The Department of Health and Social Care announced that from Monday, 16 August, self-isolation will be removed for all adults who have been double jabbed, provided they have received their final dose of an MHRA-approved vaccine in the UK vaccination programme at least 14 days prior to contact with a positive case. People who have received both of their vaccination shots within the required stipulated time frame, will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The changes will come into effect in England and Northern Ireland, however, people in Northern Ireland will be required to take a PCR test at day two and day eight.
Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, says that while the virus is still very much with us, the success of the vaccine programme in lessening the impact of COVID-19 has prompted the Government to take the next step in its roadmap. “According to the Government’s announcement, around two thirds of the adult population have received both doses of the vaccine, which means the majority of the work force will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are notified by NHS Test and Trace. This will allow the property sector, along with other sectors, to continue working and engaging with clients, albeit provided it is in a safe manner. Agents who have received a notification, are advised to take a PCR test before going to the office or seeing any clients,” says Offley. “Even after receiving both jabs, it is possible to contract the virus and spread it, so agents should remain cautious and adhere to protocols that will protect their clients and colleagues, such as limiting contact and wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces.”
The new regime should help businesses avoid further disruptions caused by, in some cases, the entire staff compliment of an estate agency branch having to self-isolate. “Provided agents have been double-vaccinated, they will be able to keep their businesses open and clients’ property transactions on track and moving. If reducing the impact of the virus was not already enough of an incentive, not having to self-isolate should prompt more people to book their vaccines, it they haven’t done so already. The only way that we will be able to put the pandemic behind us, is through people getting vaccinated,” Offley concludes.