Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that anyone who has a cough or temperature or lives with someone who does, should self-isolate for 14 days, to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr Johnson said that “drastic action” should take place to “tackle the fast growth” of the virus.
“If you or anyone in your household” had one of the two symptoms – a high temperature or continuous cough – “you should stay at home for 14 days,” Johnson said.
“That means that if possible you should not go out, even to buy food or essentials, other than for exercise and in that case at a safe distance from others.
“Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.”
The government is also advising people to avoid crowded places like pubs, clubs and theatres, work from home if possible, avoid visiting friends and relatives in carehomes and only use the NHS when abosultely necessary, in an attmept to contain the virus.
However, the government has confirmed that schools will not be closed for now.
Chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty said the group of people who should take “particular care to minimise their social contact” were:
- People over the age of 70
- Other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccine (such as those with chronic diseases)
- Pregnant women
As of today, more than 44,000 people have been tested in the UK. People self-isolating with mild symptoms are no longer being tested.
The government said tests are primarily being given to hospital patients with respiratory problems, and to people in residential or care facilities experiencing outbreaks.
The total number of people in the UK to test positive for the virus has risen by 171 in a day to a total of 1,543, according to the latest Department of Health figures. The latest cases include 30 more from Wales and 18 in Scotland.
The majority of the people who have died in the UK have been people over the age of 60 with underlying health conditions.
The NHS advises to:
Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:
- A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- A new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
- Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
- You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
- Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.
Phone 111 if:
- You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- Your condition gets worse
- Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
You can read more advice and information about the Coronavirus on the NHS website here.