Nadhim Zahawi becomes first Cabinet minister to back cutting self-isolation period to five days

1/9/2022 6:26:00 PM

Education Secretary also says he believes Britain is now 'witnessing the transition of the virus from pandemic to endemic'

Nadhim Zahawi, Omicron Variant

🔴 The Education Secretary has become the first Cabinet minister to publicly back calls for the self-isolation period to be reduced from seven days to five

Education Secretary also says he believes Britain is now 'witnessing the transition of the virus from pandemic to endemic'

Read more: The Telegraph »

Minister Nadhim Zahawi breaks ranks over Covid quarantine to back cutEducation Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said taking two days off the current seven-day isolation period would be 'helpful' in getting the UK back on its feet as Omicron rattles through the population. Clearly has no idea about child care and the how the positive tests show in family groups.

Covid live news: UK minister says cutting self-isolation would be ‘helpful’; Philippines sets new daily case record Nadhim Zahawi says he supports reducing isolation period to five days; Philippines sees 28,707 new cases amid rumours of new lockdown

Education Secretary backs reduction of isolation period to five daysThe Stratford-on-Avon MP also said he believes the UK is ‘witnessing the transition of the virus from pandemic to endemic’. There is no clear health evidence to back this. 7 days with lateral flow tests was a reasonable move, but this is not. Also, how will this work with free flow tests being removed? Die. We don't care. … thank God we have his scientific and epidemiological expertise and experience to guide the experts!

'No excuses for universities not to deliver face to face learning' | ITV NewsThe majority of the top 24 universities in the Russell group are reportedly offering 'blended' learning this term. | ITV National News Zahawi is an ignorant government propagandist with too much authority. I’ve had enough of this dangerous talk - this out of control shower of charlatans has to be removed! If there are 'no excuses', does this mean that the Government has *finally* installed proper air filtration in classrooms and lecture theatres? If not, that seems like at least one very good 'excuse'. Online work, online learning, online BS. Seems people ask for protection only when they have to do the chores. They feel perfectly safe while going out to clubs, pubs and stadiums. Lazy bastards

Nadhim Zahawi says there are ‘no excuses’ for online learning at universitiesTwenty-three out of the top 24 universities in the Russell group are reportedly offering ‘blended’ learning this term. Isn’t it his job to deal with offending learning institutions? I was told that every achievement begins with that decision to try. Ignorance destroys so many opportunities. I’m a victim but I was convinced by the right person stephanie_fx_tr yeah, but there were excuses to lock us down over 10K cases per day or FEWER and now there are 178K per day.....erm......makes me think.....

Lateral flow tests to stay free says minister amid reports they may be limitedEducation Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said he is ‘puzzled’ by a report suggesting that their universal availability could be axed.

The Education Secretary has become the first Cabinet minister to publicly back calls for the self-isolation period to be reduced from seven days to five.Boris Johnson is reportedly set to announce the measure within weeks.Russia reported 16,246 new Covid cases in the latest 24 hour period, health officials said, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 10,650,849.England for the 12 to 15-year-olds during January, a senior doctor has said – with slots available at around 500 walk-in sites and 300 centres.

Nadhim Zahawi said he was happy to be led by the recommendation of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), but suggested it would be "even better" if the quarantine period was slashed. Such a move could help to secure the return of hundreds of teachers to the classroom as schools continue to battle with high levels of staff shortages. Contact tracing by NHS Test and Trace could also be scaled back. Boris Johnson has so far resisted pressure to change the rules as evidence grows that the dominant omicron variant is milder than previous forms of coronavirus. Earlier this month, the UKHSA adjusted rules on self-isolation, saying that people who receive negative lateral flow test results on the sixth and seventh day of their quarantine period can leave early rather than remaining at home for 10 days. Mr Zahawi told The Sunday Times he believes the country is "witnessing the transition of the virus from pandemic to endemic". The report has been disputed by Government sources who say it is too early to say what will happen with free lateral flows.

He said of the self-isolation rules: "The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have said they want to review it, so we will stick to seven days but if they review it and say they will bring it down to five days that is even better for me, it’s even more helpful." The Education Secretary has previously announced that school exams will go ahead as planned this summer after several years of disruption. He told the newspaper: "The virus is going to be with us for maybe five or six years longer and we are going to continue to have variants but vaccines will get better and we are going to have polyvalent and multivalent vaccines by next year." Economists have estimated that cutting the Covid self-isolation period from seven days to five would save the economy £300m in lost output in January. Current rules could cost the economy almost £1bn next month as Covid infections soar, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) - equal to a 0.

5 per cent hit to monthly GDP. Meanwhile, the former head of the UK’s vaccine taskforce has said that mass vaccination should be ended after the current booster campaign because Covid is developing into an endemic virus similar to the flu. Dr Clive Dix, who stepped down from his role as chairman of the government body last year, claimed a significant overhaul of the country’s approach to the virus was required to prepare for the "new normality". He called on ministers to urgently throw their weight behind research into Covid immunity which extends beyond antibodies, such as B-cells and T-cells, which could be used to create vaccines for the vulnerable. 'Mass population-based vaccination should now end' "We need to analyse whether we use the current booster campaign to ensure the vulnerable are protected, if this is seen to be necessary," he told The Observer.

"Mass population-based vaccination in the UK should now end." Dr Dix said he supported the current booster vaccine drive, but told the newspaper a "new targeted strategy" was needed to get the UK to a position of "managing Covid" as an endemic virus. "Firstly we should consider when we stop testing and let individuals isolate when they are not well and return to work when they feel ready to do so. In the same way we do in a bad influenza season," he said. His intervention comes after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) concluded that fourth doses were not currently required because more older people who had received boosters were still well-protected against omicron.

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