Now we must learn to live with Covid says Tom Hunt

Tom Hunt

Tom Hunt hopes that we are starting to see the end of Covid for good. - Credit: House of Commons

Changes to the requirements for Covid testing have been welcomed by Ipswich MP Tom Hunt who believes this a step closer to totally relaxing the rules.

The government has said that people who test positive with a lateral flow test (LFT) but remain asymptomatic will no longer have to take a confirmatory PCR, from January 11.

Until now, those without symptoms could not start their seven-day self isolation period until their result had been confirmed with a PCR and the delay in test results means they could be waiting several days for this.

The changes mean their self-isolation period now starts from the day they test positive on a rapid home kit, and allows them to return to work sooner.

Mr Hunt said: “I welcome these changes to the self isolation rules. It should mean that individuals who have either had no symptoms or very mild symptoms and are no longer contagious having tested negative via lateral flow are able to go about their lives.

"Clearly this is to be welcomed. However I do think serious consideration needs to be given to decreasing the self isolation requirement from seven to five days for those who have tested negative.

"There is clearly something wrong when the main challenge presented by a virus seems to be individuals in key roles with only mild symptoms being forced to self isolate.”

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He also hoped that the news that the Omicron variant appeared to cause less serious symptoms was an indication that Covid could become a disease we can live with - without the need for restrictions.

Mr Hunt said: “It certainly seems that Covid is developing in such a way that new variants appear to be far milder than the original variant.

"This, coupled with effective vaccines, means that absolutely living with Covid needs to be what we do. We urgently need to break the cycle that relies upon restrictions on people’s lives, livelihoods and liberties.

"I hope very soon the Prime Minister is able to rule out these damaging restrictions permanently. This would give communities and business enormous confidence and certainty to plan for the future.

"Clearly the warmer weather will make the situation more favourable. I don’t underestimate that the NHS is under pressure but ultimately we have got to end the cycle of shutting down society and people’s livelihoods."

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