Britons who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus will have to self-quarantine for 10 days instead of 14, the UK’s chief medical officers announced.
The new measure, which will come into effect from Monday, also applies to those required to quarantine after returning from countries which are not on the UK’s travel corridor list, reports Xinhua news agency.
In a joint statement on Friday, the Chief Medical Officers of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, Chris Whitty, Gregor Smith, Michael McBride and Frank Atherton, respectively, said that following a review of the evidence, they are “confident” that the period could be shortened.
“After reviewing the evidence, we are now confident that we can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from 14 days to 10 days,” said the statement.
However, they said, “we urge everyone to self-isolate when appropriate, it will save lives”.
England is currently under a new three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions that replaced the month-long national lockdown, the second of its kind since the onset of the pandemic, which ended on December 2.
Under the tier system, shops are allowed to re-open across England, giving a Christmas bonanza to the struggling retail sector.
But all bars and restaurants in the toughest Tier Three areas are required to remain closed.
The system, which put about 98 per cent of England into the highest Tier Two and Three, is due to be reviewed on December 16.
The UK has so far reported 1,814,395) coronavirus cases and 63,603 deaths.