People must now self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days if they show coronavirus symptoms, new government guidance says.
The increase is an additional three days to the previous seven already advised.
It follows new evidence that people who become mildly ill can still be infectious seven to nine days after the onset of COVID-19.
A statement from the UK’s four chief medical officers said: “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 seven and nine days after illness onset.
“We have considered how best to target interventions to reduce risk to the general population and consider that at this point in the epidemic, with widespread and rapid testing available and considering the relaxation of other measures, it is now the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from seven to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.”
They said the move will “provide additional protection to others in the community”.
“This is particularly important to protect those who have been shielding and in advance of the autumn and winter when we may see increased community transmission,” said the statement.
The advice brings the UK in line with that issued by the World Health Organisation.
Nationally, there appears to be a slowing in the rate of decline of the virus with the seven -day average currently at 726 cases.
Greater Lincolnshire yesterday recorded seven new cases and has cumulatively had 3,359 cases since lockdown began.
However, the region has seen one of the lowest infection rates in the UK throughout the pandemic.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
- Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.