Everyone in the UK with a cough or fever should self-isolate for seven days, government announce
12 March 2020, 17:28 | Updated: 13 March 2020, 15:20
Boris Johnson today chaired an emergency COBRA meeting about the next phase of Coronavirus response.
The UK public is being advised to self-isolate for seven days if they have a new cough or fever, following today's emergency COBRA meeting.
Boris Johnson delivered a press conference today, during which he told the public that these new measures would be part of the 'delay' phase of the virus.
Starting from tomorrow (Friday 12 March), anyone who presents with the above symptoms should stay at home for a week.
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said: Anybody that has a cough that is continuous and new or a temperature of 37.8C, we wish those people to stay at home for seven days.
He continued: "We are asking people to do something that will interfere with their lives in quite a significant way", before adding that the reason they are asking this is because it "helps to protect older and more vulnerable people" to lessen the chance of them being exposed to the virus.
He also said that they are doing this to "help reduce the peak of the epidemic", which makes it easier for the NHS in all four nations to help the public.
Mr Hancock then added: "Why seven days? The virus seems to have its maximum transmission round the time of its first symptoms, then rapidly declines, so that by seven days the vast majority of people aren't infectious."
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said earlier of the delay phase: "The decision has been taken that we have now moved from a contain phase into the delay phase, where the objective is to seek to slow down the spread of the virus, to reduce the numbers who will be infected at the peak, the number infected at any one time.
"That is clearly important in terms of trying to alleviate the pressure that is place at any one time on our health service."