Watch: Double-jabbed contacts will not have to isolate from 16 August
Self-isolation rules for people who have received both coronavirus vaccines will be dropped from 16 August, health secretary Sajid Javid has announced.
It means fully-vaccinated people who have come into contact with a COVID-19 carrier will not have to isolate for 10 days.
The same will also apply to anyone under 18, Javid said.
He told MPs on Tuesday that the new measures provide a "proportionate" way of managing the pandemic.
The 33,726,362 UK adults who have so far received both doses, and therefore have maximum protection against the disease, are currently subject to the same rules as everyone else.
This means they must self-isolate for 10 days if they are approached by the test and trace system having come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
Under the new plans, however, people will instead be advised to take a confirmatory PCR test if this happens.
Javid said the new system will come in on 16 August because "even more people will have the protection of both doses and modelling suggests the risks from the virus will be even lower".
He said that if someone gets their second dose "just before or after" this date, they will need to wait two weeks for "these new freedoms" as the vaccine takes effect.
Under-18s – who are not being vaccinated – will also no longer have to self-isolate if they have close contact with a COVID carrier.
Javid said they will instead "be given advice about whether they should get tested dependent on their age, and will need to self-isolate only if they test positive".
This will be part of a plan to remove school bubbles, which have seen thousands of pupils being sent home if one person in a bubble tests positive for COVID.
The removal of isolation for the double-jabbed and under-18s is one of a number of COVID mitigations being dropped, with Boris Johnson having also announced on Monday the end of mandatory face masks, social distancing and working from home.
Labour's shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth pointed to research showing the Delta variant can be transmitted from fully-vaccinated people "even if they don't get sick", as well as data from Israel showing the Pfizer vaccine is only 64% effective at preventing transmission of the variant.
"Sadly, being double-jabbed means you are still a risk to others. And yet he [Javid] is releasing controls on transmissions at a time when infections are rising and hospitalisations will rise as well."
Javid responded: "The reason we can make these decisions... is because of the vaccine. The vaccine has been our wall of defence.
"The link between cases and hospitalisations and deaths has been severely weakened."
Javid, meanwhile, said transport secretary Grant Shapps will "later this week" make an announcement about the removal of 10-day quarantine for double-jabbed people returning from "amber list" countries.
Watch: Boris Johnson outlines plans for lifting COVID restrictions