Vaccines Minister urges people exposed to Covid to isolate even if they have had both jabs after fully-vaccinated family member contracts virus
Anyone exposed to Covid-19 should still isolate even if they have had both jabs, says the Government’s vaccine minister – after a fully-vaccinated member of his family contracted the virus.
Nadhim Zahawi appeared to suggest quarantine requirements would be maintained for those who come into contact with positive cases after all measures have been scrapped under the Government’s road map, even if they have received both jabs.
His comments followed a report which said 23million fully-vaccinated people could still be forced to isolate after June 21.
Mr Zahawi told MPs the Government is looking at how people can be regularly tested instead of having to isolate.
Conservative former minister Mark Harper said: “Post-June 21, it’s important not only that legal restrictions go and social distancing goes, but all of the remaining rules are adjusted to reflect the much lower risk that exists once we’ve vaccinated the population – otherwise we’re going to have those rules in place forever.”
Mr Zahawi responded: “Even if you’ve had – and I’ve had this experience in my own family – two doses of either vaccine you can still actually contract Covid and therefore you should be isolating and quarantining.
“We’re also looking at ways that contacts of people who may have contracted Covid can be regularly tested instead of isolating.”
Asked for clarification, Mr Zahawi added: “Obviously if you contract Covid then you have to isolate and quarantine, but those contacts we are looking at regular testing to see whether there is an alternative, but he will I’m afraid have to wait until – a little longer, before Step 4, when we say more on this on 14th June.”
He suggested he was “cautiously optimistic” restrictions will be lifted on June 21.
MP Greg Smith urged the minister to give “hope and certainty” to businesses that evidence “backs up the complete end of all restrictions and social distancing by June 21”.
Mr Zahawi replied: “It is good news from Public Health England on the B1617.2 variant that two doses of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca-Oxford are as effective on infection and very likely to be even more effective on serious illness and hospitalisation in real-world circumstance.
“At the moment, I would say I am cautiously optimistic that we’re in a good place. We have to remain vigilant and work together.”