption would only apply in cases where the absence of staff could lead to a significant risk of harm.

Health and social care staff pinged by the NHS COVID-19 app, or contacted by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, will still need a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before they can return to work and must take daily lateral flow tests.

Self-isolation exemptions: what you need to know

I have been advised to self-isolate. What should I do?

Self-isolate, contact your line manager and arrange to take a PCR test. Your employer will only consider allowing you to go in to work if your result is negative and if it has been at least 14 days since your second COVID-19 vaccination.

What are ‘exceptional circumstances’?

This is if a high number of health and social care staff not being at work could result in significant harm to patients.

What happens if my PCR test is negative?

Your employer should carry out a risk assessment on whether you are able to return to work, with decisions made on a case-by-case basis. However, you should not be working with clinically extremely vulnerable patients or residents, as determined by your employer.

How often should I be testing?

You will need to take a lateral flow test every day for ten days. Test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace online and to your manager. If you have a positive lateral flow test or develop COVID-19 symptoms do not attend work and arrange to take a PCR test as soon as possible.

What about outside work?

You still have a legal duty to self-isolate when not at work until the ten-day isolation period is over.


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