Self-isolation requirements for individuals who have been in contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus could be relaxed as a result of a major new study utilising rapid testing.
Daily lateral flow tests will be given to as many as 40,000 people who have a positive Covid-19 contact in the government-backed research announced on Sunday.
Instead of the 10 days of quarantine currently required, the participants will be sent a week’s worth of tests and will be able to go about their lives as before, as long as the results are negative.
The trial across England may provide greater evidence to reduce the length of time contacts of positive cases need to isolate, under efforts to restart social lives and reopen the economy.
Beginning on May 9, close contacts of people with Covid-19 will be contacted by phone and sent seven days of rapid tests if they wish to participate in the study.
They will have to test themselves every morning for seven days and will be exempt from the legal requirement to quarantine at home every day they test negative, as long as they do not exhibit symptoms.
Photo: A COVID-19 rapid antigene self-test displays a negative result. EPA-EFE/PHILIPP GUELLAND
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