Isolation period for people with symptoms to increase to 10 days

The most common symptoms that could lead someone to self-isolate are a fever, a continuous cough and a loss or change to their sense of taste or smell.

According to The Daily Telegraph, newspaper the deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, is expected to announce the changes later today.

Asked about the reports on Thursday morning, health secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is a decision that’s clinically-led. The chief medical officer will be setting out details later today. I can’t steal his thunder but what I will say is we’ll always do what is necessary to protect people and we’re guided by the science in this as in everything.”

People with coronavirus symptoms will be asked to isolate for 10 days rather than the current seven, the government is set to announce.

The change increases the length of the time people who catch the virus are expected to stay at home for by three days.

He added: “The broader point is that there’s a serious concern about a second wave that’s clearly now moving across Europe and we need to take action and action to protect this country and protect everybody in it, and if that means the number of days that people who test positive have to self-isolate then so be it. Because these measures are necessary to keep people safe.”

The reported change comes amid health leaders stating concerns of a “second spike” and an ongoing row over 14-day quarantine measures put in place for travellers returning from Spain.

Tougher lockdown restrictions for Oldham were announced on Tuesday following a surge in new cases.

Luton and Blackburn with Darwen have also faced stricter rules than the rest of England over Covid-19 fears. Their indoor gyms and swimming pools could not reopen over the weekend, as they could elsewhere, due to an increase in coronavirus cases in their local areas.

The UK has seen more than 301,000 confirmed infections of Covid-19, and 45,961 coronavirus-related deaths to date, according to the health ministry.

As part of measures to stem the spread of the virus, if someone in the UK thinks they have symptoms, they must not leave the house – for example to go to work or to get food – and should get tested for the virus within five days of the symptoms appearing, according to the NHS.

Guidance from the NHS also said that people must self-isolate for 14 days if they live with, or are in a bubble with, someone who has symptoms.

Advice for those who have been in close contact with someone with the virus will remain unchanged.

The Independent has approached the department of health and social care for comment on this story.

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