UK easing quarantine rules for essential workers

UK easing quarantine rules for essential workers
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The United Kingdom is easing quarantine rules for essential workers after the previous system led to a shortage of workers.

Essential workers in many fields will no longer have to quarantine for 10 days after being flagged as near someone with the coronavirus as long as they are fully vaccinated and get tested, The Associated Press reported.

A British health service app has been used to tell a person if they were near someone with the coronavirus. Although it is not mandated by law, if a person gets notified they have been in contact with an infected person, they are told to quarantine for 10 days.

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However, the app has caused disruptions among many businesses as cases rise in the United Kingdom and more people are getting cited for occupying the same spaces as someone who was infected.

The government said Tuesday prison staffers, tax collectors, defense workers, veterinarians and garbage collectors can take a daily COVID-19 test, if they are fully vaccinated, and be cleared to avoid quarantining, according to the AP.

The new rules come after the government announced last week the same stipulations for police officers, firefighters, food workers, transport workers and border staff.

The government will allow all citizens who are fully vaccinated to skip quarantine if they get a COVID-19 test starting Aug. 16.

The quarantine time is currently not mandatory and neither is having the health app. Although around 26 million citizens have downloaded the app, some have deleted it and others ignore its warnings, the AP noted.

The easing of restrictions comes as the U.K. has lifted its mask mandate and social distancing requirements.

The U.K. is seeing an increase in coronavirus cases but has also reached a 70 percent vaccination rate among adults.