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DHSC self-isolation guidance

27 July 2021

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has provided further guidance on applications for self-isolation exemption for critical workers. 

DHSC's Continuity of Supply Team has stated the following:

We are urging organisations to only make an application if they are currently experiencing detrimental impacts, patients are at risk and the named individual who has already been asked to isolate is fully vaccinated, not currently testing positive for Covid-19 and fulfils a critical on site function.

DHSC has emphasised that the granting of these applications is expected to be extremely limited:

In the very small number of situations where the self-isolation of close contacts would result in serious disruption to critical services, a limited number of named workers may be able to leave self-isolation under specific controls for the purpose of undertaking critical work only.  This is not an exemption for a whole sector or organisation, nor is it likely to cover the majority of workers in critical sectors. 

Specifically, DHSC has stated that there "must be a genuine risk to essential services that could lead to significant loss of life or casualties" and has directed companies to the Government's Test and Trace guidance published last week, which is available below. 

Companies that meet this criteria and wish to make an application can apply by emailing

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