Shortened isolation period marks “important intervention”, say small firms, as they call for workplace testing relaunch

Press Releases 13 Jan 2022

FSB welcomes move to a 5-day self-isolation period, and calls for improvements to test-and-trace infrastructure

Responding to the announcement that the Covid isolation period in England has been shortened from seven to five full days, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said:

“We’re pleased to see this decision from the Health Secretary and UK Health and Security Agency today. Over the last month we have made the case that, if it can be done safely, shortening the isolation period would make a huge difference to the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that currently have staff off work.

“Mass isolation of two million people has hit the workforce just at the moment when firms are trying to bounce back from yet another disrupted festive season.

“Today’s announcement marks an important intervention; it’s a relief to see policymakers embrace our recommendation.

“From here, the Government should now make good on past promises to deliver a world leading test-and-trace infrastructure. The workplace testing initiative – closed last summer – should be relaunched immediately and lateral flow supplies shored up.   

“More widely, we’re encouraging this administration to rediscover its pro-enterprising, reforming zeal. Against a backdrop of surging inflation, labour shortages and increasing late payment, its decision to hike national insurance contributions looks increasingly misjudged. It should reconsider.”

Media contact

Matt Dickinson

Matt Dickinson

Deputy Head of Media & Communications

[email protected]
07525 801773

About FSB

As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.

FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.