Dr Jyotsna Vohra, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at RSPH, said:
"Sunday’s Telegraph reports that the government is considering abolishing Covid-19 self-isolation laws and replacing them with guidance in the Spring. We believe it is too early and dangerous to speculate what public health measures should be adopted months in advance.
"Current data indicates that Omicron infections have peaked in the UK and are now decreasing. This should be taken as a clear sign that self-isolation measures are effective, not that they are becoming redundant.
"Replacing legally enforceable policies with guidance will lead to fewer people self-isolating when they test positive for Covid-19. Removing the legal right of employees to isolate at home will increase transmission at work. While Omicron usually presents with a mild illness among vaccinated populations, there is no guarantee that the future variants will not impact the public’s health more severely.
"As we begin to learn to live with Covid-19, it is critical that self-isolation laws should be lifted once the evidence and data clearly indicates that it is safe to do so and not before – it is lifting restrictions at the right time that will enable us to live with the virus safely.”