ADULTS and children aged between five and 18 who are fully vaccinated will not need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive covid case, Wales’ health minister has confirmed.
The Welsh Government is now advising people to instead take lateral flow tests for seven days as a precautionary measure.
Advice for children under five is unchanged – they will not need to isolate and are not required to take a PCR test or do lateral flow tests.
Advice for unvaccinated close contacts remains the same – they are required to self-isolate for 10 days and advised to take PCR tests on days two and eight following their exposure to a positive case.
Health minister Eluned Morgan said: “On December 3, the Welsh Government introduced Omicron-specific regulations to require any contacts of suspected or confirmed Omicron cases to self-isolate.
“In responding to the pandemic, we have always tried to balance COVID and non-COVID Covid harms. As with all our responses to COVID-19, we vow only to keep regulations and restrictions in place only as long as they remain appropriate and proportionate.
“The levels of Omicron have already increased significantly in recent weeks and has now become the dominant variant in parts of the UK. As cases in Wales continue to rise, it is now reaching the point where it is no longer proportionate or operationally feasible to base our response specifically on Omicron.
“Requiring an increasing number of fully vaccinated individuals to self-isolate will impact on our critical public services, at a time when they are under immense pressure to keep Wales safe.”