People with COVID-19 symptoms should isolate for 10 days

People with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should now self-isolate for 10 days, instead of seven, the UK government has said.

England CMO Professor Chris Whitty (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
England CMO Professor Chris Whitty (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

A statement from the CMOs for all four UK nations said there was increasing evidence that people may remain infectious between seven and nine days after initial onset of symptoms. Increasing the isolation period would help reduce the risk of further spread and provide additional protection to those at greater risk, they said.

'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,' the statement said.

The CMOs said that the change could also help mitigate the impact of a spike in infections that could come later in the year.

Additional protection

'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,' the statement said.

It added: '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 7 and 9 days after illness onset.'

The change brings the UK in line with the World Health Organization's recommendation for 10 days isolation. It comes amid concerns about rising infection rates in some parts of England and increased  cases in other countries.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

NHS England has unveiled a revamped DES package for 2020/21 confirming new targets,...

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered a huge increase in face-to-face appointments in the week before NHS...

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

The RCGP is facing legal action over its decision to remain opposed to assisted dying...

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide practices with...

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GP practices have faced a wave of abuse and complaints after a letter from NHS England...

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

The government has denied plans to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of the struggling COVID-19...