Sajid Javid has confirmed that the time Covid-19 cases have to spend in self-isolation is to be cut.

The Health Secretary updated MPs in Commons on Thursday after Boris Johnson said a decision would be made “as fast as possible”.

The new rules will come in from Monday.

Mr Javid said: “After reviewing all of the evidence, we’ve made the decision to reduce the minimum self-isolation period to five full days in England.

“From Monday, people can test twice before they go – leaving isolation at the start of day six.

“These two tests are critical to these balanced and proportionate plans, and I’d urge everyone to take advantage of the capacity we have built up in tests so we can restore the freedoms to this country while we’re keeping everyone safe.”

The previous UK Health Security Agency guidance is for cases to isolate for at least six full days from the point at which they have symptoms or get a positive test, whichever is first, with release from self-isolation after two negative lateral flow test results on days six and seven. People could leave self-isolation on day seven.

The Government has been under pressure to bring the situation in England into line with the United States, where the isolation period has been cut to five days.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Mr Johnson said:” We are certainly looking at reducing the isolation period, and we hope to bring you more about that.. as fast as possible.”

The decision was expected to be welcomed as it would help address staff shortages across the economy and public services with people allowed to return to work earlier.