The Daily Telegraph

Unpreceden­ted restrictio­ns

How isolation Britain lurched from crisis to crisis


Jan 27, 2020

Matt Hancock announced that he wanted to take a “belt-and-braces” approach to the novel coronaviru­s and that anyone returning from Wuhan, China, should self-isolate for 14 days.

Mar 13, 2020

Boris Johnson told anyone with a cough or fever to stay at home for seven days. This was extended three days later to include a fortnight’s quarantine for household members of those who had become infected.

May 28, 2020

NHS Test and Trace launched. It aimed to identify close contacts of people who tested positive and ask them to self-isolate.

June 8, 2020

New regulation­s came into force requiring travellers returning from countries not listed on the “travel corridor” to isolate for 14 days or face being fined.

Sept 24, 2020

NHS Covid-19 app that automatica­lly “pinged” the contacts of positive cases went live in England and Wales.

Sept 28, 2020

New legal duty to self-isolate establishe­d in England. Fines starting at £1,000 and increasing to £10,000 for “repeat offenders” were introduced for anyone who broke the rules.

Nov 17, 2020

Chief Medical Officer tells Mr Hancock that the 14-day quarantine periods could be replaced by five days of testing, Whatsapp messages show. Mr Hancock asks: “So has the 14-day isolation been too long all this time?”

Dec 14, 2020

Self-isolation period reduced from 14 days to 10 days for contacts of positive cases and for people returning from countries not listed on the ‘travel corridor’.

Dec 15, 2020

Private “test to release” programme introduced for travellers, giving them the option to shorten the 10-day self-isolation period to five days with testing.

Feb 15, 2021

Hotel quarantine introduced for those returning from “banned” countries. Traffic light system introduced two days later removed the requiremen­t for people returning from “green list” countries to quarantine.

July 19, 2021

Fully vaccinated critical workers allowed to leave self-isolation to stop key industries collapsing during the pingdemic. Arrivals from “amber” countries were no longer required to self-isolate if vaccinated.

Aug 16, 2021

People aged below 18 years and 6 months and those who were fully jabbed no longer required to follow selfisolat­ion rules if notified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace.

Feb 24, 2022 All self-isolation regulation­s for contacts of positive cases and unvaccinat­ed travellers were removed.

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