Britain to raise virus self-isolation period

Coronavirus

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Canal Side Heritage Centre in Beeston near Nottingham, England, Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The government is launching a new cycling intuitive to help get people fitter. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, Pool)

LONDON — Britain is raising the self-isolation period for people who test positive for the coronavirus or have symptoms to 10 days from seven days.

The U.K.’s chief medical officers say there’s evidence people may still be able to spread the virus for more than a week after developing symptoms.

They say “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.”

Britain’s seven-day quarantine was among the shortest in Europe. The World Health Organization recommends that people who have symptoms or test positive should isolate for at least 10 days.

The British government says it is concerned about rising infection rates in several neighboring countries. Last week the U.K. reimposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on people arriving from Spain, and officials say other countries may be added to that list.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says “you can see a second wave starting to roll across Europe and we’ve got to do everything we can to prevent it from reaching these shores and to tackle it.”

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