Fully vaccinated people will no longer need to self isolate from today if someone they meet tests positive for coronavirus - as the young are offered shopping discounts to boost jabs uptake. The legal requirement on jabbed Brits to quarantine for 10 days if they are contacted by Test and Trace has been lifted under a major change of the rules. More than three quarters of adults are now inoculated against the virus and the Government is banking on the success of the vaccine rollout to lift the remaining Covid restrictions.
Boris Johnson faced significant criticism over the so-called pingdemic in July, when thousands of people were forced into isolation due to contacts with positive cases. Businesses sounded the alarm over staffing shortages and empty shelves - prompting the Government into chaotic U-turns over the reducing the sensitivity of the NHS Covid App and allowing key workers to be exempt.More than three quarters of adults are now inoculated against the virus (Getty Images)
Now the blanket self-isolation rules for Covid contacts have been axed for all fully vaccinated people and the under-18s. But ministers are concerned about slow vaccine uptake among the young - with more of the country's best-known businesses offering incentives to encourage them to get the jab.
Asda, lastminute.com and National Express are among firms providing rewards to the jabbed, joining Uber, Bolt and Deliveroo which are already offering discounted rides and meals. Asda will offer GBP10 vouchers for their clothing brand George to 18 to 30-year-olds who spend over GBP20, while lastminute.com is giving over-18s GBP30 gift cards towards holidays abroad. Better leisure centres will offer over-16s a GBP10 voucher to use on any membership and a free three-day pass at any of their 235 leisure facilities across the UK.
Free Now is giving up to GBP1m in free taxi rides for over-18s attending their vaccine appointment while National Express Buses is providing 1,000 people 5-day unlimited travel saver tickets.Some leisure centres will offer over-16s a GBP10 voucher (file photo of a private centre) (AFP via Getty Images)
Health Secretary Sajid Javid already plans for Covid vaccine booster shots to go to vulnerable groups and over-50s from September. Ministers are said to be discussing plans to the booster shots compulsory for care home staff and quarantine-free travel abroad. They have suggested the "logical" next step would be to make these jabs a condition of keeping a person's vaccine status up-to-date.
It would mean that travel benefits for some double-jabbed Brits - for instance, being spared quarantine on return from amber list countries - may only continue if they get triple-jabbed. Likewise, the requirement for England's care home staff to be double-jabbed from autumn could extend to booster jabs too. Mr Javid said: "The requirement for double-jabbed and under-18s who are contacts of people with Covid has been removed as we cautiously take another step back towards normality, thanks to the phenomenal success of our vaccine rollout.
"Vaccines are what will bring this pandemic to an end - with over 84,000 lives already saved and 23 million infections prevented.
Please come forward to receive your jab as soon as you can to protect yourself and the people around you."All 16 and 17-year-olds to be offered Covid vaccine by next Monday amid dire warningBooster vaccines 'could be compulsory' for foreign holidays and care home staff