More Covid untruths: Five days quarantine? In practice you’re likely to suffer at least six

So much of the Covid information we are given makes little sense or is downright untrue. To that list we can add the UK’s five day quarantine requirement. It is billed as five days. In fact it is likely to be at least six.

Why is this?

The system works thus: on the fifth day in prison, sorry, quarantine, you take a test. That test then has to be delivered to a lab. Your quarantine cannot end until you get the result of that test.

The time of your result depends firstly on delivery times, but even when the processing company receives your test in their lab, the expected time to get a result also depends on the speed of their processing. This is estimated at 12-24 hours. So your ability to escape quarantine in the claimed five days depends on them delivering it to their lab immediately and the result not taking much longer than their shortest estimate.

In a case brought to our attention, the test didn’t arrive at the lab until the next morning. So the 12-24 hour wait for the result only starts on day six.

This is baked into the system. Even escaping quarantine after six days depends on the testing company sticking to their timescales.

To quarantine for only five days depends on the testing company working faster than their own timetables suggest they will. It is unfair and misleading when a five day quarantine is almost impossible to achieve.

Not least of course because the whole idea is ludicrous. If the disease is so dangerous you have to be locked up for five days to make sure you haven’t got it, why is it OK to travel from the airport on public transport to the place you are quarantining?

Very few of the Covid laws bear scrutiny. But the five day quarantine claim is only achievable under perfect conditions.

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