To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact on diabetics and other clinically vulnerable people of all age groups of the proposed removal of the covid-19 self-isolation requirement in advance of the 24 March 2022 expiry date; and what effect that assessment will have on the final decision on whether to lift the self-isolation requirement before 24 March 2022.
In line with the Public Sector Equality Duty, the Department must consider the impact of policy decisions on protected groups when changes to legislation are made. In the case of the self-isolation regulations, this was done alongside public health considerations ahead of the decision to remove these regulations.
From 24 February 2022, those who test positive for COVID-19 are no longer legally required to self-isolate. However, individuals with any of the main symptoms or a positive test result are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
The Government’s objective is to enable COVID-19 to be managed in a similar way to other respiratory illnesses, while minimising mortality and retaining the ability to respond if a new and more dangerous variant emerges. This is due to the success of the vaccination programme and pharmaceutical tools available to treat people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.