Anyone who tests positive or shows symptoms of Covid-19 in Britain will have to self-isolate for 10 days instead of the previous seven, based on a low but tangible possibility that people could remain infectious for longer.
“In symptomatic people Covid-19 is most infectious just before, and for the first few days after symptoms begin,” the UK chief medical officers said in a statement on Thursday.
“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 government said the change in the rule would come into force immediately.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday that the government was worried about a second wave of coronavirus infections in Europe and will not hesitate to bring back more quarantine measures, possibly within the next few days.
“I am worried about a second wave. I think you can see a second wave starting to roll across Europe, and we’ve got to do everything we can to prevent it from reaching these shores, and to tackle it,” Hancock said during an interview on Sky News.
“We have significant concerns about the second wave that is coming across Europe. And it’s not just Spain … but there are other countries too where the number of cases is rising. And we are absolutely determined to do everything that we can to keep this country safe,” he said.
When asked whether Britons should be prepared for more measures to be announced within the next few days, he said yes.
“The number of cases have gone up sharply in some countries in Europe… France now has more cases than we do, per day, and in Spain we saw the numbers shoot up which is why we had to take the rapid action that we did,” he said on Talk Radio. (Reuters)