Calls had been mounted for England to cut the Covid isolation period from 10 days to five – but minister Chloe Smith insisted the existing approach is ‘the right one’

A Tory minister today rejected calls to cut the Covid isolation period to five days in England, saying there are “no current plans” to do so.

Chloe Smith said the current period of 10 days for people who test positive – or seven, if they get a negative lateral flow test on days six and seven – was “the right one”.

The minister for disabled people told BBC Breakfast: “There are no current plans in England to change that period.

“Of course, we have actually only recently taken it down from 10 to seven, and we want to look at that – we want to make sure that that is working as we believe it ought to.

“We think the current period, therefore, is the right one, so we haven’t any plans to change that further.”

A government spokesperson also gave the idea short shrift, saying the isolation period was “critical for limiting the spread of the virus”.

They said last night: “There are no further changes to the isolation period planned at this time, but we keep all rules under review based on the latest health data.”

Calls had been growing for the UK to bring its isolation rules in line with a new five-day period used in the US.

Infected people in America can now leave home at the half-way point providing they have no symptoms, but they must wear a mask around people for another five days.

Bosses at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insisted the decision was “motivated by science” and to keep “society functioning”.

This breaking news story is being updated.

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