To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to paragraph 26 of Covid-19 Response: Summer 2021 and his Oral Statement of 6 July 2021, Official Report, column 753, what the evidential basis is for the selection of 16 Aug 2021 as the date to implement the policy change on self-isolation after contact with a positive case.
The exemption regarding self-isolation for the fully vaccinated after contact with a positive case is being introduced in mid-August to allow more people to become fully vaccinated, reducing the risk of severe illness.
Public Health England’s (PHE) analysis published on 14 June shows the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective against hospitalisation after two doses and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after two doses. As the vaccine programme progresses, links between cases and hospitalisations weaken. PHE’s analysis shows the vaccination programme has already prevented over 44,500 hospitalisations and 27,000 deaths in England. Consequently, introduction of the change in August will reduce the risk of further transmission, hospitalisations and deaths.