People who test positive for coronavirus or show symptoms in the UK must now self-isolate for 10 days.
The change, announced by the UK’s four chief medical officers, comes as ministers try to avoid a resurgence of the virus. Until now, those showing key symptoms – a new continuous cough, a temperature or loss of taste or smell – have had to self-isolate for at least a week. The new advice is in line with World Health Organization guidance. It comes after the prime minister warned of signs of a “second wave” of the pandemic in parts of Europe.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government wanted to “take a precautionary approach” and “protect people from that wave reaching our shores”.
The UK’s length of 7 was lower than many other countries and there is still uncertainty over how long someone remains infectious too. Research has now shown that a person can be infectious for two days before symptoms begin to show. This is why testing at the airport on arrival from holiday does not work in all cases. You may be infectious but a test result can still come back as negative in the early days of harbouring coronavirus.
This does not impact those returning from certain countries who are still being asked to quarantine for 14 days on return.