Published: Thursday, 12th Aug 2021

Bolton residents have been urged to keep themselves and others safe ahead of planned changes to COVID-19 self-isolation rules on Monday (August 16).

From next week, people who are double-jabbed or aged under 18 will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.

Under the new rules, those eligible will instead be advised to take a PCR test to check if they have the virus.

Home PCR tests can be ordered online, by calling 119 or by visiting a test site.

A negative test will mean they are free to attend school or work and meet up with family and friends.

Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test will need to self-isolate regardless of their age or vaccination status.

In order for these new rules to apply, those over 18 must have received their second dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before coming into contact with a positive COVID case.

Residents over 18 who are not double-jabbed will still be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact by NHS Track and Trace.

Despite this relaxation in the rules, health bosses have warned that COVID-19 remains a serious threat to everyone.

Sensible precautions like hand washing, wearing face coverings and avoiding crowded poorly ventilated spaces are still strongly advised by public health experts.

One third of those with COVID suffer no symptoms but can still pass the virus on to others.

Quick and simple home lateral-flow device tests are widely available. Taking an LFD test twice a week is the best way to ensure you are virus-free and not putting others at risk.

To find your nearest LFD test collection point, enter your postcode on the NHS website or order online.

Bolton Council’s Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Lowey, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over and it remains essential that Bolton keeps up the good work to keep everyone safe and protect the NHS."

“Please keep wearing face coverings and avoiding crowded places were possible as well as taking regular LFD tests at home."

“Keep in mind these new rules only apply to adults who have the additional protection that comes with both doses of the vaccine."

“Those who have not yet taken up the offer of a jab should do so as soon as possible.”