Boris Johnson poised to cut coronavirus isolation period down with crackdown on getting people to follow rules
BORIS Johnson is poised to slash the coronavirus isolation period down within days as he stressed a "big push" on compliance was on the way.
Downing Street said today work was still ongoing about what changes are on the cards – but hinted it was coming soon.
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It's previously been reported that the time people have to isolate when they come into contact with someone with the virus could be slashed from 14 days – possibly down to 10 or even 7.
Healthy Brits are expected to be able to seek a swab test as little as a week after a member of their household falls ill – and be allowed out if the results are negative.
Officials hope it will see the time contacts need to self-isolate fall by up to six days.
The change comes as ministers believe that so few people are sticking to the advice to stay inside for two weeks when they have had close contact with a positive case.
The Government think by cutting it down they can increase the amount of people who will stick to isolation.
Already people face a fine of £1000 if they break their isolation – if they are told to stay indoors by NHS Test and Trace.
A No10 spokesperson said today: "You are aware that we are reviewing the period of time that people are asked to self-isolate and that work is ongoing and we will set out further details in due course. It’s something that we’re looking at."
It comes after Boris said a new "push" was coming soon in the House of Commons yesterday.
Speaking to MPs he said: "Those who have been contacted need to self-isolate.
"At the moment the proportion of people who are self-isolating in response to test and trace is not yet high enough."
It's been suggested that private polling in Government suggests people would do as they are told if the period is seven days.
Prof Paul Hunter, from the University of East Anglia told BBC Radio 4's Today programme more people are likely to comply with a seven day quarantine.
And telly's Dr Hilary has said that most people are developing symtoms within 10 days.
Research by King's College London suggested just 10.9 per cent of those traced as contacts of someone with Covid-19 stayed at home for the full quarantine period.
People who test positive for coronavirus currently have to isolate for ten days from the day they first have symptoms.
Or if they don't have symptoms, they must stay indoors from when they had their positive test.
Sir John Bell, who has been advising Government on coronavirus testing, says new on-the-spot checks could go further.
The regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford said cheap at-home tests could end the need for many to quarantine.
Sir John said his team have trialled 70 pregnancy-style tests and found six “that look really good”, with millions now being rolled out to support NHS Test and Trace.
Speaking on the BBC Today programme, he said: "I hesitate to use the word game-changer because it gets overused, but it is a significant step forward in the testing arena.”
Sir John said the tests will help “promote enablement rather than restriction”.
He added: “What we hope you'll be able to do is to avoid that kind of quarantine of contacts which has caused so much trouble.
“With these tests, it should be possible…to test those people every two days and they can go about their business."
It comes after the Government announced that from Friday the entire population of Liverpool will be tested for the bug.
The city's 500,000 residents will be able to get their hands on tests – whether they have symptoms or not.
Boris hopes that if they work in helping identify people with no symptoms, and bring down the infection rate, then they could be rolled out to cities across the country before Christmas.
It could go some way to helping people see their families at Christmas.
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