Newcastle public health boss urges people to still follow Covid-19 isolation rules to avoid another variant; Newcastle City Council's Director of Public Health has urged people in the city to continue to follow Covid-19 rules.

Byline: By, Sam Volpe

Newcastle's Director of Public Health has warned the public that, just because the rules around Covid self-isolation have changed does not mean they should be ignored.

Speaking to a meeting of Newcastle City Council's City Futures Board, Prof Eugene Milne said it was important people remembered that they need to have two negative tests if they are to leave isolation five days after testing positive.

Prof Milne also emphasised that vaccination, regular testing and following the isolation rules was essential in "keeping on top" of the coronavirus pandemic.

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He said: "We need to make sure that people understand the rules around self isolation. And try to limit and contain the spread further because the last thing we need now is a new variant which is more dominant than Omicron because that would set us back.

"The best way that we can keep on top of it is by suppressing the spread and that means continuing to take the precautionary measures hands face space, fresh air and getting the vaccine to protect ourselves, our families and our communities."

The public health chief said he understood there were again "large quantities" of Covid-19 tests available -but explained he was concerned people might begin to ignore the rules in place.

He told the meeting that, as of Tuesday, there had been 1,371 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in Newcastle over the previous seven days.

"My bigger worry is really that people might start to think that the rules are becoming less relevant," he said. "Given those large numbers that we've described, it really is important that people continue to isolate for the appropriate period, that they do those tests and don't stop their isolation if they're still likely to be infected."

Though the mandatory isolation period if you test positive has been reduced to a minimum of five days, this only applies if you...

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