The UK has extended the period of coronavirus self-isolation from seven to 10 days, as fears grew over a surge in cases.
The UK’s chief medical officers said scientific evidence now showed that people with the virus have a “real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days”.
“It is now the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from seven to 10 days,” they said, as ministers hinted they would take new precautions to try and contain the pandemic.
At the weekend, Britain introduced a 14-day quarantine period for anyone returning from Spain, the UK’s most popular tourist destination.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned of a “second wave” of cases in Europe and health secretary Matt Hancock said the government would announce similar measures to those imposed on Spain elsewhere, if necessary.
The latest official figures showed 753 people becoming infected with the virus yesterday.
The UK recorded a daily high of more than 8,700 cases in early April.
However, opposition MPs accused the government of panicking over the latest infection rates across mainland Europe.
The UK has been the worst affected country by the virus in Europe, officially recording almost 46,000 deaths.
The statement from the senior medical officials came as the Office for National Statistics announced that England had “the longest continuous period of excess mortality of any country” in the first half of this year.