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Quarantine exemption for travelling pharmacy professionals ends

By Isabel Shaw

31 Jul 2020

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in England can no longer skip the compulsory 14-day quarantine after arriving into the UK from high-risk countries, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced.

The move, which comes into play today (31 July), comes as the Government decided to reimpose stringent restrictions on people re-entering the country from Spain – where Covid-19 cases are on the rise.

The exemption was initially put in place for certain key workers so that people can return to the frontline as soon as possible. This included farmers, lorry drivers, and healthcare professionals registered with professional health bodies.

Announcing the change in policy yesterday (30 July), the Government said the move will bring health professionals ‘in line with the general public’ and will ‘minimise the risk of onward chains of transmission that might infect the wider workforce’.

Under the newly enforced measures, travellers could face fines of £1,000 if they fail to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK.

Pharmacy professionals registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) will not be required to self-isolate on return if returning from a country which has a travel corridor to the UK. The current list of countries exempt from self-isolation measures is available here.

This comes after the Government announced that people in the UK, who test positive for coronavirus or show symptoms, must self-isolate for at least 10 days – rather than seven.

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