People with coronavirus symptoms across England will now have to self-isolate for 10 days instead of seven – England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has confirmed.
He told reporters on Thursday morning (July 30) that the change was being made due to the “low but real possibility of infectiousness” between seven and 10 days after the onset of the illness.
What have the UK’s chief medical officers said?
In a joint statement from the UK’s chief medical officers, Professor Chris Whitty, Dr Frank Atherton, Dr Gregor Smith and Dr Michael McBride said: “In symptomatic people Covid-19 is most infectious just before, and for the first few days after symptoms begin.
“It is very important people with symptoms self-isolate and get a test, which will allow contact tracing.
“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.
“This will help 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.”
When should you self-isolate?
According to NHS UK, you should self-isolate if:
- you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
- you’ve tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
- you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive
- someone in your support bubble has symptoms or has tested positive
- you’re told by NHS Test and Trace that you’ve been in contact with a person with coronavirus
More information can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/