At midnight on 28 September, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force.

They set out mandatory self-isolation periods, including a duty to notify the Secretary of State of the names of people in the same household as anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. A copy of the Regulations can be found here.

The Regulation requires self-isolation where an adult is notified that:

  1. They have tested positive for COVID-19 following a test after 28 September 2020; or
  2. They have had close contact after 28 September 2020 with someone who has tested positive.

The Regulation also sets out that where an adult is notified that:

  1. A child for whom the individual is responsible has tested positive for COVID-19 after 28 September 2020; or
  2. Where a child for whom the individual is responsible has had close contact after 28 September 2020 with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;

then the adult must take steps to secure that the child self-isolates.

Government guidance (issued on 30 September) sets out that the notification would be provided by NHS Test and Trace, or the NHS COVID-19 app.

Important to employers is Regulation 7 which makes it an offence for an employer to knowingly permit an employee or agency worker who is required to self-isolate, to attend any place other than where the individual is self-isolating.  This means that an employer who knows that their employees should be self-isolating will be responsible for preventing them attending their place of work. If an employer fails to do this, they could receive a fine of at least £1,000.

Under Regulation 8, there is an obligation on the individual who is aware of their requirement to self-isolate, to notify their employer of this requirement and the start and end date of the isolation period. Any individual who breaches self-isolation will, normally, commit a criminal offence.

If you would like any advice on the implications of these new Regulations please contact Julian Hoskins (Partner) or Jodie Sinclair (partner).


For further support and advice relating to the impact of COVID-19, please view our COVID-19 Advisory Service page.

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