The 10-day covid isolation period could be cut short for those who test negative for the virus.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid is understood to be pressing hard for a reduction in the time people have to self isolate if it is considered safe by medics.
Plans currently being discussed by ministers would mean people could be released from isolation if they get negative lateral flow tests on day six and seven, the Mirror reports.
New rules are expected to come into force this week, if scientists deem it is safe to do so.
Currently, anyone who tests positive for covid must isolate for 10 days regardless of the vaccination status.
It is hoped the move would curb the threat of staff shortages across the NHS and a number of key industries.
Rules were relaxed for double jabbed close contacts, who are instead told to take a daily lateral flow test for seven days. – while anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated must still isolate for 10 days if they come into contact with a positive case.
Downing Street did not rule out reducing the self-isolation period at a briefing for journalists on Monday.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We will keep anything like that on the isolation period under review based on the latest clinical advice and we would update if that were to change.”
It comes as Boris Johnson was said to be considering imposing new measures before the New Year to tackle spiralling cases in England.
The Prime Minister is not expected to announce new restrictions before Christmas but ministers are still waiting for crucial data on the Omicron variant.
Cabinet Office Minister Steve Barclay today said he had downsized his own Christmas plans, and urged others across the UK to have a “cautious” Christmas.
When asked what a cautious Christmas is, he said: “I think it is thinking about how many people we need to see. Some of my family won’t be coming over at Christmas. My wife’s parents will be joining us but others will not.”
Mr Barclay said the government will “look closely at the data” about whether or not to have a circuit-breaker lockdown after Christmas.
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