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Can I go to work with a positive Covid-19 test? Latest rules in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

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Covid-19 rules have been removed across England meaning there are no legal restrictions surrounding the virus – although guidance remains. In other parts of the UK, restrictions do remain with self-isolation in place.

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With guidance and rules varying across the four nations, many people can be understandably confused about what they are supposed to do. One are is the rules on going to work after a positive Covid-19 test.

Below, we look at the latest information from the four nations of the UK.

England

People who test positive for COVID-19, and contacts who are not fully vaccinated, are no longer legally required to self-isolate. People who test positive for COVID-19 should continue to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. Fully vaccinated contacts of people who test positive for COVID-19 are no longer advised to test for 7 days.

Businesses are no longer recommended to display NHS QR posters or collect contact details from visitors.

People who have COVID-19 are no longer legally required to self-isolate. Workers who have the main symptoms of COVID-19, or a positive test result, should follow the public health advice to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They should not attend work.

Workers who live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 should follow the COVID-19 guidance for people with COVID-19 and their contacts. They should work from home if they are able to do so.

Wales

Self-isolation for a full five days is a legal requirement in Wales if you have a COVID-19 positive test. The Welsh Government says it is very important that if people have symptoms of coronavirus, they do not come into work and get a PCR test.

If you cannot work from home, it is strongly recommended that you take regular lateral flow tests even if you don’t have any symptoms.

There is an expectation that employers should be as flexible as possible and make adjustments to ensure staff are able to work from home wherever that is possible. This may include issuing staff with laptops or mobile phones and facilitating communication with all.

Scotland

If you test positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of your symptoms. Everyone should continue to follow Test and Protect guidance which means you should stay at home if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, even if you have received two doses and a booster of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Employers should support staff to isolate if they need to. This will help reduce the risk of transmission in the workplace.

Employers are encouraged to continue following the advice in the COVID-19: Fair work statement. It states that no worker should be financially penalised by their organisation for following medical advice, and any absence from work relating to COVID-19 should not affect future sick pay entitlement, result in disciplinary action or count towards any future sickness absence related action.

Northern Ireland

Immediate self-isolation is required. You must take a PCR test, which if positive, means a 10-day self-isolation period.





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