One in seven people tested positive for Covid may still be contagious if released from isolation after receiving a negative sidestream result after five days, new data suggest.
Across the UK, people are now allowed to leave self-isolation on day seven, provided they have had two negative lateral flow tests within the last 24 hours and have no fever.
However, the Prime Minister has indicated that he is in favor of further reducing the quarantine period to five days, if supported by scientific evidence. Experts have warned that there is currently little data to support the move.
According to work previously published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the proportion of people estimated to remain contagious five days after the onset of Covid symptoms, or a positive Covid test, is 31%. A small Japanese study has also suggested that a significant proportion of those infected with the Omicron variant remain contagious after five days.