Coronavirus: UK extends quarantine for people with symptoms

Coronavirus: UK extends quarantine for people with symptoms

People who test positive for the novel coronavirus or show symptoms in the United Kingdom must now self-isolate for at least 10 days, rather than seven, it was announced by the country's chief medical officers on Thursday.

The new self-isolation period has been agreed between the UK's four chief medical officers.

'Evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with Covid-19 who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset, ' the statement said.

The change will come into effect immediately.

The coronavirus isolation period could be increased from seven to 10 days, following reports that Boris Johnson is "extremely concerned" about a second wave.

"It is now the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from seven to 10 days", they said, as ministers hinted they would take new precautions to try and contain the pandemic.

The updated recommendations would "provide additional protection" particularly those who have been shielding and ahead of potential increased community transmission in the Autumn and Winter months, the CMOs said.

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It is thought that Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce the news later today (Thursday 30 July), but it is not known whether it will apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"We can see sadly a second wave of coronavirus that is starting to roll across Europe and we want to do everything we possibly can to protect people here, " he added.

"I am anxious about a second wave".

At the weekend, Britain introduced a 14-day quarantine period for anyone returning from Spain, the UK's most popular tourist destination.

"This is a really important, essentially scientific clinical question, so that's something that we're working on", he told the BBC.

Mr Hancock also warned travellers that new countries could be added to the quarantine list in the coming days after passengers arriving in the United Kingdom from Spain were ordered to isolate for two weeks as cases there increased.

Mr Hancock said he was not against testing people at the border but more work was needed on the timing of Covid-19 tests to make them effective.

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