Coronavirus: Virus isolation period extended from seven to 10 days

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People who test positive for coronavirus or show symptoms within the UK must now self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days, instead of seven.

The change, announced by the UK’s chief medical officers, comes as ministers attempt to avoid a resurgence of the virus. Until now, those showing key symptoms – a replacement continuous cough, a temperature, or loss of taste or smell – have had to self-isolate for a minimum of a week.

The new advice is in line with World Health Organization guidance. The chief medical officers said the change is “particularly important to guard those that are shielding and beforehand of the autumn and winter once we may even see increased community transmission”.

Evidence shows that folks with Covid-19 have “a low but real possibility of infectiousness” between seven and nine days after falling ill, they said. It comes after the prime minister warned of signs of a “second wave” of the pandemic in parts of Europe.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast before the announcement, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the govt wanted to “take a precautionary approach” and “protect people from that wave reaching our shores”.

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