United Kingdom extends coronavirus isolation period

Clay Curtis
July 30, 2020

Hancock insisted that the United Kingdom needs to do everything possible to protect people from a second wave "reaching our shores".

It is expected that the government are set to extend the self-isolation period from seven days to 10 for those who are showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday (July 30) he was anxious about a second wave of coronavirus infections in Europe and that the government would not hesitate to act to bring back quarantine measures if necessary to keep Britain safe.

Speaking to Sky News Hancock warned that a "second wave starting to roll across Europe" and that the United Kingdom must "do everything to prevent it reaching these shores".

The Daily Mail reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, fears the United Kingdom will see a resurgence of the virus "within two weeks", as the weekly average cases have risen by 28% from three weeks ago.

He added that "it's not just Spain" that is a concern, despite the Mediterranean country being the centre of a row over quarantine rules for British holidaymakers coming home.

"Evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with Covid who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset".

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Anyone currently self-isolating who may be nearing the end of their seven days - for example on day six of isolation - will now need to stay inside until they have reached 10 days.

Adding: "This will help provide additional protection to others in the community".

A sharp rise in cases in areas of Spain has seen the Government reintroduce quarantine measures for people arriving in the United Kingdom from the country, and Hancock admitted he was "worried" about the threat of a second wave.

He said ministers are looking at ways to reduce the 14-day period, possibly by the use of multiple tests, amid pressure from the tourism industry.

"We want to prevent that from happening here so we're prepared to take action, sometimes quite quickly as we had to, sadly, with people were in Spain in terms of quarantine". Again, this is a really important essentially scientific, clinical question.

"We are working on whether by testing people during that quarantine it is safe to then be able to release them earlier. 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", they added.

The Prime Minister's warning comes as more than 600,000 British holidaymakers are now in Spain which is showing "signs of a second wave", he announced on Tuesday.

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