Travellers returning from countries considered high-risk by the UK government will see their Covid-19 quarantine period cut from 14 to ten-days from today.
At the same time, self-isolation for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus will also be shortened.
This means anyone who has been self-isolating for ten days or more will be able to end their quarantine today.
The announcement comes as data shows Covid-19 cases falling in most of England and Northern Ireland.
However, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that in the week to December 5th, there were increases in coronavirus case numbers in London and the east of England.
The quarantine changes apply across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The reduction in the period follows a review of the current available evidence by the chief medical officers of the four home nations.
In a joint statement, they said: “After reviewing the evidence, we are now confident that we can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from 14 days to ten days.
“People who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for ten days instead of 14 days.
“People who test positive should continue to self-isolate for ten days from onset of symptoms or ten days from point of taking a positive test if asymptomatic.”
They added: “We urge everyone to self-isolate when appropriate, it will save lives.”
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