UK Covid: No 10 says it hopes evidence will ‘soon’ be available to justify cutting isolation period to five days – live

Latest updates: prime minister says there is ‘argument to be had’ about isolation as spokesperson says government would like cut to happen ‘soon’

There are no urgent questions in the Commons today, and just one ministerial statement, the Michael Gove one on cladding, at 3.30pm, the parliamentary authorities have announced.

At the Downing Street lobby briefing the prime minister’s spokesman was also asked about the possibility of the minimum Covid isolation period being cut from seven days to five. Boris Johnson confirmed earlier that this is being kept under consideration. (See 11.18am.) The PM’s spokesman went a bit further, saying the government would like to happen “soon” - provided the scientific evidence justifies the change. He said the UK Health Security Agency was continuing to look the scientific evidence justified cutting the isolation period to five days (ie, whether that could be done without risk of still-infectious people being released into the community). He said:

If it is possible to go further, we would want to act quickly, but it needs to be based on the latest evidence. And that work is still ongoing. We certainly have not received any further updated advice.

It is something we want done soon. But what is important is that we don’t prejudge the conclusion, and that we allow those that are looking at this to consider the evidence base and provide thorough advice.

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