Just half of Britons with Covid self-isolating, estimates show

Just half of Britons are choosing to self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus, new estimates suggest.

Between 28 March and 2 April, 51 per cent of surveyed individuals who had Covid during this period said they self-isolated, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is a slight fall from the compliance rate in mid-March (53 per cent) but significantly lower than the rates reported in early March (64 per cent) and February (80 per cent).

The legal requirement to self-isolate was ended at the end of February, though people are advised to continue to do so if they test positive for Covid.

“Only half of those who tested positive for COVID-19 adhered fully to self-isolation guidance,” said Tim Gibbs, head of the public services analysis team at the ONS.

“While this is a similar proportion to what we reported in mid-March 2022, it however represents a significant decrease to levels of adherence seen earlier this year.”

A total of 765 people were surveyed for the research and the results were than extrapolated out to the wider population.

Around 7 in 10 respondents had no contact with non-household members, which is in line with the level reported in mid-March 2022 (67 per cent) but is lower than levels reported for early March 2022 (78 per cent) and February 2022 (77 per cent).

Of those who had self-isolated since testing positive but had stopped isolating at the time of their interview with the ONS, around 85 per cent had isolated for six days or more.

The proportion of respondents who left the house and reported wearing a mask on every occasion (44 per cent) is in line with the level reported in mid-March 2022 (45 per cent), but is again lower than levels reported in February 2022 (66 per cent) and January 2022 (75 per cent).

Of those who did not fully follow the advice, 93 per cent reported leaving the house for a non-compliant reason; the most common reason reported was for outdoor recreation or exercise (37 per cent).

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